- Three new judges join the panel
- Seven weeks to go until nominations close on Tuesday 21 November 2017
The British Horseracing Authority (BHA) has today announced three new judges who will form part of the panel of 12 for the 2018 Godolphin Stud and Stable Staff Awards.
The panel bring a wide range of expertise, skill sets and are geographically spread to ensure a fair and robust assessment of all nominations.
The Awards, sponsored by Godolphin and run by the BHA in association with the Racing Post, recognise and reward the outstanding dedication and skills of the stud and stable staff who are at the heart of British racing.
The new Judges are: Josh Apiafi, Founder and Director of Rewards4Racing.com; last year’s Employee of the Year Terry Doherty of Watership Down Stud; and ITV Racing’s Alice Plunkett. Fuller biographies can be seen below:
- Josh Apiafi started his racing life as a racing groom and amateur jockey in the early 90s for champion trainer Martin Pipe. Since then he has turned his attention to the business side of the racing industry. He was part of the management team in the early days at Betfair and then went on to become the CEO of the Professional Jockeys Association. In 2011 he launched the racing industry’s award winning loyalty program, Rewards4Racing.com
- Terry Doherty has been Stud Manager of Watership Down for 24 years and his professionalism, integrity and dedication has helped shape what the Stud has become today. He won both the Stud Staff Award and Employee of the Year at the 2017 Godolphin Stud and Stable Staff Awards.
- Alice Plunkett is a former event rider and Jump Jockey. She has been a broadcaster for over 15 years with Channel 4, BBC Radio 5 Live and most recently as part of the ITV Racing Team. She also sits on the board of Cheltenham Racecourse.
Existing members of the panel include Racing Welfare and former Northern Racing College Chief Executive Dawn Goodfellow, former Jump jockey and self-employed businessman Mark Bradburne, National Stud Training Director Tabbi Smith and Hazel Peplinski, Chief Executive of Perth Racecourse.
Dinah Nicholson, whose late husband David has the Newcomer category named in his honour, also forms part of the panel along with the National Association of Stable Staff Chief Executive George McGrath, Newsells Park Stud General Manager Julian Dollar and Ollie McPhail, Lead Education Officer of Racing to School. Brough Scott will continue in his role as Chairman of the panel.
Brough Scott, Chairman of the judging panel, said:“The awards have not stopped growing in their 14 years so far and we have seen countless examples of the hard work and dedication that is required in a stud or racing yard.
“There are only seven weeks until nominations close on Tuesday 21 November. If you are a trainer, owner, manager or racing colleague I would urge you to nominate someone who deserves to be recognised.”
Alice Plunkett said:“I’ve been hugely fortunate to see the hard work and dedication of stud and racing staff first hand throughout my career, and I’m delighted to be on the judging panel for the 2018 awards.
“You can’t overstate how much the racing and breeding industries rely on stud and stable staff, and these awards are a great chance to say thank you and acknowledge all the work that goes on behind the scenes.”
The Awards offer more than £125,000 in prize money, with up to £40,000 available to a single yard or stud. The prizes will be presented in front of an invited audience on the evening of Monday 19 February 2018 at the Jumeirah Carlton Tower Hotel in Knightsbridge, London.
The nomination process is very simple and is available to trainers online via the Racing Administration website. Nominations can also be completed or downloaded via www.studandstablestaffawards.co.uk and www.racingpost.com.
Notes to editors:
- The categories are: Leadership Award, Dedication Award, Rider/Groom Award, Stud Staff, Rory MacDonald Community Award and David Nicholson Newcomer Award (n.b. the David Nicholson Newcomer Award is for people who entered racing within the last threeyears).
- The ‘Rory MacDonald Community Award’ acknowledges those who support the stud and stable staff or have made an outstanding contribution to benefit the wider racing community. The Awards provide an opportunity for the racing industry to highlight and thank the hard work put in by stud and stable staff across the country, and this award in particular acknowledges people who have had a positive impact on their community.
- The winner of each of the first four categories will receive a prize of £5,000 with an additional £5,000 also being awarded to the winner’s yard or stud. Two runners-up in each of these categories will win £2,000 each, with the same amount going to their yard or stud.
- The winner of the Rory MacDonald Community Award will receive £5,000, with the same going to a charity of their choice. The two runners-up will receive £2,000, with the same going to a charity of their 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. There is an additional prize for the winner of the David Nicholson Newcomer Award, which includes return flights, a five-day educational tour of Dubai together with five nights’ accommodation in a luxury hotel.
- The Awards will also recognise an Employee of the Year, who will be selected from the winners of either the Leadership Award, Dedication Award, Rider/Groom Award or Stud Staff Award. That winner will receive an additional prize of £15,000, with the same amount going to their yard or stud.