First Lycetts Team Champion Award winners announced

Nick Alexander’s Kinneston yard from Fife in Scotland and Warren Greatrex at Uplands in Lambourn, Berkshire were announced today as the inaugural winners of the Lycetts Team Champion Award, which celebrates the British racehorse training yards with the highest standards of employee management.

The announcement was made following the National Trainers Federation AGM at the Institute of Directors, Pall Mall, London.

The winning yards were also awarded a £4,000 prize for each yard to benefit and support their teams.

Catch Bissett, Assistant to Nick Alexander, said “It is an honour to accept the prize on behalf of the team at home. They are a credit to the yard and the industry as a whole. The Lycetts Team Champion Award is a fantastic initiative which really reflects well on the staffing at the heart of the industry. The application process gave us an opportunity to look into what we do and think about how we can make improvements for the future.”


Warren Greatrex said “I am really proud to win the inaugural Lycetts Team Champion Award. We are so lucky to have the staff we do. I feel our team are great ambassadors for the yard and British horseracing.”


The National Trainers Federation (NTF) and Lycetts Insurance Brokers created the Lycetts Team Champion Award to:

  • Deliver praise and a sense of achievement for the racehorse training yards with the highest standards of employee management
  • Showcase the positive results of developing a team that works well together
  • Spread the message about safe working practices
  • Improve recruitment and retention rates by promoting the most successful management practices and encouraging their wider adoption among racehorse trainers.

The assessment criteria for Lycetts Team Champion Award are based on The Winning Approach, a best practice standard developed for the NTF by consultants Sport and Beyond. They include effective recruitment and induction systems, a safe and positive working environment, developing staff to fulfil their potential, and rewarding achievement. Development of The Winning Approach and the award was funded with the help of The Racing Foundation.

Yogi Breisner, renowned for his stellar accomplishments as a competitor and team leader in the field of Three Day Eventing, chaired the judging panel and presented the prizes. Commenting on the judges’ experience of the awards and the assessment, Breisner said, “It has been a very interesting exercise to be one of the judges and it has been a privilege to be involved in what I feel is a fantastic initiative by Lycetts and the NTF. I have been very impressed at the high standard of the applicants and it has shown that in many yards there is a very high level of work etiquette and team spirit.”

Rupert Arnold, Chief Executive of the NTF, said, “I am delighted at how enthusiastically trainers and their staff have responded to this new award. By participating, they have opened their businesses to scrutiny by knowledgeable professionals and demonstrated that British racehorse trainers offer great places to work.

“We have established a strong base from which to build the award for the future. I know other trainers are already keen to follow their colleagues’ example next year and we have acquired a bundle of knowledge and lessons to share with them.”



Auction cap in Median Auction races

In 2018, the auction cap (£20,000 above the media price) in median auction races will only apply to races restricted to 2yos and will be expanded to include all other median auction races in 2019. The revised wording for the rule reads:

Rule (F)4.6.4 a Median Auction Maiden Race if it is a flat race which is restricted to Maiden Horses which are the progeny of stallions which established a median price for the sale of yearlings contemporary with the entrants in the race based on the sale or bought in price of one or more animals at specified sales. In addition, two-year-old horses are excluded which have been sold or bought in by public auction under the hammer at specified sales at a price more than £20,000 above the median price stated in the race conditions.

Six-run restriction for novice flat races

Due the uncompetitive nature of some of the new novice races for three year olds and up, the BHA is altering the definition of novice flat races for this age group with effect from the beginning of the Flat Season, 24 March 2018.

From that date, horses aged three years old and upwards which have won a race and have run more than six times will not be eligible for Novice Flat races (or as otherwise specified in the race conditions); maiden horses will continue to be eligible regardless of the number of previous runs they have had.

Lycetts Team Champion Awards to be streamed live on Facebook

This year’s Annual General Meeting is set to witness a double first – the inaugural Lycetts Team Champion Award presentations and the first live streaming of an NTF event.  The Institute of Directors, 116 Pall Mall, London SW1Y 5ED will host 90 members and guests from 11.30am. The AGM at 12noon will be followed by the announcement of the winners of the Lycetts Team Champion Award and presentation of prizes by chairman of the judging panel, Yogi Breisner.

While trainers on the shortlist and some of their staff will be attending for the ceremony, it is great news for those back home in the yards that they will now be able to join in the excitement of the announcements.

The live stream is courtesy of NTF Racing Diary and Trainer Magazine publisher Anderson and Co and will shown on their Facebook page

Also being shown is the address from Jim Chiapetta from Flair, the company that makes equine nasal strips.

Who are the winners going to be? – Choose your Lycetts Team Champion

There are only a few days to go now before the first Lycetts Team Champion Award winners are announced on Thursday 22nd February at the Institute of Directors, the venue for the NTF’s Annual General Meeting.

Take a look at our film below to get an insight into why the eight shortlisted yards reached the final stage. The winner in each category wins £4000, courtesy of sponsors Lycetts, to be spent on items of their choice to support the team.


Brexit: movement of people in the fields of sport and culture

Trainers concerned about access to migrant workers from Europe after Brexit will be interested in the House of Lords EU Home Affairs Sub-Committee inquiry into potential future arrangements for the movement of people between the EU and UK in the fields of sport and culture. The BHA will be submitting evidence to this inquiry, based on its joint submission with the NTF to the Migration Advisory Committee call for evidence last year.

The Parliamentary website notice of the enquiry says that BBC research has shown that without freedom of movement, 332 current players in the English Premier League, the Championship and the Scottish Premier League would not meet the requirements for non-EU/EEA nationals.

British EBF 2017 review demonstrates investment in racing

The British EBF’S £1.6million investment in racing has been reported in the organisation’s first dedicated annual review. The report can be read online at this link.

Over 630 flat races carried EBF conditions in 2017, the races being confined to the progeny of stallions contributing income to the fund or individual horses “opted in” by their owners. The record breaking contribution to prize money covered races that held a total prize fund of £6,713,900.  Of equal importance to the remit of the British EBF is a responsibility to NH racing; 84 jumps races were run in 2017 under the EBF banner supporting over £650,000 of prize money.

Working with the BHA and racecourses, the British EBF has developed a series of races to bolster industry initiatives to enhance the racing opportunities for fillies and staying juveniles.  NH projects are focused on fillies’ programmes but the ever popular EBF National Hunt Novice Hurdle Qualifier series with its valuable £75,000 final continues to be a flagship investment of this discipline.