Following a gala evening ceremony celebrating the skill and commitment of stud and stable staff and the care that they provide for British racehorses, Gemma Hogg, Assistant Trainer for Micky Hammond, has been named as Employee of the Year at the 2016 Godolphin Stud and Stable Staff Awards.
Gemma was awarded with the perpetual Godolphin Trophy by presenter Clare Balding and special guest presenter and Champion Jump Jockey Sir Anthony McCoy at an event hosted by the British Horseracing Authority (BHA) and in partnership with the Racing Post. She was also presented with a cheque for the total of a staggering £40,000, of which £20,000 will be shared amongst the staff at the Oakwood Stables in Middleham, North Yorkshire.
Gemma has been an invaluable member of Oakwood Stables since she arrived in 1998. She joined fresh out of the Northern Racing College at the age of 17 where she had been a top student. After nine years with Micky Hammond she became his Assistant and has excelled in the role ever since. In this time the team has expanded from four staff to a team of 18-plus spread over two yards. As well as being an exceptional leader and talented horsewoman, Gemma is also extremely passionate about rehoming their retired racehorses and works hard to ensure they go to the best stud and stable staff in the racing industry. A total of over £120,000 in prize money wadistributed at the event to the 18 finalists and their yards and studs, with all of the finalists being praised by the judges for their talent, outstanding commitment and contribution to the Racing industry.
Brough Scott, Chairman of the Judging Panel, commented:
“The Godolphin Stud and Stable Staff Awards have once again produced a remarkable set of finalists and it has been an honour to meet with them all through the judging process.
“It is never easy having to choose an overall winner from such worthy candidates. Gemma Hogg represents the very essence of vitality, generosity and pragmatism, which are the very best of racing qualities, and will be a fantastic ambassador for the sport.”
2016 saw the introduction of a new category – the “Racing Community Award” in conjunction with Racing Welfare which commemorates Rory MacDonald, former Chief Executive of the British Racing School (BRS) for 22 years, who sadly passed away in 2015. Rory worked tirelessly for the racing community, and the sport as a whole, and gave many young people a strong start to their careers in racing. This category recognises those individuals who support the stud and stable staff or have made an outstanding contribution to benefit the wider racing community.
Rory was also a Trustee of Retraining of Racehorses (RoR), British Horseracing’s official charity for the welfare of horses that have retired from racing. The charity presented a Special Recognition Award to recognise a member of Stud or Stable Staff who have successfully retrained a former racehorse. This year the Award was won by Joanna Mason, grand-daughter of trainer Mick Easterby, who previously trained Liverpool. Joanna and Liverpool have enjoyed success in several of the RoR Series of competitions including the RoR Hunting Series final and the RoR Elite Series finals at both Hickstead and Royal Windsor.
Also new this year is an additional prize to the winner of the David Nicholson Newcomer Award, of a five-day educational trip to Dubai to learn more about the country’s racing, culture and customs. The prize includes a return flight and five nights’ accommodation at the Jumeirah Beach Hotel’s five-star resort.
The winners of the Awards were decided at a formal judging day held in the morning before the ceremony at the BHA’s London office, where the finalists were interviewed by members of the judging panel.
The full list of winners and runners up are as follows:
DAVID NICHOLSON NEWCOMER AWARD
Winner: Laura Winstanley (Sir Michael Stoute)
Rahul Kamble (Tom Dascombe)
Lauren Lucas (Micky Hammond)
Winner: Gemma Hogg (Micky Hammond)
Abi Harrison (Jane Chapple-Hyam)
Matthew Howells (Alan King)
Winner: Alyson Deniel (Richard Fahey)
Christopher Ely (Tom Dascombe)
Becky Smith (Micky Hammond)
STUD STAFF AWARD
Winner: Stuart Thom (Lofts Hall Stud)
Gillian Knight (Yorton Farm Stud)
Mark Zipfel (Shadwell Estates Company)
DEDICATION TO RACING AWARD
Winner: Claire Goodenough (William Haggas)
Samantha Dwan (Nigel Tinkler)
Fran Whyte (Nick Alexander)
RORY MACDONALD COMMUNITY AWARD
Winner: Lisa Delany (Jockeys Employment Training Scheme)
Raye Wilkinson (Welfare Officer, Mark Johnston)
Helen Yeadon (Greatwood Charity)
ROR SPECIAL RECOGNITION AWARD
Winner: Joanna Mason – Liverpool
Notes to editors:
2. The Awards are generously sponsored by Godolphin and run by the British Horseracing Authority (BHA) in association with the Racing Post.
3. The winners of the Leadership, Rider Groom, Stud Staff and Dedication to Racing categories received 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 won £2,000 each, with the same amount going to their yard or stud.
The winner of the Rory MacDonald Community Award received a prize of £5,000 with an additional prize of £5,000 going to the charity of their choice. The two runners-up won £2,000 each with the same amount going to their charity of choice.
The winner of the David Nicholson Newcomer Award received £2,000, with the same amount going to their yard or stud, while two runners-up received £1,000 each, with the same amount for their yard. The winner also received the five-day educational trip to Dubai.
The Employee of the Year received an additional £15,000, with the same amount awarded to their yard or stud.
4. The Judging Panel was: 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.