Nominate a mate before it’s too late

24 June, 2019


They are the racing awards that recognise and honour those whose work is done from behind the front line, but whose contribution is essential to the survival of the thoroughbred industry.

The Stud And Stable Staff Awards have identified, acknowledged and rewarded dozens of Australian racing industry employees over the past four years, and are about to add a new set of names to the list for 2019.

With nominations for the latest Awards due to close on July 1, two of last year’s winners offered enthusiastic encouragement for workers and employers throughout the racing and breeding industries to “nominate a mate”.

“I can’t tell you how fantastic it was to be recognised and then to be given the incredible prize of a trip to Dubai,” said Meg Stanley, the winner in 2018 of the Newcomer Award, one of seven that are open to any industry employee.

For Stanley, who works for Victorian trainer Kathryn Durden, the prize included a trip to Dubai where she had a personal tour of the local Zabeel Stables of trainer Satish Seemar and of Meydan racecourse, home of the Dubai World Cup.

With a trip to Dubai again added to the winner’s prize of $5,000 in 2019, Stanley urges bosses and workers to give others in their workplace the chance to share her experience by entering them in the GSSSA.

“To be given such a unique opportunity to go inside one of Dubai’s most famous stables and to have a personal tour of Meydan was absolutely amazing,” Stanley said.

“But the real reward was the recognition that the Awards offer to people like me, someone so new in a small stable. To be recognised made me feel really special and was fantastic encouragement to keep trying to do my best.”

Lee Purchase claimed her Award in recognition of more than a decade of looking after and re-homing old, injured and slow horses.

“There will always be ex-racehorses that need special care and thankfully there are more people, including Godolphin, who are offering it,” Purchase said.

“There are great rewards in just seeing these horses go on to new lives, some in the show ring, some just in nice paddocks with good families. But the trophy I won in the Stud And Stable Awards will be treasured for the rest of my life. Everywhere I go I’m telling people to enter the Awards so they can get the feeling that I got,”

First staged in Australia in 2015, the GSSSA, an initiative of Thoroughbred Breeders Australia and Racing Australia, offer recognition to everyone in every “backroom”, every stable, stud or office in the thoroughbred world.

From stable workers to exercise riders, to float drivers, to secretaries, to stud grooms, to foaling supervisors, to the growing band of “re-homers” who provide care and a future to horses who can no longer race, the GSSSA are available to everyone. It isn’t necessary for a nomination to come from a boss or someone more senior than the nominee.

You can propose someone on the same level as yourself, someone more senior, or more junior, someone from within your own organisation or from another. The awards are given in seven categories, plus an overall Excellence Award:

Administration & Ancillary Services staff;
Dedication to Breeding;
Dedication to Racing;
Thoroughbred Care & Welfare.

Full details and nomination forms are available at

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