Trainers and stud owners can now put forward their star employees for the 2009 Stud and Stable Staff Awards.

Nominations opened on Tuesday (11 November) and forms will be sent to all licensed trainers and more than 300 breeders — who have until 21 December to submit their entries.

Rupert Arnold, chief executive of the National Trainers Federation said: “Nominating stable staff for the awards is the ultimate way to recognise their contribution to a successful yard.

“I urge trainers and stable employees to join forces to nominate their human stable stars. There’s so much to gain and nothing to lose.”

There are 5 categories and the winner of each category will receive £3,000 and the runner up £2,000.

  • David Nicholson newcomer award (less than 9 months in racing)
  • Senior staff (to include yard and travelling staff, and office administrators)
  • Rider/groom
  • Stud staff
  • Special merit/hero (includes long service)

Category winners will then be put forward for the overall Stud and Stable Staff Employee of the Year Award — with prize money of £12,500.

The judging panel will be chaired by racing commentator Brough Scott and will be made up of former champion jockey Kevin Darley, British Horseracing Authority (BHA) director Morag Gray, former trainer and BHA director Toby Balding, former chief executive of the National Stud Miles Littlewort and Dinah Nicholson — wife of the late trainer David.

Kevin Darley said: “Jockeys get plenty of limelight when they ride a big winner and get coverage in the papers, but this is the opportunity for those who put in the hard graft to keep the racing wheel turning to get their moment in the spotlight.

“There are plenty of deserving people in every yard up and down the country and we implore trainers and studs to get their nominations in to us.”

The Stud and Stable Staff Awards were initiated by the BHA in 2005 to recognise the achievements of racing’s key staff.

Trainers can also nominate their staff online at www.racingadmin.co.uk or www.britishhorseracing.com/stablestaff

Trainers or studs with questions about the awards scheme should telephone 020 7152 0005.