Valerie Keatley, Head Girl for trainer Johnny Murtagh was announced as the Irish Racing Excellence Award winner at the 2021 Godolphin Stud and Stable Staff Awards today.
Valerie, who also won the Leadership Award for Stable Employees and was among eight individual category winners, was selected by the judging committee for the highest accolade.
Valerie joined Johnny Murtagh’s not long after he set up his training business and Johnny credits her contribution as one of the reasons why the yard has performed consistently on an upward curve over the last number of years.
Other Award Winners included:
Helen O’Sullivan Career Coach at the Irish Jockeys’ Trust in County Kildare won the Racing & Breeding Support Services Award.
Anne O’Connor, Racing Secretary for Michael Halford won the Administration Award
The Newcomer Award went to Keith Lynam, Stud Groom at Ringfort Stud in County Offaly.
The Horse Care Award went to Emmett Raher, Head Lad for Henry de Bromhead in County Waterford.
The In The Saddle Award, one of the most competitive awards, went to David Glennon, Stable Lad for Dermot Weld on the Curragh.
Caroline Hannon, Manager at Newtown Stud in Naas, County Kildare won the Leadership Award for stud employees.
The Dedication to Racing Award winner was Ger Brabston, Horsebox Driver for Derrinstown Stud in Maynooth, County Kildare.
The Irish Stablestaff Association chose Tramore Racecourse for the Racecourse Award
A Special Recognition Award was presented to Dr Jennifer Pugh, Senior Medical officer with the Irish Horseracing Regulatory Board to acknowledge the extraordinary support she and her team provided to the Irish stud and stable staff during both the suspension of racing and since its resumption under restrictions due to the Covid-19 pandemic.