Sixth Annual Thoroughbred Industry Employee Awards Held At Keeneland

The Thoroughbred Industry Employee Awards, now in its sixth year in the United States, concluded Friday afternoon during an awards ceremony at Keeneland Racecourse’s entertainment center in Lexington, Ky.  Winners were announced in a total of seven categories, including the newly added award for Support Services. Caton Bredar served as the master of ceremonies with Steve Asmussen as the guest of honor.

Katie LaMonica, Charities Manager at Godolphin USA commented, “We feel so fortunate to be able to once again bring all of the finalists back to an in-person event. While last year’s virtual ceremony still provided a platform from which we could recognize these outstanding people, it just means so much more to bring them to together and let them have their moment in the spotlight among family, friends and colleagues.”

Lee Hall, Vice President of Hallway Feeds, sponsor of this year’s Dedication to Breeding Award, said, “It’s an honor for Hallway Feeds to be part of such an important and meaningful event. We interact with so many workers from area farms, racetracks and other organizations that we see firsthand what they do day in and day out. To see these tremendous, hard-working individuals get a well-deserved pat on the back is very, very special.”

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

Newcomer Award, sponsored by NYRA
Winner: Olivia Desch, Stallion Season Sales, WinStar Farm
(Runners-up: Emily Csenar Horse Healthcare Assistant, Taylor Made Farm; Joshua McLemore, Assistant Starter, Keeneland Racecourse)

Support Services Award, sponsored by I Am Horse Racing
Winner: Brenda Wilhelm, Operator, Charles Town Race Track Kitchen
(Runners-up: David Kyle, Plant Manager, Fasig-Tipton; Katherine Todd Smith, Horse Identifier, Self Employed)

Katherine McKee Administration Award sponsored by Keeneland
Winner: Kelsey Marshall, Vice President of Partner Relations, Eclipse Thoroughbred Partners
(Runners-up: Lori Johnson, Associate Registrar, The Jockey Club; Sue Kenny, Office Manager, Herringswell Stables)

Dedication to Breeding Award sponsored by Hallway Feeds
Winner: Calvin Smith, Assistant Broodmare Manager, Runnymede Farm, Pennsylvania
(Runners-up: Luis Coronado, Broodmare Manager, Machmer Hall Sales; Wayne Howard, Stallion Manager, Spendthrift Farm)

Dedication to Racing Award, sponsored by the NTRA
Winner: Lorita Lindemann, Assistant Trainer, Joe Sharp Racing Stable and Brad H. Cox Racing Stable
(Runners-up: Benjamin “Benny” Betts, Training Manager, retired Ocala Jockey Club; Tessa Bisha, Assistant Trainer, Brad H. Cox Racing Stable)

Leadership Award, sponsored by Hagyard Equine Medical Institute
Winner: Robert Turner, Yearling Farm Manager, Stonestreet Farm
(Runners-up: Billy Sellers, Stallion Manager, Lane’s End Farm; Joseph Littrell, Farm Manager, Stone Farm)

Dr. J. David “Doc” Richardson Community Award, sponsored by Churchill Downs
Winner: Nicholas Caras, Program Director, New York Race Track Chaplaincy
Runner-up: Diana Pinones, Director of Racetrack Operations, Maryland Thoroughbred Horsemen’s Association

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