Catriona Bissett crowned employee of the year at stable staff awards
Catriona 'Catch' Bissett from Nick Alexander’s Kinneston stable was the big winner at the 2019 Godolphin Stud and Stable Staff Awards on Monday night as she was named Employee of the Year.
At an event hosted by the BHA at the Jumeirah Carlton Tower hotel in Knightsbridge, London, Catch was awarded the Godolphin Trophy by Sir Anthony McCoy alongside fellow presenter Oli Bell.
She also collected a cheque for £30,000, of which £15,000 will be shared among staff at Alexander’s stables as part of £120,000 in prize-money awarded on the evening by sponsor Godolphin.
She enjoyed a double on the night, and was eligible for the main prize, by landing the Leadership Award for her work as assistant trainer to Alexander.
Having completed the BHA Graduate Scheme in 2011, Catch joined Kinneston Stables in 2014 before being promoted to assistant trainer.
Brough Scott, chairman of the judging panel, which also included Alice Plunkett, Mick Fitzgerald and last year’s Employee of the Year Jessica McLernon, said: "The panel’s job was tougher than it has ever been this year with some extraordinary displays and stories of dedication, commitment and hard work among this year’s finalists.
"However, we had to reach a final decision and Catch is a hugely deserving winner for all the work she has done in developing and mentoring other members of the team at Kinneston."
Nick Rust, chief executive of the BHA, said: "For Catch to be named Employee of the Year when our sport employs 6,000 people who work so hard to provide first-class care to our horses is a fantastic achievement.
"We're grateful to all staff who work day in, day out to ensure the horses who take part in British racing are provided with a level of care and quality of life that is virtually unsurpassed by any other domesticated animal.
"These awards are our opportunity to say thank you to all of them on behalf of the sport and on behalf of our horses, and tonight’s winners and finalists are fitting ambassadors for their profession."
Andrea O’Keeffe was another honoured on the night, lifting the Rory MacDonald Community Award for her contribution to developing the many training programmes in place across the industry.
Sophy Scott from Mark Johnston's stable won the David Nicholson Newcomer Award, while Stewart Gossnell, who works for Richard Hughes, picked up the Rider/Groom Award.
Andrew Snell of Cheveley Park collected the Stud Staff Award, while the Dedication to Racing Award went to Jon Bottomley from the Ollie Pears yard.
2019 Godolphin Stud & Stable Staff Awards winners
Employee of the Year: Catriona Bissett – Nick Alexander
David Nicholson Newcomer Award: Sophy Scott – Mark Johnston
Runners-up: April Clarke – Jedd O’Keeffe; Mac McLoughlin - Cheveley Park Stud
Leadership Award: Catriona Bissett – Nick Alexander
Runners-up: Dan Horsford – Alan King; Barry O’Dowd – John Gosden
Rider/Groom Award: Stewart Gossnell – Richard Hughes
Runners-up: Ian Clarkson – Micky Hammond; Sean Graham – Philip Hobbs
Stud Staff Award: Andrew Snell – Cheveley Park Stud
Runners-up: Christine Chapman – Theakston Stud; Kevin Tobin – New England Stud
Dedication to Racing Award: John Bottomley – Ollie Pears
Runners-up: Jaimie Duff – Lucinda Russell; David Macleod – James Ewart
Rory MacDonald Community Award: Andrea O’Keeffe – Jedd O’Keeffe
Runners-up: Deborah Hay – Lingfield racecourse; Sarah Montgomery – Musselburgh racecourse
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