Dedication to racing is recognised

Fran Whyte
Fran Whyte

A north east Fife lady from the world of horse racing is among the front runners for a prestigious award.

Fran Whyte. who works at Kinneston Stables near Leslie and stays near Cupar, has been nominated in the 12th annual Godolphin Stud & Stable Staff Awards – a unique event which rewards the exceptional individuals who care for racehorses in Great Britain.

Fran (58) could be in line for the Dedication to Racing Award.

As a finalist, she is now guaranteed a share of the £120,000 prize money, with every penny won being matched and shared among her yard by the sponsor.

The awards, organised by the British Horseracing Authority, recognise the dedication and skill of over 6000 members of stable staff nationwide, who provide first-class care and attention for the 14,000 racehorses in training in Britain, supplying them with a level of care and a quality of life virtually unsurpassed by any other domesticated animal.

Fran joined Nick Alexander’s team at Kinneston in 2012, with over 37 years’ experience in the racing industry, and she is heartily involved in all aspects of work in the yard.

She is responsible for the clipping of all 40 horses, lunging, emptying the muck trailer and checking over the horses when they return from their work.

Her colleagues say nothing is ever too much trouble for her and she cares deeply about the horses and her racing family. They added she was a tireless worker with great attention to detail, who loved bringing on the younger horses, and an excellent horsewoman.

Nick Alexander said: “Fran is exactly the sort of unsung hero who deserves this award.

“Racing relies on many people like Fran, who has devoted her entire career to looking after racehorses.”

Fran is down to the final three in her category. The final judging takes place this Monday, when she is also invited to a special reception in the Houses of Parliament.

The award winners will be announced at an evening ceremony, hosted by Clare Balding and Sir Tony ‘AP’ McCoy.

Robin Mounsey, spokesman for the British Horseracing Authority and the Horse Comes First campaign, said: “The awards evening is set to be a great night, celebrating some of the unsung heroes behind the scenes of British Racing.”