The Thoroughbred Industry Employee Awards, presented by Godolphin

The Thoroughbred Industry Employee Awards presented by Godolphin recognize and reward the outstanding talent, diligence and commitment of the farm and racing stable staff who are at the heart of our sport.

The awards themselves are separated into five distinct categories which carry a total prize-pool of $115,000, along with specially commissioned trophies for the winners.

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Leadership Award – Farm

An award to an individual in a managerial or supervisory role of more than two employees on a Thoroughbred farm who displays exceptional leadership qualities – in particular in terms of motivating, mentoring and support of colleagues in the workplace. Top three finalists plus a guest are invited to Lexington for 48 hours.

Winner:
Victor Espinoza, Farm Manager, Brookdale Farm

$10,000 to the winner + $5,000 to the farm (division)
$2,500 to each runner-up + $2,500 to each farm (division)

Leadership Award – Racing

LeadershipRacingAn award to an individual in a managerial or supervisory role of more than two employees in a Thoroughbred racing stable who displays exceptional leadership qualities – in particular in terms of motivating, mentoring and support of colleagues in the workplace. Top three finalists plus a guest are invited to Lexington for 48 hours.

Winner:
Melissa Cohen, Assistant Trainer, Richard Violette

$10,000 to the winner + $5,000 to each racing stable
$2,500 to each runner-up + $2,500 to each racing stable

Dedication to Breeding Award

An award to an individual farm employee (stallion groom, broodmare/yearling handlers, booking administrator, etc.) who has shown talent in Thoroughbred breeding horsemanship, consistency and reliability in a farm role. Must have at least 10 years of service in the breeding industry and must be pivotal in his or her employer’s success. Top three finalists plus a guest are invited to Lexington for 48 hours.

Winner:
James Sebastian, Handler, Mares & Foals, Claiborne Farm

$10,000 to the winner + $5,000 to the farm (division)
$2,500 to each runner-up + $2,500 to each farm (division)

Dedication to Racing Award

DedicationRacingAn award to an individual racing stable employee (grooms, hot walkers, exercise riders, etc.) who has shown talent for horsemanship in the racing field, consistency and reliability in a racing role. Must have at least 10 years of service in the racing industry and must be pivotal in his or her employer’s success. Top three finalists plus a guest are invited to Lexington for 48 hours.

Winner:
Jose “Vinny” Castenada, Groom, Marty Jones Racing Stable

$10,000 to the winner + $5,000 to the farm (division)
$2,500 to each runner-up + $2,500 to each farm (division)

To recognize those who have shown outstanding contribution to the Thoroughbred industry. This could include those who support the farm and racing staff or have made an outstanding contribution to benefit the wider Thoroughbred community.

Nominees for this award do not need to be employed by the racing industry but are those who contribute to the greater good of the sport. Winner and guest are invited to Lexington for 48 hours.

Winner:
Israel “Izzy” Vega, Racetrack Chaplain, Racetrack Chaplaincy of California

$10,000 to the winner + $5,000 to their charity of choice

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