The permanent Ladbrokes St Leger Trophy was designed by Chris Knight, Sarah Denny and Owen Waterhouse of Sheffield Hallam University to celebrate the redevelopment of Doncaster Racecourse in 2007.
The overall concept behind the St Leger Trophy was to produce a classic yet modern piece of silverware that had the ability to be re-designed or reinvigorated each year. Hand wrought and weighing in at approximately 10 kilos, the solid silver trophy is composed of a large rose water dish with a central rose bowl. The large dish is the permanent trophy of the St Leger Stakes, while the central, removable, rose bowl is the ‘gift’ to the winner of the race.
Each year a new contemporary designer silversmith is commissioned to design a new centre, thus re-interpreting and invigorating the main trophy through the coming years.
2016 Ladbrokes St Leger Winner’s Centre
This year’s work by Chris Knight is the 10th new design for the winner’s centre. Chris chose to build on the original theme of the main trophy; the Yorkshire Rose. The result is a bold double-layered silver rose with gold plated details. The rose is surrounded by a gold-plated crown of twigs each carrying three leaves. A graphic image of the design has also been engraved on the awards for the winning trainer, jockey and groom.
Chris Knight – Designer of the 2016 Ladbrokes St Leger Winner’s Centre
Chris Knight is a senior lecturer in Jewellery and Metalwork at Sheffield Hallam University, a Liveryman of the Worshipful Company of Goldsmiths and a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts. Having graduated from Sheffield City Polytechnic in 1987, Chris worked as a Goldsmith in Connecticut USA before returning to study for a master’s degree at the Royal College of Art in London. Chris has gone on to establish a successful studio in Sheffield, producing both silverware and public art.
Over the past 20 years, Chris has been proactive in generating and supporting opportunities for young silversmiths, having helped set up the Yorkshire Artspace Starter Studio programme in Sheffield where he continues to mentor young talented silversmiths at the start of their professional careers.
He said: “The annual commissioning of a new winner’s centre for the Ladbrokes St Leger Stakes has been something I am particularly proud of. When we have been able to award this prestigious opportunity to someone in the early stages of their career, its value is more than financial. To be asked to make such an important piece speaks of trust and belief and awards extra faith in the hard work of the artist. It has been a particular pleasure to see these makers grow and it is always a thrill to see the trophies held in celebration.”