Racehorse breeder and owner and former England football star Michael Owen has been announced as the guest presenter for the 2018 Godolphin Stud and Stable Staff Awards.
The awards, now in their 14th year, recognise and reward the outstanding skills, commitment and contribution of racing’s 6,000 stud and stable staff. Sponsored by Godolphin and run by the British Horseracing Authority (BHA) in association with the Racing Post, there is more than £120,000 in prize money on offer, with up to £40,000 available to a single yard or stud.
Michael Owen will join ITV Racing’s Ed Chamberlin, who will host the awards, on stage at the Jumeriah Carlton Towers Hotel on Monday 19 February in front of an audience that will include the 18 finalists, their colleagues and family together with leading industry representatives, politicians and media.
Since retiring from football Owen has enjoyed success as a racehorse breeder and owner with Brown Panther, who won the King George V Stakes at Royal Ascot in 2011 before later landing two Group 1s in the 2014 Irish St Leger and 2015 Dubai Gold Cup. He recently made his debut as a jockey, finishing second at Ascot in November 2017 in a seven-furlong charity race in support of the Prince of Wales’ Countryside Fund.
Michael Owen said:
“I’ve had a lifelong love of horseracing and having been lucky enough to get more involved in the sport as an owner and breeder since retiring from football, I’ve witnessed just how hard the staff work and how much they care for their horses.
“These awards are a great chance to recognise the thousands of hours that go in away from the cameras and to say thank you. I can’t wait to meet the winners and I’m sure it will be an exciting and inspiring night.”
Presenter Ed Chamberlin said:
“Presenting these awards for the first time last year allowed me to see the outstanding dedication, expertise and workmanship of the stud and stable staff, who are at the heart of this great sport. I hope we’ve also showcased that pivotal role and passion on ITV Racing.
“I’m sure this year’s ceremony will be no different and I’m looking forward to joining Michael in recognising the incredible individuals who do so much behind the scenes of British racing.”
esday 21 November 2017.
Notes to editors:
1. In a professional footballing career that spanned from 1997-2013, Owen scored 158 goals in 297 appearances in the Premier League, most notably whilst at Liverpool where he won the UEFA Cup, FA Cup and Football League Cup treble and also received the FIFA Ballon d’Or award. His international career heralded 40 goals in 89 appearances for England and he remains the only player to have scored in four major international tournaments.
2. The announcement confirming the 18 finalists can be viewed here.
3. The awards, sponsored by Godolphin and run by the British Horseracing Authority (BHA) in association with the Racing Post, offer more than £120,000 in prize money, with up to £40,000 available to a single yard or stud. The categories are:
- Leadership Award
- Dedication Award
- Rider/Groom Award
- Stud Staff
- Rory MacDonald Community Award
- David Nicholson Newcomer Award (for those who have entered racing within the last three years)
- Employee of The Year
4. 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.
5. 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.
6. 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.
7. 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.
8. The Awards will also recognise an Employee of the Year, who will be selected from the winners of the first four categories. That winner will receive an additional prize of £15,000, with the same amount going to their yard or stud.