Finalists revealed for 2019 Irish Godolphin Stud and Stable Staff Awards

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Emma Connolly (centre) pictured with Snow Falcon, Noel Meade and Jonathan Moore: nominated for Leadership AwardCredit: Patrick McCann (

The 24 finalists for the 2019 Irish Godolphin Stud and Stable Staff Awards, where there is more than €80,000 worth of prize-money up for grabs, have been announced ahead of the ceremony at the Killashee Hotel in Naas on Tuesday, October 29.

More than 300 nominations were made and that list has been whittled down to 24 finalists, who have been short-listed for eight of the ten award categories.

The winner in each of these categories will receive a specially commissioned trophy and €4,000 in prize-money, with the exception of the Newcomer Award, who will receive a trip to Dubai, plus €2,500. The other two finalists in each category will each receive €1,000.

In seven of the categories the yard or stud attached to the finalists will also receive €1,000 to be divided among employees.
The Racecourse Award is chosen by the Irish Stablestaff Association based on a quality programme survey.

The flagship award – The Irish Racing Excellence Award – will be presented to one of the winners of the Administration, Racing and Breeding Support Services, Newcomer, Horse Care, In the Saddle, Leadership (Stud), Leadership (Stable) and Dedication to Racing and Breeding awards who is, in the opinion of the judging panel, the most deserving of recognition for their commitment, hard work, and ongoing contribution to the high standards and reputation of the Irish thoroughbred industry.

The winner of this award will receive an additional trophy and €5,000, as well as an additional €5,000 for their yard, stud or employer.

"Godolphin is delighted to acknowledge and celebrate the fabulous work that stud and stable staff do year in year out," said Diana Cooper, strategic adviser ( charities) for Godolphin. "The contribution of all 24 finalists has, without a doubt, helped establish the high regard Irish racing is held in globally."

Bernard Caldwell, chairman of the Irish Stablestaff Association, added: "The calibre of those working in the racing yards, stud farms and all the support services was evident to see in the quality and volume of the nomination forms."

Michael O’Rourke is chairman of the judging committee and believes each of the 24 finalists can be very proud of their achievement.

"The level of expertise demonstrated across so many disciplines shows how Ireland has achieved such an envied position in the racing world," O’Rourke said. "The finalists have come through a rigorous selection process and each can be very proud."

Irish Godolphin Stud and Stable Staff Awards finalists

Racing and Breeding Support Services Award
Willie Gibbons, track foreman at Leopardstown racecourse, County Dublin; Wayne Middleton, RACE strength and conditioning coach, County Kildare; Perry Power, track and facilities manager at Tipperary and Cork racecourses

Administration Award
Dorothy Fleming, racing secretary for Ken Condon, County Kildare; Marie Rowley, racing secretary for Pat Flynn, County Waterford; Geraldine Ryan, office manager, Camas Park Stud, County Tipperary

Newcomer Award
Tom Harney, stable lad and work rider for Ross O’Sullivan, County Kildare; Cheryl McClean, exercise rider and groom for Willie McCreery, County Kildare; Chris McGill, head lad for John J Hanlon, County Carlow

Horse Care Award
Paul Dupli, head lad for Martin Brassil, County Kildare; Gerry Hanratty, assistant manager at Meadow Court Stud, County Kildare; Audrey O’Neill, exercise rider and groom for John Oxx, County Kildare

In The Saddle Award
Ganna German, work rider & travelling groom for Sheila Lavery, County Meath; Martin Molloy, work rider for Pat Fahy, County Carlow; David Roche, head lad for Henry de Bromhead, County Waterford

Leadership Award (Stud)
Edward Farrell, head man at Lisieux Stud, County Kildare; Helder Ferreira, assistant head lad at Kildangan Stud, County Kildare; Tony O’Meara, stallion manager at Coolmore Stud, County Tipperary

Leadership Award (Stable)
Niall Amond, travelling head lad for Jessica Harrington, County Kildare; Damien Byrne, yard manager and travelling head lad for Joseph O’Brien, County Kilkenny; Emma Connolly, travelling head lass and assistant trainer for Noel Meade, County Meath

Dedication to Racing and Breeding Award
Paddy Duffy, assistant trainer for Shane Duffy, County Laois; Robert Gallagher, head lad for Michael Halford, County Kildare; Eamonn Leigh, assistant trainer for Jessica Harrington, County Kildare

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Deputy Ireland editor

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