Stalwart Seamus bags another horse-racing honour

Seamus Buckley receives the award from RIchard Hannon
Seamus Buckley receives the award from RIchard Hannon

The awards keep on coming for Seamus Buckley – even though he has now retired as clerk of the course at Goodwood.

The popular Irishman was the recipient of the George Ennor Trophy for outstanding achievement at last week’s Horserace Writers and Photographers’ Association Derby award ceremony in London.

Buckley, who was responsible for the groundstaff operations at the racecourse for 23 seasons, received a standing ovation from the 600-strong audience, comprising current and past racing personalities plus the racing media.

He was presented with the trophy by Richard Hannon senior, who was ten times the leading trainer at Goodwood and who always trusted Buckley to provide him with advice on running his horses at the course.

Buckley said: “I am delighted to receive the George Ennor Award. It is a great honour and I feel so humbled that the HWPA thought me worthy of this accolade.

“It has always been important to me to have a good working relationship with the racing press, so this award is particularly gratifying.”

The award from the HWPA will join several others received by Buckley in the past few years, with his mantelpiece surely now in need of strengthening for its burgeoning display.

Earlier this year he and his team were given the special merit award by the Racecourse Association (RCA) and in 2016, he received the Neil Wyatt Lifetime Achievement Award from the same organisation.

These are in addition to Goodwood winning the overall RCA groundstaff champions award on three occasions during Buckley’s time as clerk.

Among those present at the HWPA Derby Awards was Ed Arkell, who has taken over as clerk of the Course at Goodwood following several years as regional clerk for Arena Racing, looking after five courses including Fontwell Park, Lingfield Park and Royal Windsor.