Nominations now open for the sixth annual Thoroughbred Industry Employee Awards

Nominations for the 2021 Thoroughbred Industry Employee Awards (TIEA) open today, Monday, June 7th, and will close on Monday, August 2nd. TIEA was held in America for the first time in 2016. 

Godolphin, the global racing stable founded by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, is the principal sponsor of the awards in association with The Jockey Club, the National Horsemen’s Benevolent and Protection Association (NHBPA), the Thoroughbred Owners and Breeders Association (TOBA) and the Breeders’ Cup. Godolphin also sponsors the equivalent Stud and Stable Staff Awards in Ireland, Australia, Great Britain and France.

As with many events throughout 2020, the TIEA Ceremony took place virtually. It was even more important during this difficult year to recognize and reward some of the hardworking individuals who kept our industry afloat throughout the pandemic. As the country lifts COVID-19 restrictions, the 2021 renewal of TIEA will fortunately be once again an in-person event in October, graciously hosted by Keeneland.

This year’s award categories will reflect a few changes. First, there will now be one overall “Leadership Award”, combining the previously separated leadership awards in both breeding and racing. Second, a new category, the “Support Services Award”, has been added to reward an individual who works in any non-administrative, support service role in the Thoroughbred industry. Eligible candidates for this award include, but are not limited to, sales positions; auctioneers; gardeners; veterinary practices; farriers; starting gate crew; horse transport; grounds staff at sales companies, farms or racetracks; valets; horse dentists; physiotherapists; etc.

Lastly, TIEA is pleased to announce the addition of award category sponsors for 2021. Churchill Downs, Hallway Feeds, Hagyard Equine Medical Institute, I Am Horse Racing, along with Keeneland, will each be sponsoring an award this year and are excited to join this important industry initiative.  

A total of seven categories, including the new Support Services division, will be presented this year and will carry total prize money of $122,000. The Award Ceremony will be held on Friday, October 15th, in the sales pavilion at Keeneland. Once again, Jill Byrne has generously agreed to be the master of ceremonies.

For more information and to nominate online, please go to