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.
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.”