Members of the racing community in Newmarket and the surrounding area feature prominently among the long list of candidates for the 10th annual Godolphin Stud and Stable Staff Awards.
Seventeen stud and stable staff members names from various locations in the town and nearby villages feature in the final 10 of each of the six categories which make up the event.
The biggest representation of nominees from the Newmarket area comes in the Rider Groom category, with five names included in the final 10.
Two other categories which the area has a large presence in are the Dedication to Racing, and Stud Staff sections, both of which feature four names connected to the Newmarket region.
“Once again the numbers and standard of entries has been exceptional, and truly fitting of the Awards’ 10th anniversary,” said Robin Mounsey, media manager for the British Horseracing Authority.
“Whittling the nominations down to the long-list of 10 has been a tremendously difficult task for those involved and I don’t envy the judges who now have to choose just three finalists from each category.”
The 10 candidates will now be interviewed by members of the judging panel, which is overseen by writer and former broadcaster Brough Scott, and includes former trainers Ian Balding and Jack Berry, George McGrath, chief executive of the National Association of Stable Staff, before a short-list of three is decided in five of the categories.
Each of the three finalists will then be invited down to the Jumeirah Carlton Tower hotel in London on Tuesday, February 25 to decide each category winner and the overall Employee of the Year, at a ceremony which will be hosted by Channel Four racing’s Clare Balding.
The winner of the Adminstration Staff award will be selected by judges at the long-list stage.
Winners of the Dedication to Racing, Adminstration Staff, Stud Staff, Rider Groom and Leadership Category, will all receive £5,000, with a further £5,000 being split among staff at the stable or stud, with £2,000 going to each runner-up, except in the Adminstration Staff category, and the same amount to be shared among their yard or stud.
The winner of the David Nicholson Newcomer Award will pick up a cheque for £2,000, with a further £2,000 going to staff at the winning yard, while each runner-up will land £1,000, with the same amount distributed to staff at their stable.
The winner of the overall Employee of the Year prize, which comes from the winner of the Dedication to Racing, Stud Staff, Rider Groom or Leadership Award will win a further £15,000, with the same shared out among their colleagues.
Long list nominees:
Leadership Award: Joanne Fowles (Roger Varian).
Rider/Groom Award: Simon Archer (Sir Mark Prescott), Samantha Cobley (Ed Walker); Tony Garth (Saeed bin Suroor); Toni Hunter (Martin Smith); Tariq Mehmood (Saeed bin Suroor).
Stud Staff Award: Steven Golding (Hascombe and Valiant Stud); Rab McKellar (Cheveley Park Stud); Becky Stebbing (New England Stud); Chantal Wootten (Fittocks Stud).
Dedication to Racing Award: Mary Burns (James Tate); William Gleed (Marco Botti); Stuart Jackson (David Simcock); Malcolm Winter (William Jarvis).
David Nicholson Newcomer Award: Ben James (William Haggas).
Adminstration Staff Award: Bee Chapman (William Jarvis); Sarah Hayde-Salter (British Racing School).