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Godolphin Stud & Stable Staff Awards 2015

25 November 2015

‘I love to see horses who run their hearts out winning at the races’

Our series on the Godolphin Stud & Stable Staff Awards continues with Lesley White, winner of last year’s Dedication to Racing Award

How important are thesestud and stable staff awards? 

I think they’re an excellent idea and very important for the behind-the-scenes staff. The dedication and hours put in by stable and stud staff are well documented, but it’s a big thing for us to have these awards,which acknowledge our contribution and recognises it,not just within the industry but also with the general public.They provide the perfect vehicle for employers to nominate the loyal and hard-working members of their teams. 

What did it mean to you to win the award?

I learned how to spell ‘dedication’!Seriously, it gave me immense pleasure and I was very proud to be nominated let alone win – I was very chuffed to be put forward by the boss [Mick Channon],especially as it was a complete surprise. It was great to be acknowledged for my contribution to the industry.

What qualities make good stable/stud staff ? 

Don’t be afraid of hard work - be able to work as part of the team, have the initiative to work on your own, be open-minded to learn. Above all, have endless patience to deal on a daily basis with temperamental thoroughbreds,staff and, above all, trainers! A sense of humour doesn't go amiss either.

What is the most testing part of your job?

Britain’s road networks and roadworks. In recent years the miles of roadworks and 50 mph limits on the motorways have been a nightmare, and then they decide to close the motorways overnight when you’re trying to get home from the northern tracks– it doesn't make for a stress-free day. The other part of my job I find the worst is clipping – I loathe it!

What do you most enjoy about your work? 

I love taking winners to the races. It doesn't matter to me whether it’s a seller – I love to see horses who run their hearts out winning – or a Group race,especially as very often we've watched them grow up and develop from yearlings. It gives me great pleasure to see the pleasure our owners get from their race day experience and watching their horses win or run well. I'm very lucky my job enables me to share in that and to be out and about from the yard meeting people, not to mention the chance to travel to some fabulous places with our runners abroad.

How can life be improved for stud and stable staff ?

I think we are very fortunate at West Ilsley – we have good wages and on-site accommodation, which is a massive plus, as most yards don’t have that, and it makes a big difference not to have to travel to and from work. As for the courses, generally speaking staff accommodation and canteen facilities have improved markedly in recent years – although some still lag behind in that department.

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