James Frank of Hascombe and Valiant Stud was named as the 2020 Employee of the Year at the Godolphin Stud and Stable Staff Awards at The Underglobe on London’s South Bank on Monday night. James, who also won the Stud Staff Award, was presented with with the perpetual Godolphin Trophy by special guest presenter Oisin Murphy alongside Ed Chamberlin at an event hosted by the British Horseracing Authority. He also took home a total of £20,000 in prize money, with the same amount being shared amongst the staff at Hascombe and Valiant Stud.
Brough Scott, chair of the judging panel, said, “The panel’s job was as tough as ever this year with some remarkable stories of commitment, hard work and dedication amongst this year’s finalists. However, we had to reach a final decision and James is a hugely deserving winner for his years of perseverance and outstanding service to the breeding industry.”
Kevin Skelton from Bryan Smart’s team landed the David Nicholson Newcomer Award and Kim Bailey Racing’s Mat Nicholls take home the Leadership Award. Hayley Ashcroft from Tom Dascombe’s Manor House Stables was successful in the Rider/Groom category and Andy Stringer, whose years of service in racing most recently with John Gosden, was given the Dedication Award. Also honoured was Simone Sear who landed the Rory MacDonald award for her work at Racing Welfare.
Brough Scott’s 15-tenure as chair of the judging panel also came to an end on Monday. Scott was presented with a memento for his years of service by 2019 Employee of the Year Catriona Bissett. Broadcaster Nick Luck will now take over the role of chair.