Left to Right: Bernard Caldwell, Chairman Irish Stablestaff Association, Joe Osborne, Managing Director, Godolphin Ireland, Jimmy O’Neill, 2016 Irish Excellence Award Winner and Michael Mulvihill, Business Development Executive, Racing Post (Awards media partner)
Image supplied by Horse Racing Ireland

Nominations are now open for the 2017 Irish Godolphin Stud and Stable Staff Awards. The awards encompass 10 categories, which carry total prize-money of €80,000, an increase of €10,000 from 2016.

Godolphin, the global racing stable founded by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, is the principal sponsor of the Irish Stud and Stable Staff Awards in association with The Irish Stablestaff Association, The Racing Post and Horse Racing Ireland. Godolphin also sponsors the equivalent Stud and Stable Staff Awards in America, Australia, Britain and France.

The 2017 awards will take place in the Newpark Hotel in Kilkenny on Tuesday, May 9th.

Some of the award categories have been amended to more accurately reflect the work of the nominees and to incorporate those working in the breeding sector.

The Ancillary Services Award has been changed to the Racing and Breeding Support Services Award.
The Newcomer Award (Stud and Stable Employees) now allows for three finalists.

Due to the volume of entries in previous years and the difference in the roles, the former Rider/Groom Award has been split into two separate awards – the Horse Care Award and In The Saddle Award, with a trophy and €5,000 for each winner along with €3,000 to each winning yard. The two runners-up in each category will receive €1,000.

The Leadership Award has also changed to Leads by Example Award (Stud and Stable Employees).

The Dedication to Racing and Breeding Award has increased to three finalists.

For the 2017 awards, the Racecourse Award will be chosen by the Irish Stable Staff Association based on a quality programme survey with the purpose of setting quality standards for stable staff at all racecourses in Ireland.  The racecourse with the highest score will win the Godolphin Stud and Stable Staff Racecourse Award.

This year, Godolphin has built a website specifically for the Irish Awardswww.studandstablestaffawards.ie. Its key function allows for nominations to be made online. It also includes information on all the award categories, footage and images of previous winners and frequently asked questions. The nomination form is also available to download.

In addition, every trainer, breeder and point-to-point handler will receive two nomination forms by post. Nomination forms are also available from Horse Racing Ireland’s Head Office in Ballymany in Newbridge. Bernard Caldwell from the Irish Stable Staff Association (ISSA) and his colleagues will be distributing nomination forms at upcoming race meetings and the February sales in Tattersalls and Goffs.

Nominations are open until Friday, February 10th and must be completed online or returned to the Marketing Department in Horse Racing Ireland by 5pm.

Joe Osborne, Managing Director, Godolphin Ireland, said: “Godolphin is delighted to continue its sponsorship of the Stud and Stable Staff Awards 2017. The high standard of the nominees was very impressive in 2016, and no doubt, will be again in 2017, the third year of our sponsorship. These awards bring well-deserved recognition to the talented and hardworking men and women who are so important to the continued prosperity of Irish breeding and racing.”

Bernard Caldwell, Irish Stable Staff Association Chairman, said: “The Irish Stablestaff Association was delighted with the volume of nominations last year. Hopefully, the option to complete a nomination form online and the direct mail campaign will further increase the number of nominations for 2017. I would encourage as many trainers, breeders, owners and managers to nominate their colleagues in order to recognise the great employees we have in our industry.”

Commenting on the awards, Michael O’Rourke, Director of Marketing and Communications, Horse Racing Ireland (HRI), said: “The awards are an excellent platform to showcase the skill and dedication which all the nominees demonstrate in their jobs all year around. Godolphin’s sponsorship is a wonderful acknowledgement of all stud and stable staff who are the backbone of the industry.”

TEN AWARD CATEGORIES

1. Racecourse Award
The Racecourse Award will be chosen by the Irish Stable Staff Association based on a quality programme survey with the purpose of setting quality standards for stable staff at all racecourses in Ireland.  The racecourse with the highest score will win the Godolphin Stud and Stable Staff Racecourse Award.

Prize:   €2,500 to be spent on upgrades of facilities which will benefit stable employees

2. Racing and Breeding Support Services Award
An award to an individual who works in any support service role within the thoroughbred racing and breeding sectors. This includes, but is not limited to, veterinary practices, farriers, horse transport, sales companies, horse dentists, physiotherapist and racing administration staff. (racecourses, HRI and Turf Club employees)

Qualities:

  • Consistently high standards of work
  • Positive interactions with stud and racing stable personnel
  • Examples of contributing to employer’s and/or client’s success in breeding and/or racing

Prize:   Trophy and €2,500

3. Administration Award
An award to an individual who works in an administration role in the thoroughbred breeding and racing sector.

Qualities:

  • High standard of organisational, time-management and communication skills
  • Attention to detail and systems/process driven
  • Suggests innovations and efficiencies
  • Positive interactions in the workplace with a team spirit approach
  • Examples of contributing to employer’s success in breeding and/or racing

Prize:   Trophy and €5,000 to the winner and €3,000 to the winner’s yard/stud/company to be divided amongst yard/stud/company employees.  The two runners-up will receive €1,000 each.

4. Newcomer Award (Stud and Stable employees)
An award to an individual who has been working in any area of the thoroughbred racing and/or breeding sector for less than five years as of Friday 10th February 2017 and who has shown commitment to and ambition for a career in the industry including a desire to improve and progress their skills and knowledge.

Qualities:

  • Enthusiasm and motivation
  • Evidence of a desire to improve and progress skills and knowledge
  • Team spirit approach in the workplace
  • Willingness to learn with examples of involvement in industry events and activities

Prize:   Trophy and €2,500 to the winner and €1,000 to the winner’s yard/stud to be divided amongst yard/stud employees.  The two runners-up will receive €500 each.  The Newcomer Award winner will also receive a five day educational tour to Dubai with flights and accommodation included

5. Horse Care Award (stud and stable employees)
An award to an individual working in a thoroughbred racing yard or stud farm who has shown talent for horsemanship, dedication, reliability, team spirit and attention to detail in their care of horses.

Qualities:

  • Dedication to horse welfare/rehabilitation in the workplace
  • Observant and intuitive with good attention to detail
  • Ability to work on own initiative
  • Patient and flexible with good communication skills
  • Positive influence in the workplace with good team spirit approach
  • Consistently observes high standards of health and safety in the workplace
  • Examples of working with sick and injured horses

Prize:   Trophy and €5,000 to the winner and €3,000 to the winner’s yard to be divided amongst yard employees.  The two runners-up will receive €1,000 each.

6. In the Saddle Award (stud and stable employees)
An award to an individual working in a thoroughbred racing yard or stud farm who has shown exceptional horsemanship, dedication, team spirit and skill in the saddle such as breaking horses and/or riding-out.

Qualities:

  • Work well as part of a team with good communication skills
  • Consistently observes high standards of health and safety in the workplace
  • Willingness to learn
  • Examples of exceptional horsemanship and riding skills

Prize:   Trophy and €5,000 to the winner and €3,000 to the winner’s yard/stud to be divided amongst yard/stud employees.  The two runners-up will receive €1,000 each.

7. Travelling Head Person Award
An award to an individual working as a Travelling Head Lad/Lass who, while representing their employer at the racecourse, sets and maintains high standards of horsemanship; organisational and communication skills and attention to detail.

Qualities:

  • Observant and intuitive in relation to horse care and welfare
  • High standard of organisational skills and attention to detail
  • Works well with a team with good communication skills
  • Consistently observes high standards of health and safety in the yard, on the road and at the racecourse
  • Examples of contribution to employer’s success

Prize:   Trophy and €5,000 to the winner and €3,000 to the winner’s yard to be divided amongst yard employees.  The two runners-up will receive €1,000 each.

8. Leads by Example Award (stud and stable employees)
An award to an individual in a supervisory or managerial role in a thoroughbred racing yard or stud farm who has displayed leadership, team spirit, and positive interpersonal skills.

Qualities:

  • High standard of management skills including organisation and communication
  • Sets clear goals and cultivates a team-oriented approach to achieve them
  • Motivates and mentors fellow employees and is valued as a role model in the workplace
  • Consistently observes high standards of health and safety in the workplace
  • Examples of positive influences on an individual’s and/or a team’s performance

Prize:   Trophy and €5,000 to the winner and €3,000 to the winner’s yard/stud to be divided amongst yard/stud employees.  The two runners-up will receive €1,000 each.

9. Dedication to Racing and Breeding Award
An award for an individual who has worked for a minimum of twenty years in a full-time position in any area of the thoroughbred breeding and/or racing sectors. Nominees must be currently working in the industry, although persons currently working part-time (minimum 20 hours per week), having previously served 20 years full-time, may be included.

Qualities:

 

Commitment, dedication and enthusiasm

Extensive industry experience

Consistently observes high standards of health and safety in the workplace

Examples of how the nominee plays a pivotal role in their employer’s success

 

Prize:   Trophy and €5,000 to the winner and €3,000 to the winner’s yard/stud to be divided amongst yard/stud employees.  The two runners-up will receive €1,000 each.

10. Irish Racing Excellence Award
Will be presented to one of the winners of the Administration, Newcomer, Horse Care, In the Saddle, Travelling Head Person, Leads by Example and Dedication to Racing and Breeding Awards who is, in the opinion of the judging panel, the most deserving of recognition for their commitment, hard work, and ongoing contribution to the high standards and reputation of the Irish thoroughbred industry.

Prize:   Trophy and €5,000 to the winner and €5,000 to the winner’s yard/stud to be divided amongst yard/stud employees.