The 2020 Godolphin Flying Start Alumni Awards-which are peer-voted among the programme's 177 graduates–were presented on Wednesday in a virtual ceremony, with the recipients accepting their awards over Zoom in four different countries.
Irish National Stud Chief Executive Officer Cathal Beale was presented the award for Leadership Excellence by Joe Osborne, managing director of Godolphin Ireland.
“I'm very humbled, very moved and I was listening to the description wondering who it could be and then when [Godolphin Flying Start Executive Director] Clodagh [Kavanagh] said 'Irish National Stud' I realised, 'oh, it's me!' What a huge honour and thank you to all the nice people who said all those nice things. It's very humbling. Thank you all.”
The Business Excellence Award went to Adrian Bott, who has trained numerous Group 1 winners alongside Gai Waterhouse including this year's G1 Golden Slipper winner Farnan (Aus). Bott was presented the award by previous winner Henry Field, and he said, “I'm very honoured to be receiving this award from a previous recipient. Henry's been an absolute inspiration to me in pushing forward with the business. Thank you to everyone who voted for me to win this award–it's very much appreciated.”
This year's awards saw the inaugural Rising Star categories, presented to graduates within the last five years who have made an impact in the industry. Hampshire-based business partners Mimi Wadham and Violet Hesketh, who graduated together in 2016, received the Rising Star Impact Award for the early success of their pinhooking and consigning business WH Bloodstock. The duo's first-ever horse through the ring was a 35,000gns foal pinhooked for £110,000, and they sold a Showcasing (GB) colt for 650,000gns at Tattersalls October last year.
Kentucky-based graduate Madison Scott, who works for Solis/Litt Bloodstock, received the Rising Star Influence Award for her work alongside second year trainer Annise Montplaisir in founding Amplify Horse Racing with an aim to educate on and promote Thoroughbred industry career and educational opportunities and avenues for industry involvement.
Clodagh Kavanagh said, “These are peer voted, we had almost 100 votes from graduates this year. These are the players' player awards, talented people voting for those that have been outstanding in their fields. They are coveted, rare and always deserving.”