SMITH TAKES TOP HONOURS FOR OUTSTANDING CONTRIBUTION AT TBA FLAT BREEDERS’ AWARDS EVENING 2023
Littleton Stud proprietor Jeff Smith was presented with the prestigious Andrew Devonshire Bronze for outstanding achievement and contribution to British thoroughbred breeding at the TBA’s Flat Breeders’ Awards Evening on Wednesday, 12 July. The event, which included the presentation of 14 awards, took place in the grounds of Chippenham Park near Newmarket in front of a crowd of more than 160 guests.
Owner-breeder Smith was recognised for his long-term commitment and success which has over the years included association with equine stars such as Persian Punch, Dashing Blade, Lochsong, Lochangel, Barshiba, Arabian Queen and more recently Alcohol Free.
Commenting on why his horses were so popular with the racing public Smith said: “I think if I take any credit at all, it would be because we campaigned them, we weren’t fussed about being beaten… and I think people latched on to it.”
The Dominion Bronze for outstanding contribution and commitment from someone who has worked in the industry was awarded to BBA Shipping’s Kevin Needham.
Needham, a vital figure in the industry’s post Brexit and Covid-19 pandemic response and whose efforts to support the industry included countless hours of representation, consultation and guidance received the award from TBA Chairman Julian Richmond-Watson.
Richmond-Watson said: “Kevin’s contribution, advice and guidance were a key part of our industry’s efforts to keep the thoroughbred breeding sector going during incredibly challenging times. He is a worthy winner of this award, and we are thankful for his ongoing assistance in our dialogue with government departments on movement of horses.”
For his services to charitable causes over the last year, Oliver St Lawrence was presented with the Industry Merit Award. St Lawrence co-ordinated the hugely successful online stallion nomination auction which raised over £250,000 for Giving To Ukraine and the Disasters Emergency Committee’s Turkey-Syria Earthquake Appeal.
Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe winner Alpinista capped another successful season for her owner-breeder Kirsten Rausing in 2022, securing the Lanwades Stud owner a second consecutive TBA Silver Rose Bowl for TBA Flat Breeder of the Year.
Andrew and Jane Black’s Chasemore Farm collected two awards on the evening, the first in recognition of the dedication of long-term team member Bev Goodley and the second, the TBA Silver Salver (Special Merit Award), for their results on the racecourse in 2022 which included Group 1 winner Lezoo and Group 2 winners Brad The Brief and Noble Style.
In an extremely strong category of nominees, the judging panel named Woodley as this year’s winner in acknowledgement of her attention to detail for the mares and foals within her care, commitment to continual learning and her willingness to mentor new team members on foaling.
Woodley was presented with the New England Stud sponsored Stud Employee of the Year Award and a £2,000 cheque. The remaining five finalists – Bo Hicks-Little, Jemma Girling, Oleh Ihnatenko, Ray Eyre, Tom Turner – each received £250 in acknowledgement of their achievements.
Desert Crown, last year’s Epsom Derby winner, earned Strawberry Fields Stud a first win in the Small Breeder of the Year category. Stud owner Gary Robinson collected the Langham Cup trophy from TBA Deputy Chairman Philip Newton on the evening.
His Highness Sheikh Isa bin Salman Al Khalifa was awarded the Filly of Merit Award for his home-bred filly Commissioning. The daughter of Kingman’s faultless race record in 2022 was capped with a victory in the Group 1 Fillies’ Mile at Newmarket in October.
Aghareed won the Barton Stud sponsored H.J. Joel Silver Salver for Broodmare of the Year for a second consecutive year following the racecourse exploits of her sons in 2022. Baaeed added four Group 1 victories to his tally prior to retirement at the end of the season, whilst full brother Hukum scored his first top-level win in the Coronation Cup in June.
Whitsbury Manor Stud’s Havana Grey was awarded the Tattersalls Silver Salver for Leading First Season Sire (based on Flat earnings). Whilst Newsells Park Stud’s Nathaniel won the European Breeders’ Fund Stallion Special Merit Award.
Godolphin took home the remaining three statistical-based trophies which included the Queen’s Silver Cup for Leading British-based Flat Breeder by earnings, and a pair of awards for headline stallion Dubawi. The Dalham Hall Stud resident reclaimed the BBA Silver Cigar Box for Leading British-based Stallion by Flat earnings from last year’s winner Frankel, securing his ninth win in the category. The Barleythorpe Stud Silver Cup for Leading British-based Stallion by individual Flat winners was also presented to the Godolphin team at the event.
TBA Chief Executive Claire Sheppard said: “The TBA Flat Breeders’ Awards Evening was once again a huge success and it was especially pleasing to see so many stud farms bringing more members of their teams to share the celebrations this year. There were some very strong categories and great stories from both a human and equine perspective.
“Our thanks to Gina Bryce for once again guiding us seamlessly through the evening and our partners – the Jockey Club, the National Stud, Newsells Park Stud, Chasemore Farm, New England Stud, Tattersalls, British EBF and Barton Stud – for their generous support of this event.”