The shortlist for an award recognising “the outstanding contribution made by a lady to jump racing” has been announced today, Tuesday 4 March by Cheltenham Racecourse.

A large number of nominations came in from the public, from which six finalists were selected.

The shortlist includes:

  • Nina Carberry, one of the most successful female jockeys of all time
  • Jessica Harrington, trainer of the late Queen Moth Champion Chase winner Moscow Flyer
  • Melanie Langford, a key member of the stable staff at Henry Daly’s yard since he started training
  • Denise Large, the programme director of Channel 4’s coverage of The Cheltenham Festival
  • Lady Chicky Oaksey, senior almoner at the Injured Jockeys Fund
  • Ann Saunders, company secretary of the Professional Jockeys Association

The winning lady will be presented with her award on ‘Ladies Day’, Thursday, 13 March, at the Cheltenham Festival.

A panel of judges made up of Zara Phillips, Clare Balding, Jacqui O’Neill and Gee Bradburne will be selecting the winner, who will be announced this Friday, 7 March.

Edward Gillespie, managing director of Cheltenham Racecourse, said: “Cheltenham is proud of this award, which will be the centrepiece of Ladies’ Day at The Festival.

“We were delighted to receive so many nominations covering a wide cross-section of the industry and the make up of the final six sums up the hugely significant contribution ladies make across the whole spectrum of Jump Racing. The judges do not face an easy task!”

Last year’s winner of the inaugural award was Heather Atkinson, who has been the senior nurse in the jockeys hospital at the racecourse for 30 years.

Stay in touch with all the news from Cheltenham as it happens with daily online reports and blogs from H&H’s racing editor Catherine Austen throughout the Festival, plus online tips on the ones to watch from H&H’s racing contributors.

Don’t miss the first part of Horse & Hound’s Cheltenham preview, including form guide, in this Thursday’s magazine (6 March, ’08)