Jenny Watson Honoured for Excellence at Godolphin Stud and Stable Staff Awards

Author Mike Hedge, December 2, 2016


Decades of devotion and an unwavering love of her job have won Tasmanian horsewoman Jenny Watson the Thoroughbred Excellence Award at the 2016 Australian Godolphin Stud and Stable Staff Awards announced at Moonee Valley Racecourse tonight.

A Group One breeder in her own right, Jenny was nominated for her 40 years of commitment to the breeding industry around Australia, and particularly for her work as foaling supervisor at Armidale Stud in northern Tasmania.

Jenny’s reaction to receiving both the Thoroughbred Excellence Award and the Dedication to Breeding Award typified her approach to her work.

“I find it absolutely amazing that I could receive this just for doing something I love and that I’m passionate about,” Jenny said.

“There are so many good people out there who should be recognised, I’m just thrilled to be one of them and to be acknowledged by an organisation such as Godolphin.

“I can’t thank them enough.”

Her nominators, Armidale Stud proprietors David and Robyn Whishaw, describe Jenny as essential to their business and an asset to the entire breeding industry.

“Jenny has delivered countless foals at our farm and has had a huge impact on our business,” said Robyn Whishaw.

“Our clients value Jenny just as much as we do, and realise that her dedication and attention to detail can make the difference between life and death for mares and their foals.”

Chairman of the Awards judging panel, Johan Petzer praised Jenny and all nominees.

“Jenny’s long standing dedication and unwavering commitment to, and knowledge of the breeding industry, complimented by a diverse and excellent skill set, with an excellent and professional work ethic, including breeder stakeholder representation, made her a very worthy and deserving winner of the overall excellence award,” Petzer said.

He added: “The judging panel is very pleased with the outstanding quality of the nominations received for the Godolphin Stud and Stable Staff Awards for 2016. The overall quality of the nominees is of a high standard, and consequently provided a real challenge for the judging panel in determining the ultimate winners in the various categories”

Along with the winners and runners up in the six Award categories, Jenny received her prize at the Moonee Valley Racecourse event hosted by Racing Australia and Thoroughbred Breeders Australia and attended by more than 100 guests including trainer David Hayes, former RVL chief steward Des Gleeson and RVL chief executive Bernard Saundry.

Jenny first worked at Armidale in the early 1980s, returning in 1987 and remaining until today on the night watch while at the same time running her own farm McLeay Thoroughbred Stud where she bred the dual Group One winner and 2014 Tasmanian yearling sale-topper Palentino.

Jenny has also served for 15 years on the Tasmanian Bloodhorse Breeders board.

As well as her work with Armidale’s mares and foals, Jenny also takes time to pass on her vast store of knowledge to young people entering the industry.

“Every year Armidale take in a number of work experience and trainee veterinary students and without fail the students say the highlight of their stay with us is the time they spent on night watch with Jenny,” said Wishaw.

“She is brilliant at engaging young people and her passion and drive obviously rubs off on the students.”
The Thoroughbred Excellence Award carried a prize of $5000 with a further $2000 to be distributed among her workplace colleagues.

Jenny, is also the winner of the Dedication to Breeding Award and along with each of the other five category winners receives a prize of $10,000 with a further $3000 to be shared among fellow staff at their employers’ workplace. Each runner-up received $1000.

The full list of winners and runners up are as follows:

Leadership Award
Winner: Ian Brady, Stud Manager, Wattle Brae Stud (Qld)
Runner-up: Analese Trollope, Senior Foreman, Chris Waller Racing (NSW)

Horsemanship Award
Winner: Gerry Ryan, Stallion Manager, Coolmore Stud (NSW)
Runner-up: Scott Eeles, Breaking Foreman, Kelvinside Stud (NSW)

Dedication to Breeding Award
Winner: Jenny Watson, Foaling Supervisor, Armidale Stud (Tas)
Runner-up: Vikki Cannon, Senior Horseperson, Gooree Park Stud (NSW)

Dedication to Racing Award
Winner: Hayley Nichols, Foreman, Kelly Schweida Racing (Qld)
Runner-up: Mark Burling, Foreman, Marc Conners Racing (NSW)

Administration Award
Winner: Melanie Caban, Office Manager, Vinery Stud (NSW)
Runner-up: Lyn Dressing, Administration Manager, International Racehorse Transport (Vic)

Thoroughbred Care & Welfare Award
Winner: Nikki Cook, Shory Park Horses (Vic)
Runner-up: Lee Purchase, Stable Foreman, Darren Weir Racing, (Vic)

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