A consortium of the industry’s most passionate and dedicated individuals from all levels of the Australian thoroughbred breeding and racing communities assembled on the Gold Coast Turf Club – 2023’s host for the Awards’ ceremony – on Wednesday, to celebrate the Awards’ ninth cohort of finalists.
Seven categories and an overall Thoroughbred Excellence Award were presented by host and judge Caroline Searcy, and it was John “Crewie” Brady who was bestowed the highest accolade of the Australian Stud and Stable Staff Awards: The Thoroughbred Excellence Award.
A true titan of Australian racing, ‘Crewie’ stands as a symbol of dedication having devoted his life to the thoroughbred. Celebrating a remarkable 70-year milestone, marked by commitment and passion, he commenced his career in 1953 as a 15-year-old under the tutelage of legendary trainer Tommy Smith at Tulloch Lodge. Brady has remained a valued member of that stable, where he continues to contribute his expertise. In a resounding testament to his achievements, he emerged triumphant in the Dedication to Racing category.
At 86 years old, Brady stands adorned with the winner’s trophy, a testament to a career that spans one of the longest tenures in Australian racing – a journey within Tulloch Lodge. Brady’s association with Tulloch Lodge predates even the illustrious champion racehorse for whom it was named, arriving a year prior to the birth of the stable’s current proprietor, Gai Waterhouse, who is Tommy’s daughter.
From humble tasks of mucking out boxes and blending feeds, Brady’s dedication saw him master the art of riding trackwork well into his 50s. He guided some of the greatest horses in Australian turf history along his unique path, solidifying his position as a trusted hand among greatness.
Brady’s enduring presence at Tulloch Lodge extends beyond his remarkable career; he remains a beloved source of guidance and wisdom. Gai Waterhouse, the current proprietor and one of his greatest admirers, describes him as a “legend” within the stable.
Waterhouse shared, “There can’t be many people in any industry who have worked with such dedication and loyalty as Crewie. My father regarded him as one of the stable’s great assets and so do I.”
Joining Brady in this distinguished honour are the winners of the remaining categories: Kayleigh Walsh of Fernrigg Farm, recipient of the Dedication to Breeding Award; Emile Fredericks of Widden Stud, recognised for Horsemanship; Sean Keogh of Godolphin, awarded for Leadership; Mary O’Neill of Newgate Farm, commended for Administration and Ancillary Services; Louise Abey of Abey Performance Horses, acknowledged for Thoroughbred Care and Welfare; and James Green of Armidale Stud, honoured as the Newcomer.
Applauding the winners at the Awards ceremony held on Wednesday night on the Gold Coast, Federal Minister for Skills and Training Brendan O’Connor said, “When the racing stops, the work continues. The love and hard work is something rarely understood by people outside the industry.”
Echoing Brendan O’Connor’s sentiments, Queensland Racing Minister Grace Grace praised the dedication and devotion displayed by all industry participants and commended the Awards for their national and global significance.
“The Award finalists demonstrate the depth and diversity of the thoroughbred industry, and their hard work and devotion to our horses right across Australia,” Grace said.
The Australian Stud and Stable Staff Awards have once again highlighted the exceptional contributions of the unsung heroes in the thoroughbred racing and breeding industry. The accolades not only acknowledge their commitment, passion and contributions but also serve as a powerful reminder for aspiring individuals to embark on a fulfilling career in the racing and breeding industry.
This recognition is made possible through the collaborative efforts of Racing Australia, Thoroughbred Breeders Australia and Godolphin, alongside its dedicated sponsors: the Australian Turf Club, Inglis, Magic Millions, Marcus Oldham College, the Melbourne Racing Club Foundation, Racing Queensland, Thoroughbred Industry Careers and the Victoria Racing Club; and pushed throughout Australia by its media partners: 7Horse Racing, ANZ Bloodstock News, Racing.com, RSN Radio, Sky Racing and TDN Australia and New Zealand. These awards serve as an inspiring initiative, unveiling the untold stories and celebrating the contributions of the unsung heroes within the racing and breeding industry.
AWARD CATEGORY WINNERS FOR 2023
Administration and Ancillary Services Award – Mary O’Neill of Newgate Farm
Dedication to Breeding Award – Kayleigh Walsh of Fernrigg Farm
Dedication to Racing Award – John Brady of Gai Waterhouse and Adrian Bott Racing
Horsemanship Award – Emile Fredericks of Widden Stud
Leadership Award – Sean Keogh of Godolphin
Newcomer Award – James Green of Armidale Stud
Thoroughbred Care and Welfare Award – Louise Abey of Abey Performance Horses
Thoroughbred Excellence Award – John Brady of Gai Waterhouse and Adrian Bott Racing