2011 award winner Chloe Osborne leads in Berties Dream at CheltenhamPICTURE: Getty
Stud Groom of the Year new ISSA award for 2012
STUD grooms will be recognised for the first time at this year's Irish Stable Staff Awards, officials revealed on Wednesday when launching this year's competition.
Nomination forms (left) were released with the usual categories and an addition, Stud Groom of the Year, meaning that this year there will be 11 prizes.
Bernard Caldwell, head of the Irish Stable Staff Association, said: "We feel this is a great way to recognise the contribution stud grooms make to the industry. We also receive great support for our soccer tournament from the studs around the country and feel this is a good way of recognising their participation."
Prizes are separated out into five groups of counties with an award for a groom in a Flat yard and in a National Hunt yard from each of the five areas. There will be only one stud groom prize.
In 2011 Dick Dowling, champion trainer Willie Mullins' head man, Chloe Osborne, who drove Berties Dream to Cheltenham for his 2010 Albert Bartlett Novices' Hurdle win, and Forpadydeplasterer's driver and groom Brendan Walshe were all on the honour roll.
Closing date for nominations is February 20 and the awards dinner and dance will be held on March 3 at the Keadeen Hotel in Newbridge, County Kildare.