Autumn Carnival Awards
Melissa Williams has been a stablehand with the John O’Shea stables for four years, having previously worked at Warwick Farm. Some of the horses she has attended over the past 12 months include Informality, Strawberry Field, Petraeus and Honest Lies.
Despite having to contend with serious health issues which require ongoing extensive medical treatment, she completes her duties way beyond expectations. She commences work up to two hours prior to the rest of the stable employees and often remains hours after everyone else has gone. Even on her days off, she will usually stop in to check on her horses. It is not unusual for Mel to purchase (from her own pocket) a special rug or new set of race boots or fly vale for one of the horses in her care.
Mel has a very open and honest personality, with a great sense of humour that endears her to everyone and she is always willing to lend a hand when needed. Her joyous nature and matriarchal role within the stable play an integral part in providing a happy workplace.
Mel is an exceptional horsewoman who forms an immediate close bond with her horses. Her attention to detail is second to none and her horses are always happy, relaxed and extremely well groomed.
Nothing is too much trouble or effort for the horses under her care. The horses always come first – fast or slow, worth $1400 or $14million – they are all treated with the same blend of love, care, consistency and discipline.
Melissa Williams is a most deserved winner of the inaugural Sydney Strapper of the Year.
(The Sydney Strapper of the Year Award was hosted by NSW Racehorse Owners Association at their prestigious Racing’s Night of Champions event, sponsored by Racing NSW and coordinated by Australian Racing Christian Chaplaincy)
Photo courtesy of Steve White