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GBGB Awards - Betfred Kennelhand of the Year 2018

The Greyhound Board of Great Britain is pleased to announce that 2018’s Betfred sponsored Kennelhand of the Year is Nathan Hunt, Assistant Trainer to Phil Simmonds, Romford. 

The annual award is given to one exceptional kennelhand who shows incredible dedication to their work and who always goes that ‘extra mile’ for the greyhounds in their charge. 

Nathan’s unwavering commitment was highlighted through nominations which praised his tireless work ethic and described his work as being clearly ‘more than just a job to him’. Nathan has recently demonstrated this dedication by enrolling as part of the first cohort of the GBGB sponsored Animal Care and Welfare Assistant Apprenticeship. 

This year the judging panel comprised of broadcaster Tanya Stevenson, GBGB Welfare and Integrity Manager Duncan Gibson, Head of Greyhound Trust Harvel (Croftview Kennels) Cheryl Miller and GBGB Quality Manager Amanda Duplock. Judges were unanimous in their support of this year’s winner. 

Nominations from those connected to the kennel described Nathan’s dedication to his work: 

Nathan is a young lad with a bright future, on our visits it’s clear to see the link with dog and keeper – they are immaculately looked after.” 

“He works tirelessly for Phil Simmonds but does so every day with pure love for the greyhounds and the sport.” 

“He is so caring to all the dogs in his care and nothing is too much for him.” 

2018 Betfred Kennelhand of the Year Nathan Hunt with Romford winner Dower Forgold

They also praised Nathan’s outstanding communication with owners, who he regularly updates with photos and videos, and the strong bonds he forms with the greyhounds in his care, commenting: 

 “Nathan has built up a bond with our dog like family. This doesn’t happen overnight but through tireless hours of being there to gain the trust. If he races when Nathan’s off he comes in to take him on his day off… for others it’s a job, for him it’s a career.”

This year, nominees were of such a high standard that judges decided to award three runner-up positions in addition to the overall winner. These are Vicky Alderton of Matt Dartnall’s Hove attached kennels, Lisa Boulton, Assistant Trainer to Dean Boulton (Sheffield) and Brenda Gardiner, Kennelhand to Derek Knight (Hove). All have demonstrated considerable care and dedication in their respective roles and were felt to be particularly deserving of recognition. 

Nathan will be presented his trophy and prize money of £500 at the GBGB Awards on Sunday 27th January, with the runners up receiving £250 each.  

Amanda Duplock, GBGB Quality Manager and panel judge, said: 

“The panel was so impressed with the number of nominations we received this year from such a wide range of ages and from across the country. What was particularly impressive was the number of young people – like Nathan – being praised so highly for the quality of their work and their commitment to our sport. A huge well done to Nathan and our runners up.”  

The judges wished to thank everyone who nominated and were keen to encourage those whose nominations were not successful this year, to nominate again in future years.