The 18 finalists for the 2019 Godolphin Stud and Stable Staff Awards have been announced.
Having narrowed down the 202 applications to a shortlist of ten finalists in each of the six categories in December, the judges have now made their final selection of three finalists for each award.
The final stage of judging will now take place in London on the day of the awards ceremony, Monday 18 February 2019, where finalists will be interviewed face-to-face by the judges who will then decide the winners and runners-up.
The results will be revealed later that evening at the awards ceremony at the Jumeirah Carlton Towers hotel in Knightsbridge. It has also been confirmed today that the 2019 awards will be hosted for the first time by ITV Racing’s Oli Bell.
Bell, who also presents ITV’s The Opening Show which recently featured a discussion on stable staff, said:
“Throughout my life and role at ITV Racing I am constantly reminded of the importance of the stud and stable staff, and without them the industry wouldn’t survive, and it is a real honour to be presenting these prestigious awards.
“Some of the stories from the previous finalists and winners have been incredibly moving and I am sure this year will also provide some amazing stories and demonstrate the dedication and excellent care that British racing’s workforce provides its racehorses”.
The 2019 finalists and their nominators are:
David Nicholson Newcomer Award
Sophy Scott - Mark Johnston, Middleham, North Yorkshire
April Clarke - Jedd O’Keeffe, Leyburn, North Yorkshire
Max McLoughlin - Cheveley Park Stud, Newmarket, Suffolk
Dan Horsford - Alan King, Marlborough, Wiltshire
Catriona Bissett - Nick Alexander, Leslie, Fife
Barry O’Dowd - John Gosden, Newmarket, Suffolk
Sean Graham - Philip Hobbs, Minehead, Somerset
Stewart Gossnell - Richard Hughes, Lambourn, Berkshire
Ian Clarkson - Micky Hammond, Middleham, North Yorkshire
Stud Staff Award
Andrew Snell - Cheveley Park Stud, Newmarket, Suffolk
Christine Chapman - Theakston Stud, Bedale, North Yorkshire
Kevin Tobin - New England Stud, Newmarket, Suffolk
Dedication to Racing Award
John Bottomley - Ollie Pears, Malton, North Yorkshire
David Macleod - James Ewart, Langholm, Dumfriesshire
Jaimie Duff - Lucinda Russell, Kinross, Perthshire
Rory MacDonald Community Award
Deborah Hay - Lingfield Park Racecourse, Surrey
Andrea O’Keefe - Jedd O’Keeffe, Leyburn, North Yorkshire
Sarah Montgomery - Musselburgh racecourse, East Lothian
1. The judging panel: Brough Scott (Chair), Dawn Goodfellow, George McGrath, Tabitha Smith, Alice Plunkett, Mick Fitzgerald, Sally Aston, Jessica McLernon, Mark Bradburne, Ollie McPhail, Dinah Nicholson and Hazel Peplinski
2. The awards are sponsored by Godolphin and run by the British Horseracing Authority (BHA) in association with the Racing Post.
3. The winner of the Leadership, Rider/Groom, Stud Staff and Dedication to Racing categories will receive a prize of £5,000 with an additional £5,000 also being awarded to the winner’s yard or stud. Two runners-up in each of these categories will win £2,000 each, with the same amount going to their yard or stud.
4. The winner of the Rory MacDonald Community Award will receive £5,000, with the same going to a charity of their choice. The two runners-up will receive £2,000, with the same going to a charity of their choice.
5. The winner of the David Nicholson Newcomer Award will receive £2,000, with the same amount going to their yard or stud, while two runners-up will receive £1,000 each, with the same amount for their yard. There is an additional prize for the winner of the David Nicholson Newcomer Award, which includes return flights, a five-day educational tour of Dubai together with five nights’ accommodation.
6. The Awards will also recognise an Employee of the Year, who will be selected from the winners of the first four categories. That winner will receive an additional prize of £15,000, with the same amount going to their yard or stud.