Hammond Receives Godolphin Award

The MTHA congratulates staff member Jessica Hammond for being recognized with the Dr. J. David Richardson Community Award for 2022 as part of the Godolphin Thoroughbred Industry Employee Awards.

The award recognizes those who have demonstrated an outstanding contribution to the Thoroughbred industry, and in particular, to the greater good of the sport. It includes those who support the breeding and racing staff or have made an outstanding contribution to the wider Thoroughbred community.

Ideal candidates should work either for or with a charitable organization, or as part of the charitable arm of the Thoroughbred business for which they work. Nominees for the award do not need to be directly employed in the Thoroughbred industry. This year’s awards ceremony will be preseheldnted Oct. 14 at Keeneland.

Hammond, who joined the MTHA as counselor and benevolence administrator, soon after expanding her role as administrator of the new Beyond The Wire aftercare program when it was formed in conjunction with the Maryland Jockey Club and Maryland Horse Breeders Association in May 2017. She and her husband, Scott, live on a farm in Harford County.

Hammond was nominated for the Community Award by Georganne Hale, MJC Vice President of Racing Development and a member of the Beyond The Wire Board of Directors.

“I decided to nominate Jessica for the Thoroughbred Industry Community Award because she is a person who so deserves it,” Hale said. “Jessica helps every person on the backside or frontside of the racetracks in Maryland. She is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year. Jessica helps and solves problems that employees bring to her when they may affect their physical or mental well-being. Her door is always open.

“Jessica not only helps the humans. Her other job is protecting the horses when their careers as racehorses are over. Jessica makes sure every horse lands in a safe and healthy environment when they retire. We need many more Jessica Hammonds in the racing industry.”

Hammond is the third MTHA employee to be honored as part of Thoroughbred Industry Employee Awards. Office manager Diana Pinones was runner-up for the Community Award in 2021 while the now-retired Bobby Lillis won the same award in 2019.

“Receiving this award is a real honor,” Hammond said. “I first became aware of the Godolphin Awards when we were living In Newmarket, England, and they’ve been on my radar ever since. It’s icing on the cake to get an award for jobs that are already so rewarding. I’m a lucky lady.”

In roughly five years, more than 550 horses have gone through Beyond the Wire program, which partners with a group of Thoroughbred Aftercare Association-accredited facilities in Maryland and beyond. Hammond has worked to expand the network of partner farms to ensure that more horses are able to find homes and move on to second careers.

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