The panel of six judges for the ninth annual Godolphin Stud and Stable Staff Awards has been announced, with leading figures from all areas of the industry taking part.
The panel includes the former trainers Ian Balding and Jack Berry and the well-respected Dinah Nicholson, whose late husband David has the Newcomer category named in his honour, together with George McGrath, Chief Executive of the National Association of Stable Staff (NASS), Judith Allen, Executive Director of the British Horseracing Education and Standards Trust (BHEST), and Kerry Murphy, Chief Executive of the European Breeders’ Fund (EBF).
Jack Berry, who is joining the panel for the first time, commented:
“The Awards are a wonderful thing for the staff, and it’s marvellous that the trainers and stud owners have stepped up and submitted so many nominations. The 50 per cent increase in nominations is marvellous and I’m really chuffed to be a judge and looking forward to taking part.”
Kerry Murphy, a further first-time addition to the panel, added:
“I am honoured to be a judge of the Stud and Stable Staff Awards. They are a great opportunity for the industry to come together to celebrate the dedication and hard work of some of those behind the scenes.”
George McGrath, a previous Stud and Stable Staff Award winner, also joins the judging panel for the first time. His involvement in the awards highlights the close links between the awards and NASS, the representative body for Stud and Stable Staff in Britain.
The judging panel, which is overseen by Brough Scott, now face the task of narrowing a long-list of ten nominees in each category down to a short-list of three in each of the six categories. Short-listed nominees will then meet with the judges in London on Sunday March 3rd before the winners are announced the following day at a glamorous ceremony at the Jumeriah Carlton Towers hotel in Knightsbridge.
The Awards, which offer £120,000 in prize money, are sponsored by Godolphin and run by the British Horseracing Authority in association with the Racing Post. They are divided into the following categories; the High Achiever Award, the Rider/Groom Award, the Stud Staff Award, Dedication to Racing Award, the David Nicholson Newcomer Award and the Administration Staff Award. The finalists in each of these categories will receive a cash prize as well as the opportunity to attend the glamorous ceremony at the Jumeirah Carlton Tower hotel in Knightsbridge.
The Employee of the Year will be selected from the winners of the High Achiever, Rider/Groom, Stud Staff and Dedication to Racing categories, with the winner receiving an additional prize of £15,000.
As well as rewarding individual achievement, the Awards benefit the whole team, with separate cash prizes awarded to the yard of each winner. Two runners up in the five main categories will also receive a cash prize along with their yard or stud.