Godolphin Flying Start commemorated its 20th anniversary with an Impact and Influence conference held at the renowned K Club on June 29th. Over 100 graduates from across the globe and notable speakers attended the event, marking a momentous occasion for the world-renowned Thoroughbred industry programme.
The conference Prelude, which focussed on Godolphin, HH Sheikh Mohammed and Godolphin Charitable initiatives, was led by Godolphin Flying Start Chairperson Joe Osborne, who has held this position since the programme’s inception in 2003. He was followed by Diana Cooper, Godolphin’s Strategic Adviser for Charities.
The conference was hosted by 2008 graduate Gina Bryce, who guided attendees through a day filled with enlightening discussions and thought-provoking insights.
To kickstart the event, Lisa Jane Graffard, a graduate from the class of 2005, took the stage and reflected on the visionary objectives of the Godolphin Flying Start programme since its inception in 2003. Her speech highlighted the remarkable accomplishments achieved over the past two decades in advancing and bettering the Thoroughbred industry.
Executive Director Clodagh Kavanagh, a driving force behind the success of Godolphin Flying Start, took the spotlight, engaging in a candid conversation with guests. The CEO of CPL, Lorna Conn, and Entrepreneur Heinrich Anhold, founder of Stable Lab, shared their valuable insights on the challenges of running successful businesses while maintaining a balanced life and making an Impact.
An enthralling segment of the conference featured Anna Jones, the author of the book “Divide,” who possesses a unique perspective on cultural, agricultural, and social issues that often polarise rather than unite communities. Growing up on a sheep farm in the Welsh borders and later living in urban settings, Jones brought her media sensibility to the fore and emphasised the importance of mutual respect and recognition of strengths between diverse sections of society.
The conference also provided attendees with interactive workshops facilitated by graduates and alumni award winners, where participants collaborated in groups to explore how they could collectively impact and influence challenges within the Thoroughbred industry.
Michael Hardy, a graduate from the class of 2012, addressed the gathering, reflecting not only on the significance of the day but also on the 20 remarkable years of Flying Start. He inspired everyone to look towards the future with determination and vision.
The event reached its pinnacle, with Clodagh Kavanagh taking the stage again to bring the conference to a close. She extended her heartfelt gratitude to all those who participated, acknowledging the significant efforts made by individuals to attend and contribute. Kavanagh sincerely appreciated HH Sheikh Mohammed for his unwavering support of the program and encouraged all graduates to contemplate how they can positively impact and influence the Thoroughbred industry.
The day’s events culminated in a drinks reception and alumni awards ceremony, where outstanding graduates were recognised for their contributions to the industry. The peer-voted winners included Annise Montplaisir (class of 2021) for Rising Star Leadership, Tim Donworth (class of 2018) for Rising Star Business, Craig Rounsefell* (class of 2007) for Leadership Excellence, and Gary King (class of 2010) for Business Excellence. *Craig’s award was accepted by Emma Pugsley
The momentous occasion was celebrated with a gala dinner in the Legacy Suite at the K Club, bringing together the vibrant spirit of the Godolphin Flying Start program and the shared commitment to shaping the future of the Thoroughbred industry.
The conference’s collective energy and enthusiasm left a lasting impact, promising an even more promising future for the next 20 years and beyond.