A SPECIAL Recognition Award was presented to Dr Jennifer Pugh at this week’s Godolphin Stud and Stable Staff Awards.

Senior medical officer with the Irish Horseracing Regulatory Board, Dr Pugh and her team have given extraordinary support to Irish stud and stable staff during both the suspension of racing and since its resumption under restrictions due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Now living in Kildare, Dr Pugh (née Kidd) is originally from Loughbrickland in Co Down.

Helen O’Sullivan, career coach at the Irish Jockeys’ Trust in Co Kildare, won the Racing & Breeding Support Services Award.

She has spent her entire career supporting the Irish racing industry, was instrumental in setting up the educational aspects of RACE, and has devoted many years supporting aspiring jockeys to reach their full potential.

Anne O’Connor, racing secretary for Michael Halford, won the Administration Award.

She has experienced and gained knowledge of many facets of the thoroughbred world through her roles with Goffs, the ITBA and charity work for the industry.

With Michael Halford since 2014, Anne has brought her vast experience and skills to Cooper Beech Stables.

Total newcomer

The Newcomer Award went to Keith Lynam, stud groom at Ringfort Stud in Co Offaly.

Keith started working in Ringfort Stud in September 2017. He was a total newcomer to the world of breeding, having previously worked in the hospitality industry. He has quickly become a very important part of the Ringfort team and has a full understanding of the farm’s breeding operation.

His contribution and work ethic during the 2018 foaling season, which included his handling and prepping for the sales, helped Ringfort Stud have its best racing year.

The Horse Care Award went to Emmett Raher, head lad for Henry de Bromhead in Co Waterford.

Horses under Emmett’s care include Honeysuckle, Minella Indo and A Plus Tard to name just a few. His hard work, dedication, care, and attention to detail with these horses, especially Honeysuckle, helped the yard had achieve its many successes during the 2020/’21 National Hunt season.

Tarnawa’s rider

The In The Saddle Award, one of the most competitive awards, went to David Glennon, stable lad for Dermot Weld on the Curragh.

A graduate of RACE, David has worked for Dermot Weld since 1994 after spending time riding in Germany, England, and Dubai.

He has played a huge part in some notable horses over the years, most recently with Tarnawa who won the Prix Vermeille, Prix de l’Opera and Breeders’ Cup Turf in the autumn of 2020. His input and care of Tarnawa was pivotal in the horse’s global success.

Caroline Hannon, manager at Newtown Stud in Naas, Co Kildare, won the Leadership Award for stud employees.

A University of Limerick Equine Science graduate, Caroline displays leadership every single day in her role as Manager of Newtown Stud. She is instrumental in the success of the stud and is responsible for leading the stud’s team in pre-training top-class horses and instils her high standards among all the stud team whether that is in foaling, sales preparation, riding skills or pre-training.

The Dedication to Racing Award winner was Ger Brabston, horsebox driver for Derrinstown Stud in Maynooth, Co Kildare.

In 1986, Ger followed his father’s footsteps to work for Vincent O’Brien in Ballydoyle and his lifelong career with horses began. He joined the team at Derrinstown in 1988 and since then has handled nearly all of Sheikh Hamdan’s stock. With over 37 years in thoroughbred racing and breeding, he is a great ambassador for the industry.

The Irish Stablestaff Association chose Tramore Racecourse for the Racecourse Award.

The judging committee commented on the huge efforts made by the Co Waterford track to facilitate and support stable staff, especially during the Covid-19 pandemic, including complimentary stable staff hospitality and ‘best turned out’ prizes for all races.

The winning prize is €2,500 which is to be used for continuing to upgrade stable staff facilities.