Judging Panel announced for the 2016 Godolphin Stud and Stable Staff Awards

For the second year running the British Horseracing Authority (BHA) are pleased to confirm a 12-strong Judging Panel for the Godolphin Stud and Stable Staff Awards. This follows the success of last year’s extended Judging Panel and refresh of the judging processes.

The Awards, sponsored by Godolphin and run by the BHA in association with the Racing Post, recognise and reward the outstanding dedication and skills of the stud and stable staff who are at the heart of British Racing.

This year we are delighted to welcome last year’s Employee of the Year, Jess Fortt to the Judging Panel. Tabbi Smith, Training Director at the National Stud is the other new addition to the Panel for the next Awards.

Jess Fortt, stud manager at Dunraven Stud – a small National Hunt stud in Wales – was crowned the Employee of the Year 2015 and will be taking some time during the Stud’s busy foaling season to help judge this year’s nominations.

Tabbi Smith has been overseeing the National Stud’s training provision since 2006. During that time she has been heavily involved with aiding young people attending training courses at the National Stud achieve their aspirations and goals to have a career in the Thoroughbred breeding industry.

Jess and Tabbi join the Panel that includes Racing Welfare and former Northern Racing College Chief Executive Dawn Goodfellow; eight-time Champion Jump jockey Peter Scudamore, now assistant trainer to Lucinda Russell; Professional Jockeys Association (PJA) Executive Director (Racing) Dale Gibson; former Jump jockey and self-employed businessman Mark Bradburne; the BHA’s Welfare Development Manager, Matt Mancini; and Sally Aston, owner and manager of Goldford Stud.

Former trainer Ian Balding and Dinah Nicholson, whose late husband David has the Newcomer category named in his honour, also form the core of the panel with George McGrath, Chief Executive of the National Association of Stable Staff, and Brough Scott continuing in his role as Chairman of the Judging Panel.

Brough Scott, Chairman of the Judging Panel said:

“Over the last 12 years the Awards have gone from strength to strength and we’ve seen some truly exceptional examples of dedication and hard work that is required for work in a racing yard or stud.

“These Awards are the perfect opportunity to honour and reward the work of stud and stable staff, so I urge trainers, managers and colleagues to nominate someone who deserves to be recognised at these prestigious national Awards.

“This year we also welcome a new award, the Racing Community Award, which is an exciting new category. This will allow us to reward those that are not necessarily employed by the Racing industry but do an enormous amount to support it.”

Jess Fortt, 2015 Employee of the Year and 2016 Judge, said:

“I am absolutely delighted to be asked to help judge the 2016 Awards. Racing is a fantastic sport and the all stud and stable staff put so much work into the job, these Awards are such an important opportunity to acknowledge this hard work.”

The Awards offer over £120,000 in prize money, with up to £40,000 available to a single yard or stud. The prizes will be presented in front of an invited audience on the evening of Monday 22 February 2016 at the Jumeirah Carlton Tower Hotel in Knightsbridge, London.

The Awards are an important event in the Racing calendar and are a good example of the Racing community coming together to acknowledge the work that goes on behind the scenes. Nominations are now open for owners, trainers, colleagues and managers to show their appreciation for hard-working members of staff.

The nomination process is very simple and is available to trainers online via the Racing Administration website. 

Nominations can also be completed online via: 


Nomination forms can also be downloaded at 


and via www.racingpost.com and submitted by post, or simply text AWARDS to 07970 527339 and a member of the team will arrange for a form to be sent to you.

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