New Judging Panel announced for the 2015 Godolphin Stud and Stable Staff Awards

09 Oct 2014 Grassroots

The revised and extended Panel of judges for the 11th annual Godolphin Stud and Stable Staff Awards has today been confirmed. The Panel this year increases from six to 12 members and consists of a cross-section of industry figures, tasked with selecting the winners after nominations close on Friday 12 December.

Joining the Panel this year are eight-time Champion Jump jockey Peter Scudamore – now assistant trainer to Lucinda Russell – Professional Jockeys Association (PJA) Industry Liaison Officer Dale Gibson and former Jump jockey and self-employed businessman Mark Bradburne.

They will also be joined by Chief Executive of the Northern Racing College Dawn Goodfellow, Matt Mancini, Director of The Racing Centre and Sally Aston, Owner and Manager of Goldford Stud. The final new Panel member will be last year’s winner of the prestigious Employee of the Year Award, Leanne Masterton.

Former trainers Ian Balding and Jack Berry plus Dinah Nicholson, whose late husband David has the Newcomer category named in his honour, remain on the panel with George McGrath, Chief Executive of the National Association of Stable Staff, and Judith Allen, Executive Director of the British Horseracing Education and Standards Trust. Brough Scott also continues in his role as Chairman of the Judging Panel.

As well as increasing the Panel to 12 in order to provide a greater range of backgrounds, experience and locations, this year also sees changes to the judging process itself. All nominations will now be independently verified before going before the Judging Panel and every nomination will be reviewed immediately by members of the Judging Panel, where in previous years the first stage of the process was carried out by British Horseracing Authority (BHA) employees.

Chairman of the Judging Panel, Brough Scott said:

“I am delighted to be continuing as Chair of the Judging Panel for these special awards. They are so important in that they acknowledge and celebrate the hard work put in by all stud and stable staff, the people who we all owe so much to for their dedication to the industry and, most importantly, the horses. The revised judging process this year will ensure that every nomination will be assessed by a wider range of judges and in an even more rigorous judging process.”

Eight-time Champion Jump jockey and new Judging Panel member, Peter Scudamore, said:

“It is an honour to be invited to join the Judging Panel and be given the opportunity to contribute to such an important set of awards. The awards have become a genuine industry institution and utterly unique in the sporting world. It is essential the industry recognise and applaud the hard work of all stud and stable staff and I’m pleased to offer my time to assist in this process.”

Once nominations close on 12 December, the judges will then select an initial shortlist of 10 in each category before then reducing this list to three finalists. The finalists in each category will meet with the judges in London on Monday 23 February, where the winners will be decided. Prior to the final judging day the three finalists in the Rider/Groom category will be visited at their yard and assessed by a judge.

All the winners will be announced at an evening ceremony on 23 February at the Jumeirah Carlton Towers hotel in Knightsbridge.

The Awards, which offer £120,000 in prize money, are sponsored by Godolphin and run by BHA in association with the Racing Post. They are divided into the following categories; Leadership Award; Rider/Groom Award; Stud Staff Award; Dedication to Racing Award; David Nicholson Newcomer Award; and the Administration Staff Award. The Employee of the Year will be selected from the winners of the Leadership, Rider/Groom, Stud Staff and Dedication to Racing categories.

The deadline for nominations for the Awards is Friday 12 December 2014.

Nomination forms can be completed and submitted online:

Nomination forms are also available for download at and via

Alternatively, email [email protected] or simply text AWARDS to 07584 171551 and a member of the team will arrange for a form to be sent out.

Notes to editors:

1. The winner 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. Two runners-up in each of these categories will win £2,000 each, with the same amount going to their yard or stud.

2. 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 winner of the Administration Staff Award will win £5,000, with £5,000 to their yard or stud. There are no runner-up prizes for the Administration Staff Award.

3. The Employee of the Year will receive an additional prize of £15,000, with the same amount going to their yard or stud.

4. The winner of the Administration Staff Award will be decided at the second stage of judging and will not be interviewed by the judges on 23 February, but will attend the evening ceremony to be presented with his/her prize.

5. Due to the extended nomination period this year, all nominations made before 1 November will receive a 50 per cent discount on Racing Post Books orders.