Following a record number of nominations and two rounds of judging, the finalists have today been announced for the 2016 Godolphin Stud and Stable Staff Awards.
The 12-strong Judging Panel has whittled the 220-plus nominations down to just three finalists in each category. All the finalists are now guaranteed a share in the £120,000 prize money, with every penny they win being matched and shared amongst their yard by sponsors Godolphin.
The finalists will now be invited to meet with the judges in London on Monday 22 February for the third and final stage of judging, where the winner in each category will be decided. All of the winners will be announced later that very evening during the awards ceremony, hosted by Clare Balding with guest presenter Sir AP McCoy, at the Jumeirah Carlton Tower hotel in London.
Brough Scott, Chairman of the Judging Panel said:
“Judging the Godolphin Stud and Stable staff awards restores the faith in how much Racing means to those who work closest to the horses. But for us judges it is also an annual heartache in how to pick out just three finalists from such obviously deserving nominees.
“Sadly we can’t let everyone through, however it is worth noting that many of this year’s finalists have been nominated a number of times previous to getting through to this stage. It’s highly competitive but it is worth hanging in there.
“Trends change from year to year and this time Micky Hammond has three finalists and Tom Dascombe has two. This goes to show the rewards that come to those who take the time to submit high-quality applications, as these two yards are now guaranteed a not inconsiderable amount of prize money whether the finalists are ultimately successful in their respective categories or not.
“The judges in each category work very hard to the point of argument to reach their conclusions and it’s also encouraging to see that the early nomination stage engagement process has paid off with a good mix of Flat/Jump and small/large yards represented, including a finalist from Nick Alexander’s small National Hunt yard up in Scotland.
“The Rory MacDonald Racing Community Award is a new category this year and the exceptional calibre of nominations is a great tribute to Rory who died so tragically last October.”
The finalists are:
David Nicholson Newcomer Award
Lauren Lucas, Micky Hammond
Rahul Kamble, Tom Dascombe
Laura Winstanley, Sir Michael Stoute
Abi Harrison, Jane Chapple-Hyam
Gemma Hogg, Micky Hammond
Mathew Howells, Alan King
Christopher Ely, Tom Dascombe
Alyson Deniel, Richard Fahey
Becky Smith, Micky Hammond
Dedication to Racing Award
Samantha Dwan, Nigel Tinkler
Fran Whyte, Nick Alexander
Claire Goodenough, William Haggas
Stud Staff Award
Mark Zipfel, Shadwell
Stuart Thom, Lofts Hall
Gillian Knight, Yorton Farm
Rory MacDonald Community Award
Raye Wilkinson, Mark Johnston Racing, Welfare Officer
Lisa Delany, Jockeys Employment and Training Scheme
Helen Yeadon, Greatwood Charity
The winner of the Employee of the Year award will be decided by the judges from the winners of the Leadership, Rider Groom, Stud Staff and Dedication to Racing categories.
Notes to editors:
1. The Awards are generously sponsored by Godolphin and run by the British Horseracing Authority (BHA) in association with the Racing Post.
2. The winners of the Leadership, Rider Groom, Stud Staff and Dedication to Racing categories will receive a prize of £5,000 with an additional £5,000 also being awarded to the winner’s yard or stud. The two runners-up in these categories will win £2,000 each, with the same amount going to their year or stud.
The winner of the Rory MacDonald Community Award will receive a prize of £5,000 with an additional prize of £5,000 going to the charity of their choice. The two runners-up will win £2,000 each with the same amount going to their charity of choice.
The winner of the David Nicholson Newcomer Award will receive £2,000, with the same amount going to their yard or stud, while two runners-up will receive £1,000 each, with the same amount for their yard.
The Employee of the Year will receive an additional £15,000, with the same amount awarded to their yard or stud.
3. The Judging Panel is: Tabbi Smith, Sally Aston, Ian Balding, Mark Bradburne, Dale Gibson, Dawn Goodfellow, Matt Mancini, Jessica Fortt, George McGrath, Dinah Nicholson, Brough Scott (Chairman), Peter Scudamore.