Finalists – Leadership Award

17 May, 2021


A willingness to teach others, to share your experience and knowledge and to guide by example are the qualities of a true leader.

Both Davy Hanratty and Samantha Parkes possess such qualities – and they put them to use every day.

Davy has been the stallion and yearling manager at Yarradale Stud in Western Australia for 10 years, a period in which he has become pivotal to the farm’s operation and to its subsequent success at yearling sales.

But, according to stud manager Bernadette Hamill, it isn’t only the horses who benefit from the wealth of experience Davy has gathered during a lifetime of working with thoroughbreds.

“Davy is constantly educating the yearling prep team on best practice – not only on how to prepare the horses but how to show the horses to their best advantage,” Hamill says.

“Davy expects the staff to present themselves in a professional manner, be attentive to detail and work as a team, and he leads by example.”

Davy started working on studs in Ireland as a teenager and after beginning full-time work he enrolled in the Irish National Stud’s Thoroughbred Breeding Course which led to a scholarship with Cambridge Stud in New Zealand.

On his return to Ireland he was duly employed as yearling manager at the Irish National Stud where he was responsible for some of the most valuable bloodstock in the world.

And Davy brought all that he’d learned with him to Yarradale and has shared it with enthusiasm.

“It’s a privilege to be in the position I’m in and to have had the life I’ve had. I learned from some of the best in the business, so it’s a pleasure and a duty for me to pass on as much as I can,” Davy said.

“You don’t go into it for recognition, but these awards offer something that is absolutely fantastic. It’s a massive thing and I’m deeply honoured to have been nominated, not to mention becoming a finalist.”

Samantha Parkes is the broodmare supervisor at Godolphin’s Woodlands Stud where her care and compassion is renowned.

As one recent Darley Flying Start trainee said: “Sam Parkes’ knowledge, experience, patience and love and care for the mares and foals were obvious for every second we spent with her.”

Colleague James Manning praised a “bottomless passion, dedication, reliability and good humour” while Woodlands assistant manager Simon Johnson pointed to her ability to absorb knowledge and then to communicate it to others.

During her time at Woodlands, Samantha has joined the Godolphin team for breeding seasons in Ireland and has taken part in educational seminars conducted by the organisation in China, impressing all concerned with not only her knowledge, but her ability to share it.

Former colleague and current foaling manager at Northwood Park, Kelly Frost, is another to offer praise: “As a supervisor it is now Sam’s time to pass on her knowledge to the staff who work under her.”

“They are very lucky, because she has the patience of a saint.”

For Sam it has been a lifelong experience. She got her first pony at the age of six and became involved in the Jerry’s Plains Pony Club, competing in inter-school gymkhanas and going on family horse rides.

“I’ve always been fascinated with horse behaviour and picking up on their language and emotions. When I was small, Mum couldn’t keep me out of the horse paddocks, she’d often find me sitting there with the horses,” she said.

“Godolphin has given me many wonderful opportunities and to be a part of these awards is another one that I cherish.”

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