Godolphin honors Buttonwood Farm’s Jenny Carpenter with Leadership in Breeding Award

Thursday, November 7th, 2019

Courtesy Godolphin

By Sarah Mace

At Godolphin’s fourth annual Thoroughbred Industry Employee Awards (TIEA) ceremony last month Buttonwood Farm’s farm manager Jenny Carpenter was honored with the Leadership in Breeding Award.

Godolphin annually presents seven categories of Thoroughbred Industry Employee Awards worth $128,000 in prize money to recognize and reward the talent, diligence and commitment of farm and racing stable staff for their contributions to Thoroughbred racing and breeding industries. The TIEA ceremony was held at Keeneland’s sales pavilion and Hall of Fame trainer Bill Mott presented the awards. Jill Byrne, vice president of racing operations at Colonial Downs, served as master of ceremonies.

Jenny Carpenter, involved with horses since she was a teenager, manages Albert Fried, Jr.’s 185-acre Buttonwood Farm, which is located east of Rhinebeck. The farm houses both broodmare and training facilities. Carpenter’s road to her Leadership in Breeding Award began with Mary Ann Puentes, Office Manager at Buttonwood, who nominated Carpenter.

“I’ve been working at Buttonwood Farm for three years and Jenny is my farm manager,” Puentes explained. “The first year, when I saw that Godolphin was having these awards, I said, ‘Oh my God! I don’t know anyone who deserves it more than this woman. Jenny is very very dedicated and hardworking. Her life is horses and it has been since she was 13 years old. That’s what impressed me the most.”

At the ceremony Jimmy Bell, president of Godolphin in America, reserved a special thank you for the nominators, saying, “If not for you, we wouldn’t be able to shine the spotlight on all of these deserving people that dedicate their lives to taking care of these magnificent animals.”

Carpenter talked about her work at the Rhinebeck farm. “There are multiple things I love about my job. Mostly obviously, the horses. You never stop learning. Every time you have something new coming in, you’re always learning something from every horse.

“My first stop is always the broodmare barn depending on the time of year. It depends on whether we’re bringing mares and foals in or checking mares that are going out that are getting close to foaling. We are dealing with the weanlings. It’s just going over everybody and making sure everybody’s doing fine.”

Carpenter relishes a trip upstate to the racetrack to see how her charges fare. “When I come up [to Saratoga] to see the horses run, it’s like sending your kids off to college, and getting to see how they deal with their first race, especially in a situation like Saratoga . . .  You are racing against the best horses in the country.”

Reflecting on Godolphin’s commitment to honoring to Thoroughbred workers, Carpenter said, “I think [these awards are] great for the industry. Normally you see the trainer, the jockey and the owner on a race day, on TV, and I think it lets people know that there are a lot of other people involved and they’re the driving force to get that horse to the race.”

Bell concluded, “Congratulations to all the nominees, finalists, and winners. We hope that by being recognized for your hard work that you know that you are truly appreciated and placed in the highest regard and we are forever in your debt.”

The 2019 Thoroughbred Industry Employee Awards was managed and administered by The Jockey Club, the Horsemen’s Protective and Benevolent Association, and the Thoroughbred Owners and Breeders Association. Media partners are Thoroughbred Daily News, BloodHorse, Daily Racing Form, The Paulick Report, and TVG.


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