National Stud & Stable Staff Awards honour John Brady for 70 years of devotion


A consortium of the industry’s most passionate and dedicated individuals from all levels of the Australian thoroughbred breeding and racing community assembled at the Gold Coast Turf Club – 2023’s host for the Awards ceremony – on Wednesday, to celebrate the Awards’s ninth cohort of finalists.

Seven categories and an overall Thoroughbred Excellence Award were presented by host and judge Caroline Searcy, and it was John “Crewie” Brady who was honoured with the highest accolade of the Australian Stud & Stable Staff Awards, the Thoroughbred Excellence Award. 

A true titan of Australian racing, “Crewie” stands as a symbol of dedication having devoted his life to the thoroughbred. Celebrating a remarkable 70-year milestone marked by commitment and passion, he commenced his career in 1953 as a 15-year-old under the tutelage of legendary trainer Tommy Smith. Brady has remained a valued member of the Tulloch Lodge stable, where he continues to contribute his expertise. In a resounding testament to his achievements, he also emerged triumphant in the Dedication to Racing category. 

At 86, Brady stands adorned with the winner’s trophy, a testament to a career that spans one of the longest tenures in Australian racing – a journey within Tulloch Lodge. Brady’s association with Tulloch Lodge even predates the illustrious champion racehorse after whom it was named, arriving a year before the birth of the stable’s current proprietor.

From humble tasks of mucking out boxes and blending feeds, Brady’s dedication saw him master the art of riding trackwork well into his 50s. He guided some of the greatest horses in Australian turf history along his unique path, solidifying his position as a trusted hand.

Brady’s enduring presence at Tulloch Lodge extends beyond his remarkable career; he remains a beloved source of guidance and wisdom. Gai Waterhouse, the current proprietor and one of his greatest admirers, describes him as a “legend” within the stable. 

Waterhouse said: “There can’t be many people in any industry who have worked with such dedication and loyalty as Crewie. My father regarded him as one of the stable’s great assets and so do I.”

Joining Brady in this distinguished honour are the winners of the remaining categories: Kayleigh Walsh, of Fernrigg Farm, recipient of the Dedication to Breeding Award; Emile Fredericks, of Widden Stud, recognised for Horsemanship; Sean Keogh, of Godolphin, awarded for Leadership; Mary O’Neill, of Newgate Farm, commended for Administration and Ancillary Services; Louise Abey, of Abey Performance Horses, acknowledged for Thoroughbred Care and Welfare and James Green, of Armidale Stud, honoured as the Newcomer.

Applauding the winners at the Awards ceremony, Federal Minister for Skills and Training Brendan O’Connor said: “When the racing stops, the work continues. The love and hard work are rarely understood by people outside the industry.”

Echoing his sentiments, Queensland Racing Minister Grace Grace praised the dedication and devotion displayed by all industry participants and commended the Awards for their national and global significance. 

“The Award finalists demonstrate the depth and diversity of the thoroughbred industry, and their hard work and devotion to our horses right across Australia,” she said.

The Australian Stud & Stable Staff Awards have once again highlighted the exceptional contributions of the unsung heroes in the thoroughbred racing and breeding industry. The accolades not only acknowledge their commitment, passion and contributions but also serve as a powerful reminder for aspiring individuals to embark on a fulfilling career in the industry.

This recognition is made possible through the collaborative efforts of Racing Australia, Thoroughbred Breeders Australia and Godolphin, alongside their dedicated sponsors, Australian Turf Club, Inglis, Magic Millions, Marcus Oldham College, Melbourne Racing Club Foundation, Racing Queensland, Thoroughbred Industry Careers and Victoria Racing Club, and promoted throughout Australia by media partners, Channel 7 Horse Racing, ANZ Bloodstock News,, RSN Radio, Sky Racing and TDN Australia & New Zealand. 

These awards serve as an inspiring initiative, unveiling the untold stories and celebrating the contributions of the unsung heroes within the racing and breeding industry.


  • Administration and Ancillary Services Award – Mary O’Neill, of Newgate Farm
  • Dedication to Breeding Award – Kayleigh Walsh, of Fernrigg Farm
  • Dedication to Racing Award – John Brady, of Gai Waterhouse & Adrian Bott Racing
  • Horsemanship Award – Emile Fredericks, of Widden Stud
  • Leadership Award – Sean Keogh, of Godolphin
  • Newcomer Award – James Green, of Armidale Stud
  • Thoroughbred Care and Welfare Award – Louise Abey, of Abey Performance Horses
  • Thoroughbred Excellence Award – John Brady, of Gai Waterhouse & Adrian Bott Racing

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