Head Lad for Sir Michael Stoute
Stuart Messenger Crowned Employee of the Year as judges praise Stud and Stable Staff.
Stuart Messenger, Head Lad with Sir Michael Stoute, was named as Employee of the Year at the sixth annual Godolphin Stud and Stable Staff Awards.
Messenger, who has been in the industry for more than 32 years, was presented with The Godolphin Trophy by former Classic-winning Jockey, John Reid, after Manchester United and England star, Michael Owen, was unable to attend due to a hamstring injury sustained in Sunday’s Carling Cup Final.
Victorious in The Derby, St Leger and Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe to name but a few, Reid is no stranger to the hard work and dedication that goes on behind the scenes of the racing industry and he himself has been made an MBE for his services to the sport.
Stuart was described as ‘irreplaceable’ by Sir Michael and someone that he ‘would not want to do the job without’. Starting off with the top trainer when he was still at school he has, over the years, built up an impressive knowledge of racing and to this day, strives to expand this knowledge further. Having learned from some of the best in the industry, Stuart is now a well-respected and trusted teacher and a role model to generations below him.
Messenger commented on the win: “It is an absolute dream to win an award like this and something that I never expected. I was delighted to have been nominated in the first place and, having seen the calibre of the other nominees, never once thought that I could be in with a chance of winning Employee of the Year. There are so many deserving staff in the industry and I’d like to thank Godolphin for supporting such a worthwhile means of recognising this hard work and dedication.”
The full list of winners and runners up are as follows:
David Nicholson Newcomer Award
Winner: James Gray, Second Head Lad – Whitsbury Farm & Stud
Runners Up: Harry Fry, Pupil Assistant Trainer- Paul Nicholls; Sam Davis, Stable Lad – Rae Guest
High Achiever Award
Winner: Stuart Messenger, Head Lad – Sir Michael Stoute
Runners Up: Catherine Morse, Stud Groom -Overbury Stud; Timothy Potts, Head Lad – Luca Cumani
Stud Staff Award
Winner: Roy Gedge, Stud Groom / Managed – Hascombe & Valient Stud
Runners Up: David Cartledge, Senior Stallion Man -The Royal Studs; Hazel Woods, Yearling Foreman – Kirtlington Stud
Winner: Elizabeth George, Head Girl – Ed McMahon
Runners Up: Shane Featherstonhaugh, Rider/Groom – Henry Cecil; Brian Groves, Rider/Groom – Sir Michael Stoute
NASS Special Merit Award
Winner: Ken Bedford, Stable Lad – John Dunlop
Runner Up: Jeremiah Michael Walsh – Paul Webber
Dedication to Racing Award
Winner: Jimmy Scott, Travelling Head Lad – Sir Michael Stoute
Runners Up: Clifford Baker, Head Lad – Paul Nicholls; Larry Wargen, Head Yard / Feed Man – Luca Cumani