Racing Welfare's own Sarah Monkman took home the Rory MacDonald Community award, which is in just its second year, at the Godolphin Stud and Stable Staff Awards 2017.
The Awards ceremony took place at the Jumeirah Carlton Tower Hotel in London’s Knightsbridge in front of a specially invited audience from across the racing industry to celebrate the vital role of stud and stable staff in the racing industry and the care which they provide to the horses they look after.
The winners of the Awards were decided at a formal judging day at the BHA’s London office in the morning before the ceremony, where the finalists were interviewed by members of the judging panel.
The judges were impressed by the work that Sarah has done to raise the profile of Racing Welfare in the North, particularly with the Sporting Memories project, which brings the retired racing community together in Malton and Norton using the power of reminiscence to help prevent social isolation and loneliness.
The winner of the biggest prize of the night, Employee of the Year 2017, was Terry Doherty, Stud Manager for Watership Down Stud,
In a poignant moment, Terry was awarded with the perpetual Godolphin Trophy by special guest presenter Freddy Tylicki alongside presenter Ed Chamberlin and Stobart Champion Jump Jockey Richard Johnson at an event hosted by the British Horseracing Authority (BHA).
He was also presented with a cheque for the total of a staggering £40,000, of which £20,000 will be shared amongst the staff at the Watership Down Stud, part of £120,000 in prize money which was awarded on the evening by sponsors Godolphin.
Terry has been Stud Manager of Watership Down for 24 years and was earlier in the evening presented the prize as winner of the Stud Staff Award.
When he arrived in 1992, bringing with him a wealth of experience, the Stud had no name, no horses and no post and rails. Terry’s professionalism, integrity and dedication has helped shape what the Stud has become today.
Terry has helped develop the prestigious broodmare band, has never missed a foaling, personally feeds each horse and leads the dedicated team from the front. What he has given to Watership Down, the Lloyd Webbers, their horses and thoroughbred breeding, both on the track and in the sales ring, is exceptional.
Brough Scott, Chairman of the Judging Panel, commented:
“The finalists were of a quite exceptional standard and it was really inspiring for the judges to hear their stories. However, in the end, Terry emerged as a clear and very fine winner and I am sure he will be a great ambassador for the sport.”
The other category winners on the night were: Elisha Whittington from Tom Dascombe’s Manor House Stables who took the David Nicholson newcomer award; Brian Meehan’s assistant trainer Rory O’Dowd who took the Leadership award; Jamie Bunsell of Paul Henderson racing who was successful in the Rider/Groom category; and Head Lad to Sir Mark Prescott Colin Nutter whose 45 years caring for horses at Heath House earned him the Dedication to Racing award.
The winners of the Leadership, Rider Groom, Stud Staff and Dedication to Racing categories received a prize of £5,000 with an additional £5,000 also being awarded to the winner’s yard or stud. The two runners-up in these categories won £2,000 each, with the same amount going to their yard or stud.
The winner of the Rory MacDonald Community Award received a prize of £5,000 with an additional prize of £5,000 going to the charity of their choice. The two runners-up won £2,000 each with the same amount going to their charity of choice.
The winner of the David Nicholson Newcomer Award received £2,000, with the same amount going to their yard or stud, while two runners-up received £1,000 each, with the same amount for their yard. She also wins a five-day educational trip to Dubai to learn more about the country’s racing, culture and customs. The prize includes a return flight and five nights’ accommodation at the Jumeirah Beach Hotel’s five-star resort.
The Employee of the Year received an additional £15,000, with the same amount awarded to their yard or stud.
The full list of winners and runners up are as follows:
Employee of the Year: Terry Doherty – Watership Down Stud
Leadership Award: Rory O’Dowd – Brian Meehan
Michael Finn – Graeme McPherson
Hayley Kelly – Mark Johnston
Rider/Groom Award: Jamie Bunsell – Paul Henderson
Jason Favell – William Haggas
Chetan Singh – Andrew Balding
Stud Staff Award: Terry Doherty – Watership Down Stud
Jo Brown – Overbury Stud
James Fitz-John – Swanbridge Bloodstock
Dedication to Racing Award: Colin Nutter – Sir Mark Prescott
Kim Jones – Malcolm Saunders
Bryn Walker – Hugo Palmer
David Nicholson Newcomer Award: Elisha Whittington – Tom Dascombe
Anthony Lynch – Wadacre Stud
June Palmer Kimpton – Ben Haslam
Rory Macdonald Community Award: Sarah Monkman – Racing Welfare
Gary Humphries – Godolphin
Kevin Parsons – National Association of Stable Staff