Catriona Bissett of Nick Alexander’s Kinneston Stables was crowned Employee of the Year at the 2019 Godolphin Stud and Stable Staff Awards in London on Monday night.
Bissett, known as ‘Catch’, was presented with her trophy by Sir Anthony McCoy at an event at the Jumeirah Carlton Tower Hotel in Knightsbridge, in front of a specially-invited audience from across the racing industry.
She was given a cheque for £30,000, half of which is to be shared among her colleagues. Bissett also won the Leadership Award for her work as assistant trainer to Alexander at his base in Fife, Scotland.
Brough Scott, chairman of the judging panel, said: “The panel’s job was tougher than it has ever been this year with some extraordinary displays of stories of dedication, commitment and hard work among this year’s finalists.
“However, we had to reach a final decision and Catch is a hugely deserving winner for all the work she has done in developing and mentoring other members of the team at Kinneston.”
Nick Rust, chief executive of the British Horseracing Authority, said: “For Catch to be named Employee of the Year when our sport employs 6,000 people who work so hard to provide first class care to our horses is a fantastic achievement.
“We are grateful to all of the staff who work day in day out to ensure that the horses who take part in British racing are provided with a level of care and quality of life that is virtually unsurpassed by any other domesticated animal.
“These awards are our opportunity to say thank you to all of them, on behalf of the sport and on behalf of our horses.”
Sophy Scott from Mark Johnston’s yard took the David Nicholson Newcomer award, while Stewart Gosnell, who works for Richard Hughes, was successful in the Rider/Groom category and Andrew Snell of Cheveley Park Stud landed the Stud Staff award.
John Bottomley was rewarded for his years of service to the sport, most recently with Ollie Pears, with the Dedication to Racing award.
Andrea O’Keeffe was also honoured with the Rory MacDonald Community award for her contribution to developing training programmes in place across the racing industry.