SANDRA Hughes is a woman with a mission. For the next few weeks be prepared to see her around every corner as she leaves no stone unturned in her present quest, but she needs your support and input.

August 15th is the deadline, but the advice is to act now. Sandra is looking for nominations for the Irish Thoroughbred Industry Employee Awards 2022 which are supported by Godolphin. Nominating is easy, and Sandra is available to give you guidance and information is you need it by emailing

Seventeen years ago the Irish Stable Staff Association came up with the idea of the awards, an occasion for this most vital of sectors to be recognised for their unstinting efforts, dedication and hard work on behalf of us all. Without these workers at the coalface we would not be able to function, whether that is on stud farms, in racing stables, at racecourses and sales companies, in veterinary practices, transport companies and in the administration bodies.

In 2015 the global operation Godolphin became the principal sponsor of the awards, adding hugely to their prestige by way of generous monetary prizes, and as a carrot to get employers and colleagues to nominate candidates, the place of work of each category winner receives €2,500 to be used for the benefit of the recipient’s colleagues.

A look back at some of the past winners of these awards demonstrates one thing very clearly. Ireland has some of the most talented people imaginable working on a daily basis with our equines, whether it is providing hands-on care or support services. Each of the eight award winners receives €4,000 and a trophy, and one of that group will go on to get an additional €5,000 and the accolade of ITIEA Irish Racing Excellence Award.

Don’t be put off by the word racing in that title – the recipient can come from any sector, and has done so, and the overall winner will be someone who, in the opinion of the judging panel, ‘deserves special recognition for their commitment, hard work and ongoing contribution to the high standards and reputation of the Irish thoroughbred industry’.

Does that ring a bell with you? Would that describe a member or two of your team? Do they know how much you appreciate them? Would being nominated for a category award make them feel that their work is noted?

Hopefully the answers are all yes, and, if so, do your bit now and get on the case.

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