David Porter-Mackrell named 2024 Thoroughbred Industry Employee Awards sponsored by Godolphin Employee of the Year at Ascot ceremony

Newsells Park Stud’s David Porter-Mackrell has been named the Employee of the Year at the 2024 Thoroughbred Industry Employee Awards sponsored by Godolphin, following an awards ceremony at Ascot Racecourse on Monday.

The gala event marking the 20th anniversary of the awards, which was attended by Her Royal Highness The Princess Royal and hosted by ITV Racing’s Ed Chamberlin, celebrated the contribution of racing’s workforce to British racing and saw a total of £128,500 in prize money handed out across six categories.

Head Stallion Man David Porter-Mackrell, who was nominated by Newsells Park Stud General Manager Julian Dollar, has spent 15 years with his current employer and has built up a reputation for excellence in everything he does. In nominating David, Julian Dollar referenced his impeccable standards and described him as “an absolute rock” for the organisation.

The judges were deeply impressed with David’s horsemanship and the part he plays in educating the Newsells Park Stud roster of stallions, with the excellent Nathaniel, sire of the champion Enable, holding a particularly special place in his heart.

In reaching their decision, the judging panel noted the quality of this year’s finalists and that fact that any of those eligible for the Employee of the Year prize would have been a worthy winner.

Nick Luck, Chair of the judging panel, said: “David is a richly deserving recipient of the Employee of the Year Award and we are all delighted that somebody with such talent and passion has won.

“The judges were blown away by David during their interviews with him and were left in no doubt that he is an exceptional horseman with a gift for ensuring the stallions at Newsells Park Stud are in the best condition possible, both physically and mentally.

“As well as his skill around thoroughbreds, David also provides an exceptional service to his stud’s clients, ensuring the experience of those making use of a Newsells Park stallion is first class and setting the standard to which his colleagues aspire.

“It is also wonderful to see a member of stud staff win the top prize this evening. Our breeding industry is vital to the overall success of the sport we love and I hope that David’s success will encourage more studs to nominate their employees for the 2025 awards.”

Joe Saumarez Smith, Chair of the British Horseracing Authority, said: “I am delighted to extend my heartfelt congratulations to David on being named Employee of the Year for 2024. All of this year’s finalists were of an extremely high standard and should feel very proud to have reached this stage.

“This evening’s ceremony was a wonderful occasion, made all the more special by the presence of Her Royal Highness The Princess Royal. I am sure she, like I, greatly enjoyed the privilege of spending time with those who do such wonderful work to ensure that thoroughbreds in Britain receive world-class care and attention and I would like to take the opportunity to thank them all.”

As a result of his win, David took home £10,000 of prize money, plus a further £10,000 which will be shared among his colleagues at Newsells Park Stud.

Earlier in the ceremony, David had won the Stud Staff Award, which itself carried a £5,000 prize along with a further £5,000 for his colleagues, meaning David and the Newsells Park Stud team each ended the evening with £15,000, prize money made possible thanks to Godolphin’s generous sponsorship of the event.

The awards were organised by the British Horseracing Authority, in conjunction with media partners Racing Post and Racing TV, to whom the organisers are grateful.

The finalists for each category (with winners emboldened) were:

David Nicholson Newcomer Award
Bethan Nelson (Warren Greatrex)
Molly Roberts (Ed Walker)
Hollie Wiltshire (Alan King)

Cheryl Armstrong (Charlie Fellowes)
Andrew McIntyre (William Haggas)
Eamonn O’Donnabhain (Tom Lacey)

Rider/Racing Groom
Vicki Boyle-Atkins (Richard Phillips)
Lyndsey Bull (Ian Williams)
Alice Kettlewell (Karl Burke)

Stud Staff
Noel Challinor (Northmore Stud)
Jack Conroy (Chasemore Farm)
David Porter-Mackrell (Newsells Park Stud)

Andrea Kelly (Tim Vaughan)
Linda Murphy (Rae Guest)
Brian Taylor (Luck Greayer Shipping)

Community Award
Joanne Flaherty (Chelmsford City Racecourse)
David Letts (Racing With Pride)
Lauren Semple (Police Scotland/Scottish Racing Academy)