TIEA

TIEA Award Winners Announced

The winners of the Thoroughbred Industry Employee Awards were revealed Friday during an awards ceremony at Keeneland's entertainment center. Winners were announced in a total of seven categories, including the newly added award for Support Services. Caton Bredar served as the master of ceremonies and Steve Asmussen was the guest of honor. "We feel so fortunate to be able to once again bring all of the finalists back to an in-person event," said Katie LaMonica, Charities Manager at Godolphin USA. "While last year's virtual ceremony still provided a platform from...

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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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Gregory Smothers of Niall Brennan Stables Named Finalist for Dedication to Racing Award

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...

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Indiana Grand's Roy Smith Named Finalist for Leadership Award in Racing

Congratulations to Roy Smith, one of three finalists in the Leadership Award in Racing category of the Thoroughbred Industry Employee Awards (TIEA), presented by Godolphin. The track superintendent at Indiana Grand Racing and Casino, Smith has been "a track man [his] whole life." He says he was born and raised at Indiana Grand, as his father was a trainer. He grew up walking hots, became a groom, ponied, became an assistant track superintendent, and did just about everything on the backside other than become a trainer, a route he knew...

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