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Tuesday, February 17, 2009


• £75,000 in prize money shared amongst the winners at the 2009 Stud and Stable Staff Awards

Peter Maughan, Travelling Head Lad for David Elsworth’s yard in Newmarket, was today named as Employee of the Year at the fifth annual Stud and Stable Staff Awards.

Grand National and Gold Cup winning Jockey Mick Fitzgerald, guest of honour and enjoying his second career as a broadcaster since his recent retirement from the saddle, presented Maughan with a cheque for £25,000 - £12,500 for Peter himself and £12,500 for his colleagues at Egerton House stables to share themselves.

A specially invited audience of around 200 gathered to pay tribute to the leading stud and stable employees in the country, as nominated by their employers and peers. The Awards – the richest of their kind in the world, with £75,000 in prize money – are generously sponsored by Godolphin, and run by the British Horseracing Authority and the Racing Post.

Maughan, who has worked in racing for a staggering 56 years, was also the winner in the Senior Staff category. In his time he has travelled some of the greats, including two of the most popular horses in recent memory– Desert Orchid and Persian Punch – as well as the likes of In The Groove and Barnbrook Again.

Each individual category winner collected £3,000, with their colleagues at their respective stable or stud sharing £3,000 between them. The two runners-up in each category also received £2,000.

The full list of winners and runners up are as follows:

Winner: Lee Oswin, trainee Stable Lad with Gary Moore
Runners Up: Ellie Church, Stable Lass with Marcus Tregoning
Matthew Hampton, Rider/Groom with Philip Hobbs

Winner: Paul Baker, Stud Groom/Manager at Usk Valley Stud
Roisin Close, Stud Groom at Tweenhills Stud
Deborah Dodd, Secretary and Stud Stable Hand at Louella Stud

Winner: Claire Knight, Rider/Groom with Jeremy Noseda
Runners Up: Hugh Fraser, Rider/Groom with John Berry
Mick Wilson, Stable Groom with William Haggas

Winner: Peter Maughan, Travelling Head Lad with David Elsworth
Runners Up: Albert A Browne, Head Lad with Nicky Henderson
Jim Hiner, Secretary with Michael Jarvis

Winner: Andy Gibson, Yardman with Stuart Williams
Runners Up: Sally Davies, General Assistant with Simon Dow
Ian Willows, Travelling Head Lad with Luca Cumani

The Awards were judged by a panel comprising celebrated author and journalist Brough Scott (Chairman); former Champion Jockey and PJA Industry Liaison Director Kevin Darley; BHA Director Morag Gray; Miles Littlewort, former Chief Executive of the National Stud; and Dinah Nicholson, wife of the late David Nicholson.

British Horseracing Authority Chief Executive Nic Coward said:

“These inspiring Awards are an important date in the racing calendar as they provide a moment for the sport to celebrate those hard working, dedicated, talented people, without whom the show wouldn’t get on the road.

“A huge thank you to Godolphin for continuing with their generous sponsorship. Congratulations to all of those nominated this year. The very high standard of entries never ceases to amaze the judges and this year was no exception.”


Cheltenham announced today that it has been granted permission by the British Horseracing Authority to delay the closing date of the Christie’s Foxhunter Steeple Chase at The Festival by a week. The race was due to close on Tuesday, February 24, but will now close on Tuesday, March 3. The qualification date moves from February 23 to March 2.

To qualify to run in this race, horses must, since December 1, 2006, have been placed first or second on two occasions in Hunter Chases or have won two Open Chases at Point-to-Point Meetings, or have won one Open Chase at a Point-to-Point and finished first or second in a Hunter Chase. As a result of the recent bad weather, nine Point-to-Point meetings and seven Hunter Chases have been abandoned. This extra week will mean that an additional 10 Point-to-Point meetings and four Hunter Chases will now be run before the cut-off for qualification, weather permitting, giving many more horses the opportunity to qualify.

Cheltenham’s Director of Racing, Simon Claisse, said: “With so many fixtures being lost to snow and waterlogging in the last two or three weeks, there was a groundswell of support from the point-to-point community to extend the qualification period by a week. This should help to ensure that the best possible field lines up for the Christie’s Foxhunter Steeple Chase on Friday, March 13. We are very grateful to the Racing Department at the BHA for their help with this issue.”

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