STABLE staff from the yards of Gordon Elliott, James Fahey and Peter Fahey were recently crowned inaugural National Hunt category winners of the Irish Thoroughbred Welfare Council best-turned out league.

Each yard won €3,000, to be divided among the staff.

Team Gordon Elliott had 82 best-turned-out horses from 583 runners to top category A.

Staff from Peter Fahey’s yard in Monasterevin produced 31 best-turned-out winners from 154 runners to win category B.

James Fahey’s yard in Stradbally, not far from his uncle Peter’s yard, claimed category C with an impressive 23 best-turned-out winners from 44 runners.

The National Hunt league ran for the full 12 months of 2021 and saw participating racetracks record their best-turned out winners. Each best-turned-out winner across participating racecourses was aggregated and the yards were categorised by their number of runners in the season.

John Osborne, equine welfare and bloodstock director at Horse Racing Ireland, said: “In sponsoring the best-turned-out league, the Irish Thoroughbred Welfare Council in HRI achieves several things.

“Firstly, it celebrates the stable staff who have the most significant input into the care of our racehorses. It puts the well-being of our stars - the horses- very much in everyone’s mind. It adds to the race day enjoyment for our racegoers who love to see the horses up close. We thank the racecourses for their help in making this happen.”

Stable staff from the yards of Jim Bolger, Michael Halford and Kevin Prendergast won the flat season categories last year.

The best-turned out league was established by HRI to recognise and acknowledge the high standards of care and attention racehorses receive, particularly from stable staff.

The Irish Thoroughbred Welfare Council (ITWC) was created in 2020 to help HRI with the formation of initiatives to enhance the care and welfare of our horses.