Celebrations at Watership Down as Terry Doherty is crowned Stable Employee of the year

22 February 2017

WE are immensely proud to report that Stud Manager Terry Doherty was crowned Stable Employee of the year at the prestigious Godolphin Stud and Stable Staff awards in London on Monday evening.

Terry has headed up the team at Watership Down Stud for 24 years. In fact, when General Manager Simon Marsh approached him for the role, there were no horses, no post and rails and the stud hadn’t even been named.

Terry jumped at the opportunity to be part of such a challenge and has never looked back. He has been an integral part of making Watership Down Stud what it is today and we are all enormously grateful for his huge contribution.

To write Terry’s involvement in just a few words is nigh-on impossible but the way he is respected by so many within the bloodstock industry and by those who work under him says a lot about Terry as a person. He has never missed a foaling, personally feeds each horse every day and leads his small but dedicated team from the front.

Each year he prepares the yearlings for the sales with his customary dedication and attention to detail. Last year Watership Down Stud was the leading consignor at Tattersalls October Sales Book 1, selling 13 horses at an average of 518,231 gns. Among them was the Niarchos family bred Dubawi ex Nature Spirits colt that sold to John Ferguson for 2.1 million gns. Terry also oversaw the sale of subsequent Group 1 winner Diagilhev for 3.4 million guineas – this stood as a European record for many years.

In addition to the tremendous results in the sales ring, Terry has also had a huge influence on ensuring each individual be it mare, foal or yearling receives the best possible care. This has no doubt helped Watership Down Stud become one of the best sources of top-class racehorses. So far there have been seven Group 1 winners bred by the stud; Crystal Music, Black Hawk, Diaghilev, Pink Cameo, Dar Re Mi, Rewilding and The Fugue as well as exciting 4 year old So Mi Dar.

Terry said: “I am honoured to pick up this award and would like to thank Godolphin for their generous sponsorship. It has been a privilege to work for the Lloyd Webbers at Watership Down Stud and see the stud become what it is today. I am lucky to work with a great team of staff with exceptionally-bred horses which makes the job a pleasure.”

Madeleine and Andrew Lloyd Webber added: “We are very proud that Terry has been given this prestigious award. His contribution to the success of Watership Down Stud cannot be underestimated.”

Simon, who originally put Terry forward for this prize, said: “We thought with Watership Down having topped Tattersalls Book 1 last year that this was the ideal time to nominate Terry. To win the Stud prize was fantastic but for him to take the overall prize was something else. It is much deserved and we are incredible grateful to Terry for his contribution over the years.”

Brough Scott, chairman of the judging panel, said: “The finalists were of a quite exceptional standard and it was really inspiring for the judges to hear their stories. However, in the end, Terry emerged as a clear and very fine winner and I am sure he will be a great ambassador for the sport.”

Terry picked up a cheque for £30,000 for winning the overall prize, £15,000 of which is spread amongst all the staff at Watership Down Stud. He also won £5,000 for taking the Stud Staff Award and a further £5,000 goes to the stud staff.