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27 February 2024

A force for good – Police Scotland’s Lauren Semple wins Community Award

Lauren Semple took home last night’s Community Award at the annual Thoroughbred Industry Employee Awards, sponsored by Godolphin. This year’s awards celebrated their 20th anniversary and were hosted by Ascot Racecourse with guest of honour, The Princess Royal in attendance.

The Community Award is a crucial recognition of those who work tirelessly within the communities in which racing operates to benefit others, as well as forging strong bonds between the industry and the local areas.

“It is so important that these acclaimed awards showcase work with the wider community and this year’s worthy winner and her competition encapsulated the ethos that guides this category,” said John Blake of Racing Together.

“Linking young people that are already marginalized or in danger of being so, with the opportunity to connect with the sport through training and contact with horses is the blueprint for work that racing needs to expand in the future.”

In a hotly contested category, Lauren’s volunteer work with the Scottish Racing Academy (SRA) gave her the edge over fellow finalists Jo Flaherty (Chelmsford Racecourse) and David Letts (Racing with Pride). The Scottish Racing Academy provides education and training within horseracing, and Lauren has made a significant impact on their work since beginning to volunteer with the Academy in 2020.

In a professional capacity, Lauren works for Police Scotland, and her work in this sphere with young people in deprived areas has enabled her to signpost them to the SRA, where they have been able to complete training modules creating pathways to employment and further training.

Most recently Lauren organised for the Scottish Police Recreation Association, a riding club for serving and retired members of the Scottish police force, to work with the SRA to learn about opportunities in the racing industry and complete a horse care qualification.

On a night of many award categories, Newsells Park Stud’s David Porter-Mackrell was named as the Employee of the Year.

The Head Stallion Man won £10,000 of prize money, plus a further £10,000 which will be shared among his colleagues at Newsells Park Stud. For his earlier win of the Stud Staff Award, a £5,000 prize was awarded with a matched sum again going to the team. The finalists for each category (with winners emboldened) were:

David Nicholson Newcomer Award
Bethan Nelson (Warren Greatrex)
Molly Roberts (Ed Walker)
Hollie Wiltshire (Alan King)

Cheryl Armstrong (Charlie Fellowes)
Andrew McIntyre (William Haggas)
Eamonn O’Donnabhain (Tom Lacey)

Rider/Racing Groom
Vicki Boyle-Atkins (Richard Phillips)
Lyndsey Bull (Ian Williams)
Alice Kettlewell (Karl Burke)

Stud Staff
Noel Challinor (Northmore Stud)
Jack Conroy (Chasemore Farm)
David Porter-Mackrell (Newsells Park Stud)

Andrea Kelly (Tim Vaughan)
Linda Murphy (Rae Guest)
Brian Taylor (Luck Greayer Shipping)

Community Award
Joanne Flaherty (Chelmsford City Racecourse)
David Letts (Racing With Pride)
Lauren Semple (Police Scotland/Scottish Racing Academy)

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