03 Dec 2021

Twelve Kildare nominees for Godolphin Irish Stud and Stable Staff awards

Awards ceremony to honour those who work in the Irish racing industry

Twelve Kildare nominees for Godolphin Irish Stud and Stable Staff awards

Punchestown's Martin 'Snowy' Pearse has been nominated for an Irish Stable Staff award

Twelve out of the 24 finalists announced today for the 2018 Irish Godolphin Stud and Stable Staff Awards hail from Kildare.

The finalists were shortlisted from almost 350 nominations received, the highest number of nominations received since Godolphin’s sponsorship of theawards began in 2015.

The winner in each of these categories will receive a specially-commissioned trophy and €5,000 in prizemoney, with the exception of the Newcomer Award, who will receive a trip to Dubai, plus €2,500. The winner’s yard, stud or company in each category will also receive a cash prize to be divided amongst employees.

The winners will be announced at the awards ceremony on Monday, May 21st in the Knightsbrook Hotel in Trim, County Meath.

The 10 award categories carry total prize-money of €84,000, an increase of €4,500 from 2017.

Michael O’Rourke, Chairman of the judging committee said: “The level of dedication, skill and love of horses was very evident and inspiring to read in all the nominations. The judges had an unenviable task to pick 24 finalists from almost 350 nominations, so thank you to all those who nominated their colleagues and friends.”

The finalists in each category were chosen by the 13 judges on the Irish Stud and Stable Staff judging committee who reviewed each of the nomination forms and interviewed all the finalists.

The finalists are:

Racing and Breeding Support Services

Martin Leahy, Master Farrier, Bruff, Co Limerick  

Sharon O'Regan, Head of Operations, Weatherbys Ireland GSB Ltd, Co Kildare

Martin 'Snowy' Pearce, Facilities Manager, Punchestown Racecourse, Co Kildare

Administration Award

Gillian Carey, Operations Manager, Fairyhouse Racecourse, Co Meath

Denis Hickey, Racing Secretary, Ballydoyle, Co Tipperary

Vicki McWey, Supervisor Registrations Department, Horse Racing Ireland, Co Kildare


Newcomer Award 

Georgie Benson, Stable Lass, Gordon Elliott, Co Meath

Joanne Eaton, Stable Lass, Willie McCreery, Co Kildare

Charlie Sweeney, Pupil Assistant/Second Head Lad, Eyrefield House Stud, Co Kildare


Horse Care Award 

Emma Connolly, Travelling Head Lass / Assistant Trainer, Noel Meade, Co Meath

Mary Nugent, Travelling Assistant, Gordon Elliott, Co Meath

Sinead O'Sullivan, Head Girl, John Murphy, Co Cork


In The Saddle Award 

Audrey O'Neill, Exercise Rider & Groom, John Oxx, Co Kildare

James Rath, Head Lad, Liz Doyle, Co Wexford

Josep Sans Sanchez, Head Man, PJ Prendergast, Co Kildare


Travelling Head Person Award

Tina Evans, Travelling Head Person, Joseph O’Brien, Co Kilkenny

Jason Forsyth, Travelling Head Person, John Oxx, Co Kildare

Camilla Sharples, Travelling Head Girl, Gordon Elliott, Co Meath


Leads by Example Award 

Tom Daly, Assistant Head Man, Dermot Weld, Co Kildare

Valerie Keatley, Head Girl, Johnny Murtagh, Co Kildare

Stephen Thorne, Assistant Trainer, Adrian McGuinness, Co Dublin


Dedication to Racing and Breeding Award

Pat Farrell, Broodmare Manager, Moyglare Stud, Co Kildare

Eamonn Leigh, Headman, Jessica Harrington, Co Kildare

Tommy Ryan, Head Lad, Edward O’Grady, Co Tipperary

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