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25 February 2020

Simone Sear scoops Godolphin award

Racing Welfare’s Director of Welfare, Simone Sear, last night took home the Rory MacDonald award at the Godolphin Stud and Stable Staff Awards. Held at the Underglobe on London’s South Bank, the gong was one of six given out on the night to recognise and reward the endeavours of people working in the racing and breeding industry.

Simone received the award for her outstanding contribution to the industry through her work at Racing Welfare.  Her time with the charity has spanned 12 years and counting and her position as Director of Welfare has seen her operating at the sharp end of Racing Welfare’s enormous growth and progression over the last few years.  Simone not only heads up an 18-strong team of welfare officers across the country, but has also been instrumental in the development of Racing Welfare’s service provision to help make it the proactive force for good that it is today.

Simone is pictured with her husband Eddie at the award’s ceremony on London’s South Bank last night.

Clearly surprised and delighted to have won the Rory MacDonald award, Simone said afterwards

It’s just amazing.  It’s a real privilege to be here tonight and an honour win.  The Godolphin Stud and Stable Staff awards are a huge night for the industry and showcase the wealth of talent that British racing is graced with.  I’m absolutely thrilled.

Simone was in high class company as a finalist on the night, with Lady Oaksey of the IJF and Eleanor Boden from Scottish racing finishing runners up in her category.

James Frank wins Employee of the Year

Taking home both the Stud Staff Award and Employee of the Year title this year was James Frank, who works for Hascombe and Valiant Stud.

James was presented with the perpetual Godolphin Trophy by Champion Jockey Oisin Murphy alongside Ed Chamberlin, who hosted the evening.  James takes home a total of £20,000 in prize money with the same amount being shared amongst the whole team at Hascombe and Valiant Stud.

Having come to the UK from Zimbabwe in his mid-twenties, James’ belief in leading from the front and setting the example to those he works with was highlighted as the hallmark of his 17 years of working in racing and breeding.  Amongst honour roll of horses who have passed through his care in the early stages of their lives were Golden Horn and Cracksman.

The other category winners on the night were:

Kevin Skelton of Bryan Smart Racing – David Nicholson Newcomer Award; Mat Nicholls from Kim Bailey Racing – Leadership Award;  Hayley Ashcroft from Tom Dascombe’s Manor House Stables – Rider/Groom Award Andy Stringer who works for John Gosden – Dedication Award.

The evening saw a total of £128,000 in prize money awarded by sponsors Godolphin.  Also honoured on the night was retiring chair of the judging panel, Brough Scott, who is stepping down after 16 years at the helm.  He will be succeeded by Racing TV’s Nick Luck from next year.