£50,000 in prize money and prizes is once again on offer for the Stud and Stable Staff Awards, to be held in central London on Tuesday 20th February 2007. The Awards, now in their third year, remain the most valuable of their kind and are generously sponsored by Godolphin, and run by the British Horseracing Board in association with the Racing Post.
A set of nomination forms along with an accompanying letter has been sent to all licensed trainers and over 300 breeders, who have until Tuesday 19th December 2006 to submit their entries.
Following liaison with the National Trainers Federation, a new development for the Stud and Stable Staff Awards 2007 is the ability for trainers or their representative to nominate employees online through the BHB Racing Administration website, making the process as straightforward as possible. It is hoped that this facility will ensure a significant increase in the number of nominations.
Another change is an all-new judging panel, comprised of individuals with a broad range of expertise in the racing and breeding industry. Brough Scott, Editorial Director of the Racing Post, remains Chairman of the judging panel, which is now made up as follows:
Michael Caulfield – Sports Psychologist
Richard Dunwoody – Former Champion Jockey
Jim Gale – Chief Executive of the Northern Racing College
Dinah Nicholson – BHB Bloodstock Representative
Gavin Pritchard-Gordon – Executive Director of the Thoroughbred Breeders Association
The late David Nicholson was an avid supporter of the Stud and Stable Staff Awards, and was a key member of the judging panel from their inception in 2005. In recognition of his dedication to the tuition of young people in the industry, the Newcomer section of the Awards will now be known as the David Nicholson Newcomer Award.
The Stud and Stable Employee of the Year 2007, who will emulate previous winners Liz Welsh from the Philip Hobbs yard, and Roy Barrett from Len Lungo’s stable, will be presented with a cheque for £10,000, and will be drawn from the five category winners, who will each collect £2,500. Two runners-up in each category will be awarded with £1,000.
The overall winner’s yard will also win £10,000, while the yards of the category winners will win £1,000 each. These latter prizes will be distributed in line with normal stable practice for pool money distribution.
Nominations are restricted to one per category, per yard, encouraging members of staff to work together as a team and put forward their leading candidates. A long list of ten in each category will also be drawn up, to be reduced to a short list of three by the judging panel. Each shortlisted nominee will meet with the judging panel individually, and be invited, along with their employer, to the Awards lunch.
The Awards are broken down into five categories:
1. David Nicholson Newcomer Award (less than 2 years in racing)
2. Senior Staff (to include yard and travelling staff & office administrators)
4. Stud Staff
5. Special Merit/Hero
For the Stud and Stable Employee of the Year Award, a unanimous decision from the panel will be required.
BHB Marketing Director Chris John said: “Now in their third year, the Stud and Stable Staff Awards will again benefit from the generous sponsorship of Godolphin and high profile support from the Racing Post. These awards have grown in profile over recent years and continue to recognise and reward the hard work and dedication of racing’s leading staff. I look forward to a significant number of high quality nominations from trainers and stud managers across the country.”
Brough Scott said: “There was no greater advocate of these Awards than David Nicholson, and commemorating The Duke by re-naming the Newcomer Award is particularly fitting. Overall, the Awards are the perfect opportunity for employers to show their appreciation of their workforce by taking the time to nominate key members of staff.”