TIEA Awards

Finalists Announced for 2022 TIEA Awards

The finalists for the 2022 Thoroughbred Industry Employee Awards in America have been announced, including three finalists in six of the seven categories, as well as the winner and runner-up of the Thoroughbred Industry Community Award--Jessica Hammond of the Maryland Thoroughbred Horsemen's Association, and Kyle Roper of CHI St. Vincent, respectively. This year's Awards Ceremony will once again be hosted by Keeneland and will take place on Friday, Oct. 14. Finalists and their guest will be provided with travel and accommodation for out-of-town finalists, a tour of a local horse...

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TIEA Award Nominations Open

Nominations for the 2022 Thoroughbred Industry Employee Awards (TIEA) are open now through Friday, July 15. The TIEAs were held in America for the first time in 2016. Godolphin, the global racing stable founded by Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, is the principal sponsor of the awards in association with The Jockey Club, the National Horsemen's Benevolent and Protection Association (NHBPA), the Thoroughbred Owners and Breeders Association (TOBA) and the Breeders' Cup. Godolphin also sponsors the equivalent Stud and Stable Staff Awards in Ireland, Australia, Great Britain and France....

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TIEA Award To Honor Richardson

In conjunction with the sixth annual Thoroughbred Industry Employee Awards presented by Godolphin, this year's Community Award has been renamed the Dr. J. David "Doc" Richardson Community Award presented by Churchill Downs. The announcement was made following the sixth race Saturday at Churchill Downs as the track hosted a Celebration of Life for Richardson, the distinguished Louisville surgeon who was an owner, breeder and widely respected leader in the horse racing industry. He died Sept. 7 in Saratoga Springs, NY, from complications due to a breakthrough COVID infection at the...

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TIEA Award Winners Announced

The winner of the Thoroughbred Industry Employee Awards were announced via a virtual ceremony Thursday, hosted by Studio 46 Media in Lexington, Kentucky. Jill Byrne, Vice President of Racing Operations at Colonial Downs, was once again the master of ceremonies. The Awards are sponsored by Godolphin in partnership with the National HBPA, TOBA, The Jockey Club, and Breeders' Cup. Media partners are the TDN, BloodHorse Publications, Daily Racing Form, The Paulick Report, Fox Sports and TVG. Jimmy Bell, President of Godolphin in America commented, "The Covid-19 pandemic has affected everyone's...

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NYTHA's Dionne Johnson Named Finalist for Administration Award

Congratulations to Dionne Johnson, one of three finalists in the Administration Award category of the Thoroughbred Industry Employee Awards (TIEA), presented by Godolphin. Currently the business manager for New York Thoroughbred Horsemen's Association (NYTHA), Johnson has been with the organization for 37 years. She is involved in multiple NYTHA committees, including the Scholarship Committee, which has donated over $1.6 million in scholarships to over 500 children of backside workers over the past decade. "She has quite literally been the backbone of [NYTHA] for more than a decade," said nominator Andy...

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Silver Springs Stud's Michele Holbrook Named Finalist for Administration Award

Congratulations to Michele Holbrook, one of three finalists in the Administration Award category of the Thoroughbred Industry Employee Awards (TIEA), presented by Godolphin. Currently the office manager at Silver Springs Stud, Holbrook grew up showing Appaloosas and Quarter Horses in 4-H Horse and Pony Club in her home state of Indiana. She joined Steve Johnson, owner of Silver Springs, in 1997 during his long tenure at Margaux Farm and has continued working for him ever since through his acquisition of Silver Springs. "I attribute [Holbrook's] behind-the-scenes work as the glue...

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OTOBA's Lynnelle Fox Smith Named Finalist for Administration Award

Congratulations to Lynnelle Fox Smith, one of three finalists in the Administration Award category of the Thoroughbred Industry Employee Awards (TIEA), presented by Godolphin. Currently the executive director of the Oregon Thoroughbred Owners and Breeders Association (OTOBA), Fox Smith began with the organization in 2010 and is now the sole employee. Fox Smith has also represented OTOBA at the state government level and acquired grant funding for safety and education within the racing industry. "The OTOBA's board of directors look upon [Fox Smith] as the glue that holds our organization...

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Aaron West of Bradley Thoroughbreds Named Finalist for Newcomer Award

Congratulations to Aaron West, one of three finalists in the Newcomer Award category of the Thoroughbred Industry Employee Awards (TIEA), presented by Godolphin. Currently the racing operations manager at Bradley Thoroughbreds LLC, West originally hails from Arkansas, where he was bitten by the Thoroughbred bug at Oaklawn Park. A move to Kentucky followed, as did a graduation from the North American Racing Academy (NARA) after focusing on ground skills and barn management. First a yearling groom at Lane's End Farm, West landed at Bradley Thoroughbreds. He coordinates with owners--making sure...

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Denali Stud's Alexis Kolasa Named Finalist for Newcomer Award

Congratulations to Alexis Kolasa, one of three finalists in the Newcomer Award category of the Thoroughbred Industry Employee Awards (TIEA), presented by Godolphin. Currently an administrative assistant at Denali Stud, Kolasa was the captain of her college equestrian team at Southern Illinois University-Carbondale. At Denali, she works on billing, gives tours via Horse Country, posts on social media, and tracks racing and sales graduates. "We kind of call her our Swiss Army Knife; she has lots of different skills and assets rolled into one," said Denali vice president Conrad Bandoroff....

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FTBOA's Robert Cole Named Finalist for Newcomer Award

Congratulations to Robert Cole, one of three finalists in the Newcomer Award category of the Thoroughbred Industry Employee Awards (TIEA), presented by Godolphin. Cole, an intern/co-op program student at Florida Thoroughbred Breeders' and Owners' Association (FTBOA), retired after 20 years in the U.S. Coast Guard and went back to an early love for Thoroughbreds as he was considering his next career, saying he wanted to be immersed "in anything that was Thoroughbred racing." Cole was pursuing an equine exercise and physiology degree at the College of Central Florida when he...

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McPeek Racing's Shawn Autry Named Finalist for Dedication to Racing Award

Congratulations to Patrick 'Shawn' Autry, one of three finalists in the Dedication to Racing Award category of the Thoroughbred Industry Employee Awards (TIEA), presented by Godolphin. Currently the assistant stable manager for McPeek Racing and Kenny McPeek's Magdalena Farm, Autry got his first pony, named Fireball, when he was just five before moving on to breaking and exercise riding at a young age. He took out his trainer's license in 1981 at the age of 19. A 1994 accident while working a horse left him paralyzed, but he still dabbled...

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Marcelo Arenas of Leah Gyarmati Stables Named Finalist for Dedication to Racing Award

Congratulations to Marcelo Arenas, one of three finalists in the Dedication to Racing Award category of the Thoroughbred Industry Employee Awards (TIEA), presented by Godolphin. Currently the assistant trainer at Leah Gyarmati Stables, Arenas is originally from Chile, where both his father and his grandfather were trainers. He moved to the U.S. two decades ago and worked his way through the ranks of walking hots, grooming, and being a foreman before finally becoming an assistant trainer. He spent 15 years with Gary Contessa before moving to Gyarmati's barn five years...

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