• Employee of the Year’s yard will receive pool money equivalent to winning a race worth over £575,000
• Godolphin increase prize money by 50% in deal through to 2010
Nominations for the Stud and Stable Staff Awards 2008 open today, with £75,000 in prize money to be split between the overall winner, five category winners and the shortlisted nominees.
The Awards have been the richest of their kind in the world since their inception in 2005, and generous sponsors Godolphin announced earlier this year that they would increase prize money by 50% in a three year deal to 2010. The Awards continue to be run by the British Horseracing Authority, in conjunction with the Racing Post.
The new prize money breakdown will be as follows:
Overall Winner £12,500
Overall Winner’s Stud/Stable £12,500
Category Winner £3,000
Category Winner’s Stud/Stable £3,000
Category Runners Up £2,000
The Stud and Stable Employee of the Year will therefore collect a total of £15,500, with the same amount going to his or her colleagues to share. Only by winning the Epsom Derby, the John Smith’s Grand National or the King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes could a yard receive such a large windfall to benefit all staff members.
The three previous recipients of the Stable Employee of the Year award are Chris Hinson from Ed Dunlop’s yard, Liz Welsh from the Philip Hobbs’ yard and inaugural winner Roy Barrett from Len Lungo’s stable.
A set of nomination forms along with an accompanying letter has been sent to all licensed trainers and over 300 breeders, who have until Friday 21st December 2007 to submit their entries.
Trainers or their representative can nominate employees online through the British Horseracing Authority Racing Administration website, making the process as straightforward as possible. Nomination forms are also available to download from stage.britishhorseracing.com/stablestaff, where a mock example nomination can be viewed to assist potential nominees and their employers.
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
Nominations are restricted to one per category, per yard. Trainers, studs and staff are encouraged to work together as a team and put forward their leading candidates. A long list of ten in each category will be selected by the judges, to be reduced to a short list of three by the judging panel. Each shortlisted nominee will meet with the judging panel individually, at the British Horseracing Authority’s Shaftesbury Avenue headquarters, on Monday 18th February, and will be invited, along with their employer to the Awards lunch the following day, Tuesday 19th February, at the Café Royal in central London.
The Awards will be judged by a panel of five influential racing and breeding figures who will be announced at a later date. Brough Scott will again be Chairman of the Judging panel.
For the Stud and Stable Employee of the Year Award, a unanimous decision from the panel will be required.
British Horseracing Authority Chief Executive Nic Coward said: “One of my moments of the year was Chris Hinson collecting his Stud and Stable Employee of the Year Award back in February. The Awards, and all that they stand for, made a big impression. They are a golden opportunity to showcase the best in the business. Everyone should get nominations in, and get involved.”
Rider/Groom Award winner at the Stud and Stable Staff Awards 2007, Joey Crayton said: “I get a lump in my throat every time I think about my experience at the Stud and Stable Staff Awards. It was the most memorable experience I’m ever likely to have. All of those present on the day, whether winners or runners up, had a day they’ll never forget. I’d really encourage everyone to nominate for the Awards, as they are the ideal way for trainers to show support for loyal and hard working staff.”
National Trainers Federation Chief Executive Rupert Arnold said: “Godolphin have once again been wonderfully generous in raising their sponsorship of the Stud and Stable Staff Awards. Trainers seldom get such a fantastic opportunity to show their appreciation for the best staff so I would strongly encourage them to make a nomination because if they are not in, they can’t win.”