WILLIAM Reddy said his career in horse racing had reached a new high after landing a prestigious accolade.

Reddy, 63, saw off more than 250 nominations to win the Dedication to Racing category at the 2018 Godolphin Stud and Stable Staff Awards.

The head lad at Eve Johnson Houghton’s Blewbury stables near Didcot, has worked at the yard for 48 years.

He was given his honour by ex-England football star and big racing fan Michael Owen at a star-studded ceremony on Monday night.

Reddy’s career in racing was described as a ‘study in dedication and loyalty’.

In his long stint, he has nurtured countless young people and horses in his care, although the latter have accounted for four broken collar bones, two broken knees and six other operations.

“I live for the horses and love them,” he said.

“It is all I have ever known and I have never wanted to do anything else.

“To win this award is the most brilliant thing, and the highlight of my career.

“I’ve looked after some great horses and had some great times, but this is something special.”

Reddy won £5,000 as a result of his success, with the same amount matched and shared amongst his colleagues at the yard.

Nick Rust, Chief Executive of the British Horseracing Authority, said: “It is a fantastic achievement for William to have won the Dedication to Racing award and on behalf of the BHA I’d like to pass on our warmest congratulations.”