Business Farming

Tuesday 27 September 2016

Overdue recognition for racing's unsung heroes

Published 30/03/2016 | 02:30

Top trainer Jim Bolger knows the value of good staff and Pat O'Donovan could serve as a perfect role model for the many young people wishing to get into the racing industry.

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"Pat has been an invaluable member of the team here for over 30 years and we greatly appreciate his contribution to the success of the yard," Mr Bolger commented.

It is loyal employees such as Mr O'Donovan who keep the thoroughbred industry afloat and in 2015 Godolphin, the global racing stable founded by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, recognised this in Ireland by introducing the Stud and Stable Staff Awards on the back of their success in the UK since 2005.

Not surprisingly the inaugural awards here attracted great interest and nominations were high across the board.

Nominations are accepted from anyone, so owners, trainers, colleagues and managers can all show their appreciation for hard-working members of staff.

Highly commended for his support and guidance to young riders, Mr O'Donovan went on to receive both the Irish Racing Excellence Award and Rider/Groom award, accolades which netted a total of €18,000 in winnings for both himself and his colleagues.

A total of €70,000 is now up for grabs in this year's Stud and Stable Staff Awards which take place in the Dunraven Arms Hotel in Adare, Co Limerick on Tuesday, April 19.

The categories are: Irish Racing Excellence Award, Leadership Award, Rider/Groom Award, Head Lad/Girl or Travelling Head Lad/Girl Award, Stud Employee Award, Administration (Stud/Racing Stable/Ancillary Services) Award, Dedication to Racing Award, Newcomer Award, Ancillary Services Award and Racecourse Award.

Joe Osborne, managing director, Godolphin Ireland, said: "Godolphin's first sponsorship of the Irish Stud and Stable Staff Awards in 2015 was an enormous success and we are looking forward to building on that involvement this year. The high standard of the nominees was impressive and, no doubt, will be again in 2016.

"These awards bring well-deserved recognition to the talented and hardworking men and women who are so important to the continued prosperity of Irish breeding and racing. Godolphin is delighted to continue its sponsorship."

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