A new and highly rewarding category has been added to the 2018 Godolphin Stud and Stable Staff Awards, in their fourth year of honouring and acknowledging participants across Australia’s thoroughbred industry.
Along with the six categories available previously, the Newcomer Award will highlight outstanding stud and stable staff members who have been in the industry for a maximum of three years.
The Newcomer Award will draw special attention to nominees who have shown a willingness to improve, to advance their skills and display special enthusiasm and motivation.
The Newcomer Award, announced at the GSSSA 2018 launch on the Gold Coast on January 9, is one of seven awards now available to all industry staff from stablehands to work riders, to horse breakers, to office staff and participants in horse welfare.
The Awards, conducted by Thoroughbred Breeders Australia and Racing Australia, also offer an overall Thoroughbred Excellence prize, which has, so far, launched a young trainer’s new career, has recognised the vital role of those who spend each night during the foaling season monitoring pregnant mares and acknowledged the ever-more-demanding role of the racing manager.
In 2017 the Thoroughbred Excellence Award went to Jeremy Rogers, the man who keeps the “backstage” areas of Australia’s biggest stable functioning.
As racing manager for Victorian trainer Darren Weir, Rogers handles everything from nominations, acceptances and jockey bookings to owner liaison and the racing programs of hundreds of horses.
“In truth, I was staggered to be nominated,” said Rogers, who was also successful in the Dedication to Racing category.
“You get into this business because you love it, and with a bit of luck you get to love it more and more. You don’t expect to be patted on the back, you just get on with it.
“It was a huge result just to be nominated, then to be a finalist and then to be recognised as the overall winner was unbelievable. For Godolphin to care enough to sponsor these awards is one of the greatest things I’ve known in racing.”
Jenny Watson won the Excellence Award in 2016 for her work as foaling supervisor at Armidale Stud where she has been helping mares and foals get through the most delicate stage of their lives for 35 years.
And in 2015 the Excellence prize went to Mark Newnham for his exemplary service as stable foreman for Gai Waterhouse.
By the time he received his Award, Newnham had set up his own stable and is now a successful trainer.
Since their inception, the Awards have acknowledged outstanding talent, contribution and dedication, not only among the winners, but all who have entered.
Diana Cooper, Godolphin’s global charities advisor says of the Awards, “The Godolphin Stud and Stable Staff Awards are a powerful example of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed’s commitment to, and passion for thoroughbred horse racing and breeding worldwide, and we are excited to sponsor the 2018 Awards once again in Australia.”
“To reward excellence in all areas of the racing and breeding industry, particularly amongst those who aren’t necessarily in the front line, is something Godolphin sees as an important component of what we do on a global scale.
Racing Australia CEO Barry O’Farrell said: “We hope to achieve a record number of nominations in 2018 from both regional and metropolitan areas across all states and territories. Trainers, owners, stud managers and racing and breeding colleagues are all keen to recognise the outstanding dedication and hard work of their staff.”
“We all know that the hard work and commitment of staff is the cornerstone of our industry – without that there is no Spring Carnival, no Championships, no major sales. These awards celebrate that dedication and we are proud to continue to support them.”
Tom Reilly, Thoroughbred Breeders Australia CEO said, “I encourage all breeders, trainers, owners and administrators to nominate their unsung heroes and thank the Australian breeding and racing industries in advance for supporting the 2018 Australian Godolphin Stud and Stable Staff Awards.”
“We look forward to this event continuing to establish itself as the pinnacle of staff awards in Australian racing and breeding.”
Awards are offered in the categories of Dedication to Racing, Dedication to Breeding, Leadership, Horsemanship, Thoroughbred Care and Welfare, Administration and Ancillary Services and, for the first time, the Newcomer category.
The winner of each of the established GSSSA categories receives $10,000 with $1000 going to the runners-up and $3000 to be shared among each winner’s work colleagues with the Thoroughbred Excellence Award carrying an additional $5000 prize.
In addition, a donation is made to Award winner’s stud or stable, to facilitate a celebration for their staff, in order that all those around the Award winner can enjoy and celebrate the success.
The Newcomer Award offers a return trip to Dubai and an extensive program including visits to Godolphin’s winter base at Marmoom Stables and a tour of Zabeel Stables, one of the original racing stables established in Dubai.
The winner will also tour the Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid al Maktoum Centre for Cultural Understanding, a personal initiative of Godolphin’s founder and ruler of Dubai, His Highness Sheikh Mohammed.
The 2018 Award winners will be chosen by a selection panel chaired by Chairman of Stewards, South Australia, Johan Petzer and comprised of individuals representing TBA,TRSA, Racing Victoria, Sky Racing Channel and Racing.com in addition to trainers Ron Quinton, Mark Newnham and Troy Corstens.
Nominations are open until midnight AEST Monday 19 February, 2018 and can be made by anyone within the racing and breeding industry.
Full details and nomination forms are available at the GSSSA website.