Nominations for Australian Stud and Stable Awards closing soon

31 January, 2018


As Australia’s leading trainers, riders and breeders gear up for the major autumn races and yearling sales, a much bigger group are doing what they do every day of every year.

The strappers, grooms, exercise riders, float drivers, office staff and so many without whom there would be no racing or breeding, carry out their jobs without fanfare or fuss.

Along with those who spend night after night waiting for mares to foal, the farriers, horse dentists and those who put every spare dollar toward giving ex-racehorses a comfortable retirement, they are largely unseen and rarely acknowledged.

To these vital contributors to the industry, Racing Australia and Thoroughbred Breeders Australia offer recognition for their tireless work through the Godolphin Stud and Stable Staff Awards.

Now in their fourth year in Australia, the awards offer valuable cash prizes and trophies in seven categories, with an overall award for Thoroughbred Excellence.

Winners have come from every area of the racing and breeding industry, most states of Australia, and from stables and studs both large and small.

Darren Weir, who oversees Australia’s largest training operation, and who had three of his staff among the 2017 finalists, is once again right behind the Awards.

“It doesn’t matter if you have a big stable or a few horses, the quality of your staff will make the difference between winning and losing,” Weir said.

“For us it was a tribute to everyone that our racing manager Jeremy Rogers won the Excellence award in 2017 and that we had two others who were finalists. It’s great for them and great for the whole team to see that they are recognised, not just by us here, but by the industry as a whole.”

Melbourne trainer Colin Little has enjoyed outstanding success with horses such as El Segundo, who can count the Cox Plate among his four G1 victories.

“We are one of the smaller stables here at Caulfield, but it still couldn’t run without great staff,” Little said.

“I have people with me now who have been here for years. They all know how valuable they are to me, but to have the opportunity for them to be recognised by the entire industry is something else again.”

Racing Australia CEO Barry O’Farrell summed up the spirit of the Awards, saying: “It’s a great opportunity to recognise the unsung heroes of an industry that depends on them. That’s why they are important.”

Trainers, owners, managers and colleagues of any worker in the industry are encouraged to enter them for the awards, for which nominations close at midnight on Monday, 19 February.

Nomination forms can be downloaded at

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