You are here

Thoroughbred Industry Employee Award winners announced for 2022

The Thoroughbred Industry Employee Awards, now in its seventh year in the United States, concluded this afternoon during an awards ceremony at Keeneland Racecourse’s Sales Pavilion.  Winners were announced in a total of seven categories with a total of $122,000 awarded. Frank Mirahmadi, track announcer at Santa Anita and Saratoga Racecourse, served as the master of ceremonies.

Tom Law, The Saratoga Special Managing Editor and a member of the final judging panel remarked, “It’s been an honor for me to serve on the judging committees the past two years. It’s quite an emotional experience for myself and all the judges to meet with these individuals who impress us with their stories, passion and commitment to what they do. For those who might not get all the attention - either in the winner’s circle or the sales ring - these individuals are truly the backbone of our industry.”

The full list of winners and runners-up is as follows:

Newcomer Award, sponsored by NYRA
Winner: Johnathan Estrada, Groom, David Donk
(Runners-up: Charles Churchill, Ed Brown Society and 1/ST Racing Intern, Stronach Group; Maddie Rowland, Apprentice Jockey Monmouth Park, Elizabeth Merryman nominator)

Support Services Award, sponsored by I Am Horse Racing
Winner: Laura Scheer, Crossing Guard, New York Racing Association
(Runners-up: Tim Tullock, Jr., Compliance Officer, Maryland Jockey Club; Walter Johnson, Travel Agent, Protravel International)

Katherine McKee Administration Award, sponsored by Keeneland
Winner: Darla Shoemaker Gaige, Office Administration, Charles Town HBPA
(Runners-up: Angela Ramsey, Finance Manager and Human Resources, Sequel Holdings; Blair Eads, Production and Marketing Manager, Equix)

Dedication to Breeding Award, sponsored by Hallway Feeds
Winner: Don Jenkins, Groom, Darby Dan Farm
(Runners-up: Danny Mitchell, Foaling Manager, Denali Stud; Steve Holbrook, Assistant Manager, Coolmore America)

Dedication to Racing Award, sponsored by the NTRA
Winner: Felipe Pulido Mendoza, Groom, Richard Mandella Racing
(Runners-up: Alice Clapham, Assistant Trainer, Graham Motion Racing; Danny Ramsey, Exercise Rider, McPeek Racing Stables)

Leadership Award, sponsored by Hagyard Equine Medical Institute
Winner: Leanna Willaford, Assistant Trainer, Bill Mott
(Runners-up: Anne Eberhardt-Keogh, Visuals Director, BloodHorse Publications; Matthew Zehnder, Equine Resources Coordinator, University of Kentucky Maine Chance Farm)

Dr. J. David “Doc” Richardson Community Award, sponsored by Churchill Downs
Winner: Jessica Hammond, Benevolence and Counseling Director & Program Administrator for Beyond the Wire, Georganne Hale, nominator
Runner-up: Dr. Kyle Roper, Regional Medical Director, CHI St. Vincent