A standing ovation for popular Tommy
At almost 76 years of age, Tommy Woods, travelling head lad at Paul Nolan's Toberona Stables, Davidstown, got a standing ovation as he received the dedication to racing and breeding honour at the Godolphin Stud and Stable staff awards at the Newpark Hotel, Kilkenny, last week.
A proud Wexfordman and a strong hurling supporter, it was a special thrill to receive the award from legendary Kilkenny hurling manager, Brian Cody.
Tommy has been working in racing since he was 14 and joined the Nolan team at Toberona Stables at the age of 50. He still rides out every morning, despite suffering many injuries along the way.
He travels with the Nolan horses to race-tracks all over the country and he has looked after two winners at the Cheltenham Festival, Dabiroun and Noble Prince.
Tommy commented: 'This was the biggest night of my life…I was overwhelmed to be chosen in the last three and to win it was just phenomenal. I work for the best family there is, brothers Paul and James Nolan have been so good to me'.
His recipe for his long and active life? 'I don't drink, I don't smoke, I live a good healthy life and I just love horses, I live for them, that's just it.'
Tommy received a cash prize of €5,000, a trophy and a further €3,000 to be shared among his work colleagues.