We are so pleased to say that James has reached the Top 10 in the Dedication category of the 2020 Godolphin Stud and Stable Staff Awards. Our team and owners think an awful lot of him, so it is really pleasing to know that the judges have also acknowleged his dedicaton to the sport. In the next couple of weeks, James will have two telephone interviews which will determine whether or not he will go into the Top 3 and attend the awards ceremony in London. We have our fingers and toes crossed for him!
James is a great friend and colleague who throughly deserves to win and I was delighted to write the nomination letter on behalf of the team. If you would like to read the entry, you can do so below.
"Dedicated is just one word to describe James. Passionate, committed, considerate, knowledgeable, empathetic and entertaining are a few more that further reflect his character. The very definition of reliable, James is always the first on the yard in the morning and the last to leave on an evening. Responsible for feeding and checking legs first thing, James is up at the crack of dawn every day without fail. You could not find a more hard-working individual, he gets stuck into every aspect of the job and always leads by example, never asking anyone to do a job that he wouldn’t do himself. A ‘workaholic’, James cannot sit still and works with the team to ensure horses and yard are spotless at the end of every working morning.
James is a horseman. Through years of experience working in racing ‘back home’ in the Caribbean, James garnered a wealth of knowledge. From riding on the track, to working for trainers and even training his own to win, James has a natural way with horses.
His relaxed nature settles even the most nervous of animals and we haven’t had a horse on the yard that he hasn’t been able to ride or handle. A prime example would be Hilary J – a flighty, strong-willed and fiery filly who didn’t like to be told what to do. James was able to settle her in a way that others couldn’t, enabling her to be trained properly and win races she probably wouldn’t have without his involvement. In fact, this horse was the reason her owners nominated James for the Stable Staff awards in the past, so impressed were they with his skill and influence. For many years he has backed and ridden away hundreds of yearlings, instilling confidence in them and readying them for their career ahead. James handles all of the nervous horses. We call him the horse whisperer.
He is also able to instil the same confidence in our younger team members. He imparts his knowledge in a kind and considerate way, never with judgement and always with the desire to make their life easier and just simply help.
James is always the first to volunteer for the jobs many would rather avoid. When a horse is unwell and requires care through the night, he will be right there. Last year we had a horse with a very rare and very serious eye infection, that required hourly drops administered day and night. James did the lions share except when he was forced to take a break and sleep! He will cover for others needing time off, even when it means doubling his workload. Though he takes his job very seriously, he also provides the entertainment on the yard, serenading staff, owners and horses, even when sitting on a lively one! Come rain, sleet, sun or snow, James is never any different – he rolls up his sleeves and with a smile on his face he gets on with the job.
Loved and respected by the whole team and our owners, James is not just a vital cog in the machine, he is instrumental, the heartbeat of Sun Hill and a constant over almost two decades. Quite simply, we could not – and would not wish to - function without him."