Sarah Guest, the yard manager for trainer John O’Shea, was named the Employee of the Year during the 2023 Thoroughbred Industry Employee Awards sponsored by Godolphin in ceremonies held Monday evening at York Racecourse. It was the first in-person event since 2020 and was held for the first time in Yorkshire.
Guest took home a cash prize of £10,000 and an additional £10,000 to be divided among her colleagues at the John O’Shea yard.
Earlier in the evening, Guest was also presented with the Leadership Award, carrying a £5,000 prize and a similar amount for the yard, meaning she and her coworkers each ended with £15,000 following the ceremony.
“Sarah is a richly deserving winner of this prestigious award and, despite the high quality of the finalists brought forward to this evening’s ceremony, she was a stand-out selection to be named the Employee of the Year,” said Nick Luck, chair of the judging panel. “There can be no doubting the importance of Sarah to the John O’Shea operation, which was demonstrated to greatest effect during 2022 when John O’Shea was unwell. Sarah is a shining example of the sort of hard work and dedication that keeps yards up and down the country running, and we as an industry can be rightly proud of her dedication to ensuring the well-being of her colleagues and the horses in her care.”
The £30,000 awared to Guest and her colleagues was part of a total of £128,500 offered by Godolphin. The ceremonies were hosted by Francesca Cumani and were organised by the British Horseracing Authority in conjunction with Racing Post and Racing TV.
Prime Minister Sunak Pays Tribute
In a message, Prime Minister Rishi Sunak recognised the hard work and dedication of those who work in the Thoroughbred industry across Britain.
Sunak, whose Richmond Parliamentary constituency includes Middleham training centre and Catterick Racecourse, said: “I am delighted that the Thoroughbred Industry Employee Awards are taking place in Yorkshire for the first time.
“From my visits to Middleham, and Catterick Raceourse, both in my constituency, I have seen the sheer hard work, grit and dedication of all in British racing for the horses in their care.
“Tonight’s finalists exemplify all that is best about British racing and breeding–an industry which does so much for communities across our country, generates over £4 billion for our economy, and showcases Britain on the global stage.
“I want to see British racing and breeding stay at the front of this global race in the years ahead.
“I wish the best of luck and congratulations to all of tonight’s finalists.
“Though, if I may be a bit partisan, I do hope that Becky Smith can do the double for Middleham after Paddy Trainor’s victory last year!”
TIEA Finalists (winners in bold italic type)
David Nicholson Newcomer
Amy Grieve – Rose Dobbin
Ryan Kavanagh – Amy Murphy
Stephanie Wing – George Scott Racing
Becky Smith – Micky Hammond
Jessica O’Keefe – Venetia Williams
Sarah Guest – John O’Shea
Amy Vickers – Harry and Roger Charlton
Emma Tully – Susan Corbett-Girsonfield Stud & Racing
Rita Gillies – Lucinda Russell
Andrew Rawlin – Blue Diamond Stud
Bethan Byrne – Godolphin Management Co Ltd
Davina Burrows – Deerfield Farm
Claire Ricks – Marco Botti
David Crofts – Marcus Tregoning
Patrick McConville – Hascombe & Valiant Stud Ltd
The Community Award (In recognition of the wonderful work Rory MacDonald achieved at The British Racing School)
Gay Kelleway – For her work supporting Ukraine
Jo Foster – Community racehorse visits
Margo Walsh – The Jockey Club
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