The 2016 Champion Jump Jockey Richard Johnson will partner ITV Racing’s Ed Chamberlin to present the awards for the six categories at the Godolphin Stud and Stable Awards 2017, taking place at the Jumeirah Carlton Tower Hotel in Knightsbridge on Monday 20th February 2017.

It has also been announced that Freddy Tylicki will be the special guest presenter and present the most prestigious award of the evening, the Employee of the Year 2017. This award will be selected from the winners of the first four categories and announced at the ceremony. The Employee of the Year will receive an additional £15,000, and the same amount will be awarded to their yard or stud.

Richard Johnson, who was runner up sixteen times behind Sir AP McCoy, was crowned Champion Jump Jockey last season and will join presenter Ed Chamberlin on stage in front of an audience that will include the finalists, their colleagues and family together with leading industry representatives, politicians and media guests.

Richard Johnson said: “Being champion jockey is the thing I’ve always wanted to do since I was a child. It’s great to have achieved that goal, but I couldn’t have done it without all the many people who care for and prepare horses for racing. I am therefore honoured to present the Godolphin Stud and Stable Staff Awards. It is fantastic to reward and recognise all the hard work that stud and stable staff put in, mostly behind the scenes, without which no jockey could do their job. Everyone working in racing is there for the love of the horse and the level of care that racing’s staff give to their horses is unsurpassed.”

Freddy Tylicki was born in Germany where his Polish-born father Andrzey Tylicki was three times champion jockey. Freddy started his racing career in Ireland spending three years working for Jim Bolger.  He later moved to Britain and was crowned Champion Apprentice in 2009, when he also won the Lester Award for Apprentice Jockey of the Year.  He won his first Group One in Deauville last August aboard Speedy Boarding. He won another Group 1 on Arc day and sadly later that month he had a career-ending fall at Kempton Park. Freddy was paralysed from the waist down and since then has been undergoing a programme of rehabilitation at the Stanmore Spinal Injuries Unit with the support of the IJF.

He said: “I am honoured and delighted to be the special guest presenter at the Godolphin Stud and Stable Staff Awards. It is so important to reward and recognise the hard work of the stud and stable staff and I am delighted to be part of the evening’s celebration.”

On the night, the winners will be announced in the categories of Leadership, Rider Groom, Stud Staff, Dedication to Racing, David Nicholson Newcomer Award and Rory MacDonald Community Award. The judges will narrow down the shortlist of three finalists and decide on one winner during an interview process on the morning of the Awards. After the judging morning, finalists will be taken to Westminster to have lunch at the Houses of Parliament before the evening ceremony.

Speaking about the Awards, presenter Ed Chamberlin said: “These Awards showcase the outstanding dedication, expertise and workmanship of those individuals who are at the heart of racing. These are the people who are closest to the horses, who look after them on a daily basis and get to know each horse’s individual traits and quirks. These Awards are an opportunity for racing to recognise and applaud stud and stable staff and I’m delighted to present the awards for the first time this year and to be joined by two racing heroes in Richard Johnson and Freddy Tylicki.”

The panel of 12 judges have overseen 301 applications and taken on the task of narrowing them down to just three finalists in each of the six categories.

Brough Scott, Chairman of the Judging Panel said: “Judging the Godolphin Stud and Stable Staff Awards makes you appreciate the commitment of those who work closest to the horses. For the judges it is also both an honour and annual heartache to pick out just three finalists from such obviously deserving nominees.”

The final stage of judging will take place in London on the day of the awards ceremony, Monday 20th February 2017, where finalists will be interviewed face-to-face by the judges who will then decide the winners and runners-up for each category. The results will be revealed later that evening at the gala awards ceremony.

The finalists are as follows:

• Leadership Award:

Michael Finn • Graeme McPherson
Hayley Kelly • Mark Johnston
Rory O’Dowd • Brian Meehan

• Rider/Groom Award:

Jamie Bunsell • Paul Henderson
Jason Favell • William Haggas
Chetan Singh • Andrew Balding

• Stud Staff Award:

Jo Brown • Overbury Stud
Terry Doherty • Watership Down Stud
James Fitzjohn • Swanbridge Bloodstock

• Dedication to Racing Award:

Kim Jones • Malcolm Saunders
Colin Nutter • Sir Mark Prescott
Bryn Walker • Hugo Palmer

• David Nicholson Newcomer Award:

Anthony Lynch • Wadacre Stud
June Palmer Kimpton • Ben Haslam
Elisha Whittington • Tom Dascombe

• Rory Macdonald Community Award:

Gary Humphries • Godolphin
Sarah Monkman • Racing Welfare
Kevin Parsons • National Association of Stable Staff

Sarah Elsley

Sarah Elsley is a freelance editor and proofreader who is the Junior News Editor for Eclipse magazine. She has a degree in English Literature and is a keen horse rider with an interest in fashion at the races and fiction writing.

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