The first step in deciding the winners of the 2023 Australian Stud and Stable Staff Awards has been completed with the judges settling on a shortlist that reflects the “strength and quality” of the hundreds of nominations received from across the nation.
Such was the standard of this year’s nominations; the shortlist committee was presented with a welcome dilemma.
“This year, due to the extraordinary quality of the nominations, the committee had difficulty shortlisting the nominees to five finalists in several of the categories,” the judges reported.
“Noteworthy again in 2023 was the number, exceptional quality, and diversity of nominations in the Newcomer and Administration & Ancillary categories.”
The panel reduced some 200 nominations for the 2023 SSSA to 41 across seven categories.
The shortlist is:
Leadership Award (Stud or Stable):
Sean Keogh (Godolphin Australia, VIC); Finn McCarthy (McEvoy Mitchell Racing, VIC); Ben Gunn (Yulong Investments, VIC); Bruce Murray (Coolmore, NSW);
Paul Reid (Godolphin Australia, NSW); Phil Harris (Godolphin Australia, NSW)
Horsemanship Award (Stud or Stable):
Emile Fredricks (Widden Stud, NSW); Hazel Fertier (Freelancer, SA); Arda Tascioglu (Freelancer, NSW); Evan Henley (Coolmore, NSW); Stacey Reeve (Sledmere Stud, NSW)
Dedication to Breeding Award:
Kayleigh Murray (Fernrigg Farm, NSW); Dearne Gess-Jones (Merricks Station, VIC); Joel Stewart (Yulong Investments, VIC); Ngyrie Gonzalez (Alwyn Park Stud, WA); Robert Petith (Grant Bloodstock, NSW)
Dedication to Racing Award:
Adam Brewster (Phillip Stokes Racing, SA); Ian Smith (Annabel Neasham, NSW); John Brady (Waterhouse & Bott, NSW); Brooke Douglas (Yassy Racing, TAS); Nathan Tickle (Wild Oaks, NSW); Timothy Hanley (McEvoy Mitchell Racing, VIC)
Administration and Ancillary Award (Stud or Stable):
Mary O’Neill (Newgate Farm, NSW); Mia Collins (TAFE, NSW); Wayne Massingham (William Inglis & Son, NSW); Anna Ryan (James Harron Bloodstock, NSW);
Matt Harrington (Danny O’Brien Racing, VIC); Sharon King (Amelia Park Farm, WA) Sophie Johnson (Michael Freedman Racing, NSW)
Thoroughbred Care and Welfare Award:
Amy Thomsen (All4HoovesWA, WA); Julie Bramucci (Self-employed, VIC); Marybeth Lepine (Danny Bougoure, Falvelon Lodge QLD); Louise Abey (Abey Performance Horses, VIC); Phillipa Warman (PW Thoroughbreds, VIC)
Newcomer Award (Stud or Stable):
Georgia Bowen (Clayton Douglas Racing, VIC); Mia Herzog (McEvoy Mitchell Racing, VIC); James Green (Armidale Stud, TAS); Jarrod Robinson (Widden Stud, NSW); Romeo (Jason) Ahmed (Waterhouse & Bott, NSW); Vivek Sharma (Ciaron Maher Racing, NSW); Will Rapley (Fernrigg Farm, NSW)
The Stud and Stable Staff Awards offer cash prizes of $10,000 to the winners in each of the categories of Dedication to Racing, Dedication to Breeding, Horsemanship, Leadership, Thoroughbred Care and Welfare and Administration. The Newcomer Award offers a cash prize of $5000, with the runners-up in each of the seven categories receiving $3000.
A Thoroughbred Excellence Award of an additional $5000 will be made to a nominee chosen from the winners of the various stud and stable awards, excluding Newcomer and Thoroughbred Care & Welfare Awards.
The Australian SSSA are sponsored by the Victoria Racing Club, William Inglis and Son, Magic Millions, the Australian Turf Club, the Melbourne Racing Club Foundation, Racing Queensland, Thoroughbred Industry Careers and Marcus Oldham College.
Furthermore, without the tireless support of the Awards media partners, the SSSA message and call for nominations would not be feasible. Special thanks should be made to ANZ Bloodstock news, Thoroughbred Daily News Australia and New Zealand, Sky Racing and Racing.com.
The two finalists in each category will be announced on Friday, 31 March with the winners named at the annual SSSA ceremony hosted by the Gold Coast Turf Club on Wednesday, 24 May.