Roy Barrett, Head Groom at Len Lungo’s Carrutherstown stable, today took the top honour at the inaugural Stable Staff of the Year Awards in London, winning a prize of £10,000. His colleagues at the yard will also receive the same amount to share between them.
The Awards, sponsored by Godolphin and organised by the British Horseracing Board in association with the Racing Post, carried prizes totalling £50,000, making them the most richly-endowed of their kind for stable staff anywhere in the world.
Eleven-times Champion Jockey Pat Eddery was guest of honour at the lunchtime ceremony, which took place before a specially-invited audience of over 120, at which he presented all winners and runners-up with their trophies.
Stable Employee of the Year Barrett, 57, has spent over 40 years in racing and was also the winner of the Senior Staff Award. He has been employed by Len Lungo since the latter took out a training licence in 1990 and has had only one other employer in the sport.
Each of the five Award category winners received £2,500, with their colleagues at their respective stable or stud to benefit from £1,000:
Newcomer – Paul Lucas – Groom with Andrew Balding
Stud Staff – Susan Titley – Head Girl at Shade Oak Stud
Rider/Groom – Larry Poland – Groom with Nicky Richards
Senior Staff – Roy Barrett – Head Groom with Len Lungo
Special Merit/Hero – Gary Wright – Head Groom with Peter Cundell
The two runners-up in each category will also receive £1,000.
The Awards were judged by a panel comprising Racing Post Editorial Director Brough Scott (Chairman); John Francome, Channel 4 Racing broadcaster; Stephen Hadley, Showjumper; Gill Lovell, Executive Director of the British Horseracing Education and
Standards Trust; David Nicholson, BHB Bloodstock Representative; and Dr Peter Webbon, Jockey Club Director of Veterinary Science and Welfare.
Brough Scott said: “The Awards have been a tremendous initiative and it has been inspiring to be involved with them. Staff are the backbone of the sport and it is fitting that their contribution has been celebrated.”
BHB Chairman Martin Broughton said: “Racing simply would not take place without its grass roots workforce. Their commitment often goes well beyond the call of duty, as was clear from the near-250 Award nomination forms that were received. We are delighted to have played a role in ensuring that such dedicated individuals receive deserved recognition.”