The racing industry is recognising the importance of stable and stud staff with the introduction of new annual Stable Staff of the Year Awards, which will carry a total value of £50,000 in prizes and prize money.
The British Horseracing Board is running the awards, in association with the Racing Post. The National Trainers Federation and the Stable Lads Association have also been involved with the creation of the new awards, which will be judged by a panel of industry experts including former champion jockey, trainer and racing commentator John Francome.
Baroness Mallalieu, independent BHB director and chair of the stable and stud staff steering group, says: “I hope these awards, generously sponsored by Godolphin, will prove to be a major step forward towards proper recognition and appreciation of stable staff, without whom racing simply would not happen.”
The awards will be broken down into five categories:
- Newcomer (less than two years in racing)
- Senior staff (to include yard and travelling staff & office administrators)
- Stud staff
- Special merit/hero
Each of the five category winners will collect a cheque for £2,500, with two runners-up awarded £1,000 each. One overall winner will be chosen from each of the five category winners and presented with a cheque for £10,000.
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. A long list of 10 in each category will be drawn up and reduced to a short list of three by the judging panel. Each short-listed nominee will meet with the judging panel individually, and be invited, along with their employer, to the awards lunch, which will take place in central London on Tuesday 5 April.
Rupert Arnold, chief executive of the National Trainers Federation, says: “It’s great that through these new awards stable staff will join other leading industry players in receiving national recognition for their outstanding contribution to racing. The NTF fully supports the concept and is grateful to Godolphin for initiating and funding the awards.”