By Brad Gray
‘Celebrating unsung heroes’ is the slogan for the Godolphin Stud and Stable Staff Awards (GSSSA) which have recently catapulted Mark Newnham into the training spotlight.
Newnham, stable foreman for Gai Waterhouse at the time, was the winner of the inaugural Excellence Award winner in 2015, with the GSSSA providing a launch pad to set up a racing stable that produced Group Two Skyline Stakes winner and Golden Slipper runner Diamond Tathagata in its first year.
“When you’re starting out you need plenty of help, financial and otherwise, and that’s what the Awards gave me,” said Newnhan.
The Awards honour workers in the stud and stable categories of Leadership, Dedication to Racing, Dedication to Breeding, Horsemanship and Thoroughbred Care and Welfare, plus a further category of Administration and Ancillary Services. An overall Thoroughbred Excellence winner is chosen from the five stud and stable section winners.
“Australian stud and stable staff are admired all over the world for their incredible skill and dedication to their craft. They form the backbone of our industry,” said Barry O’Farrell, Chief Executive Officer of Racing Australia.
“Anybody who is involved in racing or breeding knows that great staff, with real dedication and love of horses, are at the heart of every racing and breeding operation.”
“Those workers don’t always get the opportunity to be in the spotlight, but these national awards really celebrate their commitment and passion and rightfully acknowledges those people without whom the breeding and racing industries wouldn’t exist.”
“But most of all it’s the recognition. So many of the entrants are people who start work before dawn and they do it more for the love of racing and of the horses than for anything else.”
Award winners receive $10,000 with $1000 going to the runners-up and a further $3000 to be shared among each winner’s work colleagues. The Thoroughbred Excellence Award carries an additional $5000.
The winners will be announced at the Australian Awards ceremony which will be held at Eagle Farm Racecourse on Friday, 9th June, 2017.
Nominations are open until midnight AEST Sunday April 16, 2017 and can be made by anyone within the racing and breeding industry.
For more visit the GSSSA website