Following a record number of nominations and two rounds of judging, the finalists have been announced for the 2016 Godolphin Stud and Stable Staff Awards.
The 12-strong Judging Panel has whittled the 220-plus nominations down to just three finalists in each category. All the finalists are now guaranteed a share in the £120,000 prize money, with every penny they win being matched and shared amongst their yard by sponsors Godolphin.
The finalists will be invited to meet with the judges in London on Monday 22 February for the third and final stage of judging, where the winner in each category will be decided. All of the winners will be announced later that very evening during the awards ceremony, hosted by Clare Balding with guest presenter Sir AP McCoy, at the Jumeirah Carlton Tower hotel in London.
Brough Scott, Chairman of the Judging Panel said:
“Judging the Godolphin Stud and Stable staff awards restores the faith in how much Racing means to those who work closest to the horses. But for us judges it is also an annual heartache in how to pick out just three finalists from such obviously deserving nominees.
“Sadly we can’t let everyone through, however it is worth noting that many of this year’s finalists have been nominated a number of times previous to getting through to this stage. It’s highly competitive but it is worth hanging in there.
“Trends change from year to year and this time Micky Hammond has three finalists and Tom Dascombe has two. This goes to show the rewards that come to those who take the time to submit high-quality applications, as these two yards are now guaranteed a not inconsiderable amount of prize money whether the finalists are ultimately successful in their respective categories or not.
“The judges in each category work very hard to the point of argument to reach their conclusions and it’s also encouraging to see that the early nomination stage engagement process has paid off with a good mix of Flat/Jump and small/large yards represented, including a finalist from Nick Alexander’s small National Hunt yard up in Scotland.
“The Rory MacDonald Racing Community Award is a new category this year and the exceptional calibre of nominations is a great tribute to Rory who died so tragically last October.”
The finalists are:
David Nicholson Newcomer Award
- Lauren Lucas, Micky Hammond
- Rahul Kamble, Tom Dascombe
- Laura Winstanley, Sir Michael Stoute
- Abi Harrison, Jane Chapple-Hyam
- Gemma Hogg, Micky Hammond
- Mathew Howells, Alan King
- Christopher Ely, Tom Dascombe
- Alyson Deniel, Richard Fahey
- Becky Smith, Micky Hammond
Dedication to Racing Award
- Samantha Dwan, Nigel Tinkler
- Fran Whyte, Nick Alexander
- Claire Goodenough, William Haggas
Stud Staff Award
- Mark Zipfel, Shadwell
- Stuart Thom, Lofts Hall
- Gilian Knight, Yorton Farm
Rory MacDonald Community Award
- Raye Wilkinson, Mark Johnston Racing, Welfare Officer
- Lisa Delany, Jockeys Employment and Training Scheme
- Helen Yeadon, Greatwood Charity
The winner of the Employee of the Year award will be decided by the judges from the winners of the Leadership, Rider Groom, Stud Staff and Dedication to Racing categories.