Finalists – Dedication to Breeding Award 2016
Author Mike Hedge, November 28, 2016
The finalists in the Dedication to Breeding category of the Godolphin Stud and Stable Staff Awards are two women who are relied on to perform a role that is vital, demanding and, for them, immensely satisfying.
Vikki Cannon and Jenny Watson are Foaling Midwives. They are on hand for the birth of just about every foal on their farms and are called on in every aspect of foaling, from providing comfort to saving lives.
Vikki has been in her role at Gooree Park Stud in NSW for 33 years delivering more than 3000 ‘babies’ who make up seven generations of thoroughbred families.
Her nominator named “care, encouragement and compassion” as qualities that shine through in Vikki’s work.
But like so many who are employed in similar roles, it’s merely a part of a job she loves and which offers constant satisfaction.
“It’s been a magnificent life for me at Gooree and I can’t imagine feeling more satisfied in a job,” she says. “At the same time, it’s such a wonderful thing for Sheikh Mohammed and Godolphin to do to recognise those of us who aren’t at the forefront. To be a finalist is fantastic, to win the award would be the most amazing recognition.”
Jenny Watson has been at Armidale Stud at Carrick in northern Tasmania for 35 years, she has delivered ‘countless’ foals and equipped her ‘students’ to deliver thousands more.
Her nominator, Armidale’s Robin Whishaw, praised Jenny as one of the “unsung heroes” of the thoroughbred industry.
“She is brilliant at engaging young people and her passion and drive obviously rubs off on the students that come to our farm,” Whishaw said.
Jenny is grateful that the Godolphin Stud and Stable Staff Awards have focussed some attention on her midwife role, but she is equally proud that it has shone a light on the Tasmanian thoroughbred breeding industry.
“We have the perfect environment to raise young horses in Tasmania, a climate like New Zealand’s, beautiful grazing country and a magnificent ecology,” she says. “And we produce a lot of good horses.”
“I’m immensely proud to be chosen as a finalist and I’m grateful that such a global organisation as Godolphin is recognising the ‘little people’. Winning would be very nice, but being involved is also a great privilege.”