Late news from London: Our Gemma picks up top Stable Staff award!
Team Hammond proudly flew the flag for the north at Monday evening’s Godolphin Stud & Stable Staff awards at the Jumeirah Carlton Tower in Knightsbridge and having already been presented with the Leadership Award, our assistant trainer Gemma Hogg rounded off a memorable night by being named Employee of the Year.
Gemma, 34, was presented with the perpetual Godolphin trophy and cheques for a total of £40,000, half of which will be shared between the rest of our team, by 20 times champion National Hunt jockey Sir AP McCoy at the end of the ceremony, which was hosted by Clare Balding and attended by all eighteen finalists and their guests.
Gemma has worked for us since graduating from the Northern Racing College in 1998 and became assistant trainer in 2007. In addition to all of her day to day duties she’s totally devoted to the success of our yard, she’s extremely passionate about rehoming our retiring horses, and for good measure she also rode a winner under Rules at Hamilton nine seasons ago!
“Thank you very much, thanks Godolphin!” said Gems. “We have had a fantastic day and everyone has been great, the British Horseracing Authority and the other finalists.
“I would just like to thank everybody who has come down to support me. There are some of my family here, Micky and owners. I am originally from Leeds but I have worked in Middleham for 17 years now. I went straight there from the Northern Racing College when I was 17. I decided to apply to the college after my mum and I went down for a taster day there. My mum, looking at my face, could tell I would be doing nothing else.
“The horses are everything and without them there wouldn’t be a racing industry. So it is important to look after them and make sure they have a nice home. It is also important that they have the life they deserve after racing.
“I have worked as stable girl, done a bit of the travelling head girl role, moved on to be assistant head girl and am now assistant trainer. I’ve worked my way up the yard really at a time when we have slowly been building up young staff, some nice horses and lovely owners. I oversee everything from doing entries and declarations, speaking to owners, making sure the staff are where they should be when they should be, mucking out if I need to, riding out if I need to, anything and everything.
“It’s a wonderful industry to get involved with and I can never see myself doing anything else. There are so many great days – from riding a winner to seeing some of the lads leading up their first winner. I can’t wait to get up every day, to do something that I love.
“This award has really made me look back on my career and I just feel really privileged because there so many things you can do within the racing industry and the support from Godolphin, the British Horseracing Authority and Racing Welfare is just getting stronger all the time.”
Chairman of the 12-strong judging panel, Brough Scott, said: “Gemma Hogg represents the very essence of vitality, generosity and pragmatism, which are the very best of racing qualities, and will be a fantastic ambassador for the sport.”
Earlier in the evening, young Lauren Lucas and Rahul Kamble finished joint runners up to Sir Michael Stoute’s stable lass Laura Winstanley in the David Nicholson Newcomer category, while Alyson Deniel came out on top in the rider/groom award, beating her fellow amateur jockey, our own Becky Smith, and Tom Dascombe’s travelling head lad Christopher Ely. Both Becks and Loz also picked up a chunk of the total £128,000 prize fund.
Our website editor Martyn, wearing Primark, with guest presenter and all time racing legend AP McCoy
It was a fantastic night, thoroughly enjoyed by everyone, our girls had plenty of support from friends and family and it was a privilege to be there to see Gemma get deserved recognition for her devotion to our great sport.
Well done from all of us to our Gemski but as usual the boss gets the final word: “I am very proud of Gemma – she is Micky Hammond Racing through and through.”
The full list of winners on the night was as follows:
DAVID NICHOLSON NEWCOMER AWARD
Winner: Laura Winstanley (Sir Michael Stoute)
Runners-up: Rahul Kamble (Tom Dascombe), Lauren Lucas (Micky Hammond)
Winner: Gemma Hogg (Micky Hammond)
Runners-up: Abi Harrison (Jane Chapple-Hyam), Matthew Howells (Alan King)
Winner: Alyson Deniel (Richard Fahey)
Runners-up: Christopher Ely (Tom Dascombe), Becky Smith (Micky Hammond)
STUD STAFF AWARD
Winner: Stuart Thom (Lofts Hall Stud)
Runners-up: Gillian Knight (Yorton Farm Stud), Mark Zipfel (Shadwell Estates Company)
DEDICATION TO RACING AWARD
Winner: Claire Goodenough (William Haggas)
Runners-up: Samantha Dwan (Nigel Tinkler), Fran Whyte (Nick Alexander)
RORY MACDONALD COMMUNITY AWARD
Winner: Lisa Delany (Jockeys Employment Training Scheme)
Runners-up: Raye Wilkinson (Welfare Officer, Mark Johnston), Helen Yeadon (Greatwood Charity)
ROR SPECIAL RECOGNITION AWARD
Winner: Joanna Mason – Liverpool