JOHN Bottomley, travelling head lad at Ollie’s Pears Racing in Malton, won the Dedication to Racing Award at last week’s Godolphin Stud and Stable Staff Awards.

The award was given to John for his dedication, loyalty and commitment to his work and to the horses in his care over the 60 years he had worked in racing.

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.

“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.”

Brough added: “These awards are our opportunity to say thank you to all of them, on behalf of the sport and on behalf of our horses, and tonight’s winners and finalists are fitting ambassadors for their profession.”

The awards ceremony took place at the Jumeirah Carlton Tower Hotel in London’s Knightsbridge in front of a specially-invited audience from across the racing industry to celebrate the vital role of stud and stable staff in the racing industry and the care which they provide to the horses they look after.

Catriona “Catch” Bissett of Nick Alexander’s Kinneston Stables was named as Employee of the Year 2019.

Also honoured was Andrea O’Keeffe who landed the Rory MacDonald Community Award for her contribution to developing the many training programmes in place across the horseracing industry.