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06 Oct 2022

Stable staff from Kildare yard among winners award from welfare council

Stable staff from Kildare yard among winners award from welfare council

Stable staff at Peter Fahey's yard in Monasterevin

Stable staff from Peter Fahey’s yard in Kildare; Gordon Elliott’s yard in Meath, and James Fahey's in Laois have been crowned inaugural national hunt category winners of the Irish Thoroughbred Welfare Council best-turned out league. Each yard wins €3,000 to be divided among the staff.

Team Gordon Elliott had 82 best-turned-out horses from 583 runners to top category A.

Staff from Peter Fahey’s yard in Monasterevin in County Kildare produced 31 best-turned-out winners from 154 runners to win category B.

James Fahey’s yard in Stradbally, Laois, not far from his uncle Peter’s yard, claimed category C with an impressive 23 best-turned-out winners from 44 runners.

The national hunt league which started on January 1 2021 and concluded at Punchestown on New Year’s Eve, saw participating racetracks record their best-turned out winners. Each best-turned-out winner across participating racecourses was aggregated and the yards were categorised by their number of runners in the season.

John Osborne, Equine Welfare & Bloodstock Director at HRI, said: “In sponsoring the best-turned-out league, the Irish Thoroughbred Welfare Council in HRI achieves several things. Firstly, it celebrates the stable staff who have the most significant input into the care of our racehorses. It puts the well-being of our stars - the horses- very much in everyone’s mind. It adds to the race day enjoyment for our racegoers who love to see the horses up close. We thank the racecourses for their help in making this happen.”

Camilla Sharples, Travelling Head Girl for Gordon Elliott, said: “Everyone at Cullentra House is delighted to win our category in the Irish Thoroughbred Welfare Council best-turned-out league. The entire yard takes great pride in turning out our horses for the races and seeing them do well on the track, so it was great to be rewarded with such a generous prize. Individual racecourse BTO’s have always been very competitive but HRI’s best-turned-out league really raised all the yard’s game to another level."

Nicola Nolan, stable staff at Peter Fahey’s yard, commented: "Winning our category in the Irish Thoroughbred Welfare Council best-turned-out league was absolutely brilliant for the yard. All the staff got involved and it really brought out our competitive spirit. We were watching how other yards were turning out their horses and it made us raise our standards. Thanks to HRI and the racecourses – the recognition means a lot to us and all stable staff.”

Heather Heffernan, Travelling Head Girl for James Fahey, said: “99% of the work is done by James and me, along with some part-time staff, so to win our category is massive recognition for a small yard like ours. It’s really important that our horses look well at the races as we feel it really reflects on the yard, so it was brilliant to win such a fabulous prize. The Irish Thoroughbred Welfare Council best-turned-out league really incentivised everyone to go that extra mile.

Stable staff from Jim Bolger’s yard in Carlow along with Kildare’s Michael Halford’s and Kevin Prendergast’s staff were crowned the inaugural Flat category winners in 2021. The Flat league started last year at the Curragh on March 21 and concluded at the Laytown Races meeting last November, Monday 1 2021.

The Irish Thoroughbred Welfare Council best-turned out league was established by Horse Racing Ireland (HRI) to recognise and acknowledge the high standards of care and attention racehorses receive, particularly from stable staff.

The Irish Thoroughbred Welfare Council (ITWC) was created in 2020 to help HRI with the formation of initiatives to enhance the care and welfare of our horses.

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