By David Kavanagh | posted on August 23, 2019
ALBANY woman Stephanie Mitchell has a one in two chance of taking home one of the country’s most prestigious horse breeding awards.
The current Horse Operations Manager at Mungrup Stud was named as a finalist in the Dedication to Breeding category of the 2019 Godolphin Stud and Stable Staff Awards (GSSSA).
Ms Mitchell, who was nominated in secret by her boss Ann Croucher, said it was both a total shock and an honour to be recognised.
“I got a call that I was a finalist at the end of July and I was completely blown away, I was quite teary actually,” she said.
“There were over 20 nominations in my category and the fact I’ve made it as one of two finalists is phenomenal.”
Ms Mitchell took her first step into the industry when she began working at the stud south-east of Narrikup straight out of high school a decade ago.
Her list of responsibilities has grown considerably since then and she now finds herself in charge of everything from the breeding season to weening.
“My main job is during the stud season which is from now until December, organising all of the wet work, mating, pregnancy tests and helping with the foals,” she said.
“I’m really passionate about horses, working with them and all the different facets of their personalities and I’m really passionate about the breeding industry and how to move it forward and improve it for every- body from the breeding to the racing.”
Ms Mitchell said she credited her successes to the support she received from her “amazing team” at the stud, describing them as more of a “family” than friends or work colleagues.
“I’m very thankful, I absolutely love them all and couldn’t do anything without them,” she said.
Winners of each category will be announced at a ceremony in Randwick on September 6.
If Ms Mitchell takes the Dedication to Breeding category she will receive $10,000 for herself, $3000 for Mungrup and a trophy.
Chairman of the Awards’ judging panel Johan Petzer said these awards marked the GSSSA’s fifth year running and was a great opportunity for participants.
“It rewards the talent, dedication and commitment of those in our vibrant racing and breeding industry,” he said.