'Stable staff deserve all the recognition they can get'
Leading Newmarket trainer Roger Varian with praise for racing's hardest workers
Quite simply, stable staff are the backbone of the operation – I couldn’t do this job without a big team of hardworking staff behind me.
All trainers are hugely reliant on their work-riders, grooms, ground staff who don’t ride and those in the office, and of course a lot of the work is done a long way from the limelight of big days on the racecourse.
When someone commits to working with horses – with all livestock, really – there must be a realisation beforehand that there will be hard physical labour and unsociable working hours. It’s not a nine-to-five job and horses don’t know the difference between Sunday and Wednesday – they need care every single day of the year.
I’ve tried – as have very many trainers – to make the role more appealing, more flexible, more rewarding, and the Godolphin Stud & Stable Staff Awards are a marvellous means of providing recognition for the hard work being done in training yards and studs everywhere, and for the industry itself in the way it rewards its hardest workers.
Sometimes I take people out on to the gallops in the height of summer, and they say ‘it must be lovely to work with horses’. They don’t see the work being done on the dark, freezing mornings of January and February, but that’s where the foundation for the season is laid, those are the important times, and without the dedication of stable staff it simply wouldn’t happen. They deserve all the recognition they can get, because racing couldn’t do without them.