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Terry Doherty lands top prize at stud and stable staff ceremony

21 February 2017

Terry Doherty, who has been a key figure in shaping the success of Lord and Lady Lloyd Webber's Watership Down Stud, was recognised for 24 years of dedication when he was crowned Employee of the Year at the Godolphin Stud And Stable Awards on Monday night.

Doherty, 58, received the perpetual Godolphin Trophy from special guest presenter Freddy Tylicki, alongside hosts Ed Chamberlin and champion jump jockey Richard Johnson, at a gala ceremony hosted by the BHA, in conjunction with the Racing Post.

He was also presented with a cheque for £40,000, of which £20,000 will be shared among the staff at Watership Down Stud, part of £120,000 in prize-money for the awards held at the Jumeirah Carlton Tower hotel in London.

When Doherty took up the role of stud manager at the estate in Burghclere near Newbury, Berkshire, in 1992 it had no name, no horses and no post and rails.

His professionalism, integrity and dedication, evident by having never missed a foaling and personally feeding each horse, has helped develop the Lloyd Webbers' prestigious broodmare band. 

He was chosen for the overall prize after winning the Stud Staff award, one of six individual categories for which winners were announced following a formal judging day at the BHA’s London office on Monday morning.

Brough Scott, chairman of the judging panel, said: "The finalists were of a quite exceptional standard and it was really inspiring for the judges to hear their stories. However, in the end, Terry emerged as a clear, very fine winner and I'm sure he'll be a great ambassador for the sport."

The other category winners were: Elisha Whittington from Tom Dascombe’s Manor House Stables, who took the David Nicholson newcomer award; Brian Meehan’s assistant trainer Rory O’Dowd, who took the Leadership award; Jamie Bunsell of Paul Henderson Racing, who was successful in the Rider/Groom category; and head lad to Sir Mark Prescott, Colin Nutter, whose 45 years' caring for horses at Heath House earned him the Dedication To Racing award.

Also honoured was Sarah Monkman, whose work raising the profile of Racing Welfare led to her landing the Rory MacDonald Community award, which is in its second year.

The winners of the Leadership, Rider/Groom, Stud Staff and Dedication to Racing categories received a prize of £5,000, with an additional £5,000 being awarded to the winner’s yard or stud. The two runners-up in these categories won £2,000 each, with the same amount going to their yard or stud.

The winner of the Rory MacDonald Community Award received a prize of £5,000, plus £5,000 for a charity of their choice, and the two runners-up £2,000 each with the same amount going to their charity.

The winner of the David Nicholson Newcomer Award received £2,000, with the same amount going to their yard or stud, while two runners-up received £1,000 each, with the same amount for their yard, plus a five-day educational trip to Dubai.

Godolphin Stud and Stable Staff winners

Employee of the Year: Terry Doherty – Watership Down Stud

Leadership Award: Rory O’Dowd – Brian Meehan
Runners up:
Michael Finn – Graeme McPherson
Hayley Kelly – Mark Johnston

Rider/Groom Award: Jamie Bunsell – Paul Henderson
Runners up:
Jason Favell – William Haggas
Chetan Singh – Andrew Balding

Stud Staff Award: Terry Doherty – Watership Down Stud
Runners up:
Jo Brown – Overbury Stud
James Fitzjohn – Swanbridge Bloodstock

Dedication to Racing Award: Colin Nutter – Sir Mark Prescott
Runners up:
Kim Jones – Malcolm Saunders
Bryn Walker – Hugo Palmer

David Nicholson Newcomer Award: Elisha Whittington – Tom Dascombe
Runners up:
Anthony Lynch - Wadacre Stud
June Palmer Kimpton – Ben Haslam

Rory MacDonald Community Award: Sarah Monkman – Racing Welfare
Runners up:
Gary Humphries – Godolphin
Kevin Parsons – National Association of Stable Staff

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