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14 February 2019

2018 overall winner, Jess McLernon looks ahead to this year’s Godolphin Stud and Stable Staff Awards

During the awards last year, Jess McLernon received many positive comments from the judges about her positive, friendly attitude and her astute manner and natural management skills. Motivating and mentoring the staff to get the best out of everyone were other reasons that gave her the edge among some very tough competition. Almost one year on, find out how the award has affected Jess and her thoughts on recognising the work of racing’s people.

Last year was huge for me and I’m doing a job I love

Winning such a prestigious award has helped me to develop my career further and work towards achieving my goals. I have also gained more confidence in my leadership abilities and strive to make our yard at Musley Bank enjoyable for each member of the team.

I am extremely fortunate that I work in such a fabulous industry – winning the Godolphin Stud and Stable Staff Employee of the Year was a huge achievement for me and I am very lucky to have such great support from my boss, the trainer Richard Fahey, and also Robin O’ Ryan.

I joined the yard in 2011 and am now Assistant Trainer. As well as managing day-to-day duties including rotas, allocating staff to go racing and managing veterinary visits, I keep in close contact with the office and 75 staff who help make the yard run so efficiently.

Spotlighting stable staff in such a special way

The Awards were set up to recognise and reward the hard work of British horseracing’s stud and stable staff employees – 14 years on they are still going strong. They are run by the British Horseracing Authority and are generously sponsored by Godolphin and run in association with the Racing Post.

There is more than £120,000 in prize money offered by Godolphin and for the winners and runners-up and to be part of such a glittering awards ceremony at the Jumeirah Carlton Tower Hotel in London was really exciting.

Valuable recognition for racing’s people

The Godolphin awards are a very important date in our industry event calendar, as it is important to showcase the talents of the unsung heroes who work day-in-day-out to ensure no stone is left unturned in preparing racehorses and supporting their welfare. I feel that these prestigious awards encourage us to work to the best of our ability to strive for a nomination by our employers.

The Community Award is a particularly special category during the evening – it highlights the tireless work individuals put in to make our racing communities a better place for all of us. It also opens a pathway to encourage others to get involved and join such a fantastic industry. At Musley Bank we regularly host yard tours and this has been a super way to allow potential new employees have a taster for daily life on a racing yard. The tours form part of the cross-industry ‘Take the Reins‘ initiative, which makes racing more accessible as a career path for young people from urban and/ or disadvantaged backgrounds, who may not otherwise come into contact with racing. I hope more come through and good luck to all this year’s nominees for the awards.

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