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Irish Stud and Stable Staff Award Winners Announced

Pat O’Donovan, assistant trainer in the Jim Bolger yard, has won the Irish Racing Excellence Award at the Irish Stud and Stable Staff Awards sponsored by Godolphin. Pat, who was also the winner of the Rider/Groom award, was selected by the judging panel from among five finalists who were all individual category winners.


The 11th running of the awards and the first sponsored by Godolphin, was held at the Keadeen Hotel in Newbridge on Tuesday, April 14th. The trophies were presented by 19-time UK Champion National Hunt Jockey AP McCoy. Simon Coveney TD, Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine was guest of honour for the event and Jonathan Mullin, Irish Editor of the Racing Post, was MC for the occasion.


Bernard Caldwell, of the Irish Stable Staff Association: “I’d like to congratulate all the award winners and acknowledge the extremely high standard of nominations we received for the first year of Godolphin’s generous sponsorship of the Irish Stud and Stable Staff Awards. I’d like to thank all of our partners and everyone who helped make the evening such a success.”


The full list of winners and runners-up is as follows:


Irish Racing Excellence Award
Pat O’Donovan, Assistant Trainer, Jim Bolger


Leadership Award
Martin Horan, Head Lad, Ger Lyons
(Runners-up: Gerard Donaher, Senior Supervisor, Kildangan Stud and Brian O’Connor, General Manager, Jim Bolger)


Head Lad/Girl or Travelling Head Lad/Girl
Tom Gallagher, Head Man, Dermot Weld
(Runners-up: Gerry Abbott, Head Lad, Charles O’Brien and Dermot Fagan, Head Lad, Lorna Fowler)


Rider/Groom Award
Pat O’Donovan, Assistant Trainer, Jim Bolger
(Runners-up: John Sullivan, Rider/Groom, John Larkin and Juli Vovchok, Rider/Groom, Edward Lynam)


Stud Employee Award
Carmel Bowden, Stud Groom, Jockey Hall Stud
(Runners-up: Lyndsey McDonnell, Stud Groom, Derrinstown Stud and Richard Springate, Box Driver, Ragusa Stud)


Administration Award
Wendy Normile, Client Relations, Coolmore Stud
(Runners-up: Eileen Kavanagh, Office & Facilities Manager, Irish National Stud and Dorothy Patterson, Office Administrator, Racing Academy and Centre of Education (RACE) )


Dedication To Racing Award
Seamus Cregan, Stud Hand, Islanmore Stud


Lifelong Learning Award
Michael O ‘Rahilly, Foaling Manager, Coolmore Stud


Ancillary Services Award
Jim Reilly, Farrier


Racecourse Grooms Canteen Award
Leopardstown Racecourse


The winners of the Leadership, Rider/Groom, Head Lad/Girl, Stud Employee and Administration awards received a trophy and €5,000 with an additional €4,000 for employees from the winner’s yard, stud or company .The two runners-up in these categories each received €500. Winner of the Irish Racing Excellence Award, Pat O’Donovan received a second trophy and a further €5,000, with an additional €5,000 for employees from Jim Bolger’s yard, where he is Assistant Trainer.


The prize for the winners of Dedication to Racing, Lifelong Learning, Ancillary Services and Racecourse Grooms Canteen was a trophy and €2,500.


The trophies, by sculptor Ani Mollereau, are a contemporary design of a thoroughbred horse representing the spirit of the horse racing industry.


In association with The Racing Post and managed by the Irish Stable Staff Association (ISSA) and Horse Racing Ireland, the Irish Stud and Stable Staff Awards, sponsored by Godolphin had a total prize-fund of €70,000.


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