Congratulations to Gregory Smothers, one of three finalists in the Dedication to Racing Award category of the Thoroughbred Industry Employee Awards (TIEA), presented by Godolphin. Smothers is the head rider at Niall Brennan Stables and has been a part of the operation for more than 30 years. Upon leaving the military, he started on a farm doing maintenance, then learned how to ride on a pony. Brennan was leaving his position at Kinsman Farm as head trainer at the time and going out on his own, and Smothers went with him as an exercise rider.
“His passion for the horse is unparalleled,” said Brennan of Smothers, “and his ability to give a shy horse confidence, an aggressive horse discipline, and all horses the ability to understand the breaking process with the minimal amount of stress is phenomenal.”
Click for the video feature on Smothers done by TIEA.
Other finalists for the Dedication to Racing Award are Marcelo Arenas of Leah Gyarmati Stables and Shawn Autry of McPeek Racing. The Dedication to Racing Award is presented annually to an individual who has been in the Thoroughbred racing industry for at least 10 years and is a pivotal part of his or her employer’s success.
A total of seven award categories will be honored by TIEA for 2020. Maria Cristina Silva of New York Thoroughbred Horsemen’s Association (NYTHA) has already been announced as the winner of the Community Award, while the winners in the other categories will be announced live in a virtual ceremony hosted by Jill Byrne and streamed at the TDN homepage Thursday, Nov. 5, at 12:00 p.m. ET. All finalists will be spotlighted in TDN in the days leading up to the ceremony.