Launch of 2020 Lycetts Team Champion Award and Accreditation


7 October 2019



  • The Lycetts Team Champion Award showcases trainers’ yards which display a strong team ethos
  • Using a bespoke industry standard, the judging criteria demonstrate modern management practices used by racehorse trainers in Britain
  • New structure in 2020 with growing emphasis on accreditation which has been shown to support staff retention and racecourse success. 

The National Trainers Federation (NTF) and sponsors Lycetts Insurance Brokers are pleased to announce the launch of the third Lycetts Team Champion Award. The 2020 award has a new look as a result of feedback from the first two years.

The nomination period has been extended so all trainers and their teams have the opportunity to review the way they work and produce the strongest evidence using simplified forms.

Nominations may be made from Monday 7th October 2019 to 3rd April 2020. A new award presentation ceremony will be aligned with Racing Staff Week in July 2020.

The Lycetts Team Champion Award celebrates and rewards racehorse training yards that develop a high performance team using the highest standards of employee management, including safe working practices.

The accreditation system continues to grow in profile, allowing trainers to benchmark their business and use a trusted quality mark to attract staff, owners and sponsorship.

Over the first two years of the award, over 50 training yards have acquired accreditation through participating in the award. Research conducted for a Racing Industry MBA shows that participating yards have strengthened their staff retention rates and combine this with growing racecourse success – “Happy Staff Produce Winners.”

A £4000 prize awaits the winner in both categories – yards with 40 or more horses, and yards with fewer than 40 horses. Shortlists of four yards in each category will be announced in April 2020.

How to enter

Watch our video “Guide for Teams 2020” and access nomination forms via the NTF website at


Listen to last year’s shortlisted Lycetts Team Champion Trainers reflect on the benefits of entering this unique award on this video

Piers Plunket, Divisional Director, Lycetts,  “Lycetts is delighted to be supporting the Lycetts Team Champion Award for the third year running. It is wonderful to see the accredited yards demonstrating tangible benefits through improved retention rates and racecourse success. I encourage every trainer to enter.”

Commenting on the new structure, Rupert Arnold, NTF Chief Executive, said, “We have listened to feedback about the nomination process and redesigned the award so more yards can participate. There is growing awareness of the benefits to be gained – in a nutshell, it’s good for business.”

Notes for editors:

The MBA research was carried out by Debbie Grey, a former employee of the National Association of Racing Staff.

The Thoroughbred Horseracing Industry MBA (THIMBA) is delivered by the University of Liverpool Management School and is supported by The Racing Foundation.

About Lycetts

The Lycetts Group was founded in 1961 and has grown to become one of the UK’s leading independently-operated insurance brokers.

Lycetts specialises in farm and estate insurance and provides bespoke financial services, commercial and bloodstock insurance advice. It has 17 offices in the UK, with its headquarters based in Newcastle-upon-Tyne.

The National Trainers Federation represents the interests of British licensed racehorse trainers. For more information on the National Trainers Federation, please go to . For more information, please contact Rupert Arnold, NTF Chief Executive, on 01488 71794 or 07899 797010. E-mail:


Guidance for employers on RTI reporting obligations for payments made early at Christmas

Some employers pay their employees earlier than usual over the Christmas period, for example the business may close for Christmas and New Year. If you do pay early, HMRC requests that you report your normal payment date on your Full Payment Submission (FPS.)

For example: if you pay on 20 De‌ce‌mb‌er 2019 but your normal payment date is 31 De‌ce‌mb‌er 2019, you would report the payment date as ‘31 De‌ce‌mb‌er 2019’. In this example, the FPS would need to be sent on or before the 31 De‌ce‌mb‌er.

Doing this will help protect your employees’ eligibility for Universal Credit, because reporting an early payment could affect further entitlements.

For further information, you may refer to page 4 of the October Employer Bulletin

Better process for transfer of engagements

As of last month, the process of transferring engagements has been streamlined to allow the self-service of ownership.

When the ownership of a horse with outstanding engagements changes, the trainer and new owner will receive a message to their Racing Admin Inbox. For the first time, however, this will detail the horse’s forthcoming engagements and include a link to complete the Transfer of Engagement (TofE) form in order to update any entries to reflect the new ownership. The TofE form will need to be completed and requires the signature of the new and old owner before it can be emailed to the Registrations Team ( for processing. These improvements complement the current warning message which alerts trainers when ownership of a horse with an entry is changed.

In line with a move towards the self-service of ownership, from the 1st December the Registrations Team will no longer be making calls to remind trainers or owners of upcoming entries where a transfer of engagement might be required. While these calls are already uncommon (fewer than 10 are made each month), if you have any concerns about the changes please call the BHA on 0207 152 0155.

Guidance on apprenticeship funding

A funding system was introduced by Government in May 2017 whereby training of employees on Level 2 and 3 apprenticeships is part funded by employers – employers with wage bills of under £3m were paying a co-investment of 10% of the cost of training, with the remaining 90% paid by Government.     

Good news is that for employers who pay this co-investment, the rate has been reduced to 5%.   Whether or not you pay depends on the age of the apprentice and the size of your business – the 5% co-investment is paid by employers for apprentices aged 19 or over and apprentices aged 16 – 18 employed by an employer with a workforce of over 50. The contribution is either £250 or £300 based on current funding bands.    

There is an employer incentive bonus for those who retain 16 – 18 year olds for three and 12 months on programmes – this incentive bonus is up to £1000

A guide to the funding can be viewed by members here on the NTF website. Full details can be provided by the British Racing School, National Horseracing College or the BHA.

There will be some changes in April 2020 and we will update trainers one we know more.

Restrictions on under 18s going racing overnight

The BHA has emailed trainers about changes to the way racecourses will manage overnight accommodation for under-18s. This has an effect on how trainers book accommodation for all staff and the procedures that trainers must follow.

The changes are a result of new safeguarding requirements for racecourses, which will shortly be introduced as BHAGI 1.5. Under the new requirements, racecourses must ensure that any under-18 (U18) staying overnight is provided with a single, lockable room, even if travelling with someone from the same yard. Secure washing facilities are also required

You should always consider carefully whether it is appropriate for any staff member aged under 18 to travel overnight, and obtain appropriate consent from the staff member’s parent or guardian when this is the case. Consent can be obtained when a trainer appoints the member of staff to cover future events. The NTF has template documents to help with this.

Racecourses must identify on the Racing Admin website whether they are able to accommodate U18s appropriately. Any racecourse that is unable to do so must state this clearly, to ensure trainers are aware of the restriction before sending U18s.

If you require overnight racecourse accommodation for any under 18 staff member, thismust be booked by 1pm the day before accommodation is required. We strongly recommend that trainers actively confirm the booking – so if the racecourse does not get back to you confirming it is booked, then you should ring them to double check. The NTF has a new booking form available to members for use until an online booking system is ready. 

When sending under 18s racing, trainers ensure that the lead member of staff is a suitably experienced and responsible adult, preferably somebody who has completed the BHA online safeguarding training, which is available free of charge by contacting

If an under 18 arrives for an overnight stay at a racecourse without having been pre-booked, racecourses are required to report this to the stewards as a breach of chapter E.2 of the Rules of Racing. The trainer will need to make alternative arrangements for the member of staff and the BHA will take appropriate action. Under 18s are to be supplied with the details of a readily contactable person who they can contact should any problems arise during an overnight stay. That person should ideally be onsite.

Essential racing admin – Recording horses’ “whereabouts”

“Whereabouts reporting” is an essential element of the anti-doping rules for racing, as well as being invaluable for welfare and traceability/biosecurity purposes, helping us all to demonstrate that racing is a clean and responsible sport.

The current whereabouts requirements were introduced in 2015 and the BHA has taken steps to support trainers in understanding and applying these rules, recognising that the consequences of multiple filing failures or missed tests could cause significant disruption to your business.

Many of you are diligently following the process, but there has been a growing number of filing failures in recent months so a reminder was merited. If you have delegated this task to your secretary, administrator, or other staff member, please ensure that they are aware of, and following, the correct process.

Whereabouts requirements

The requirements are as follows:

Trainers must provide an update via the Racing Administration portal, within three days of the following or (if sooner) before a further race entry is made:

  • When a horse arrives on their approved premises; 
  • When they have more than one approved premises and a horse changes from one approved premises to another (e.g. moves from principal to additional yard); or 
  • When there is a change in ownership of a horse under their care/control

When to update a horse’s training status / location

A horse is deemed to be no longer ‘in training’ if it is not stabled at the trainer’s approved premises overnight for any reason other than to go racing. If a horse leaves the approved premises overnight, it will not be eligible to run for fourteen clear days following its return to the trainer. The clear day calculator can be found here:

When a horse leaves the trainer’s approved premises overnight, the trainer should update Racing Admin the same day, to show the horse is ‘out of training’ and its whereabouts location.

Examples of when a horse is out of training, where an overnight stay might be required, could include when:

  • The horse is sent to a specialist for remedial training;
  • The horse is sent for veterinary treatment requiring an overnight stay;
  • The horse returns to the owner for a holiday (note: if a horse goes back to the owner the trainer should also serve a ‘transfer of responsibility’ form on the owner and select ‘transfer to owner’ on Racing Admin).

For ‘how to’ videos please see ‘horses in training’ here: 

Whereabouts failures

  • A filing failure may be recorded against a trainer if a horse is present on the trainer’s approved premises and its presence is not recorded on their Racing Admin list of horses; or if a horse is not present on the approved premises when, according to Racing Admin, it should be.
  • A missed test may be recorded against a horse if it is selected for testing based on the whereabouts information provided by the trainer to the BHA and the horse cannot be located at the whereabouts location. A filing failure for the trainer and missed test for the horse can arise from the same instance

Previous missed tests

When a horse arrives on their approved premises, a trainer may enquire about previous missed tests with the anti-doping team:


1. Three filing failures recorded against a trainer within 12 months may incur a penalty. 

2. Three missed tests recorded against a horse within 18 months may result in the horse being suspended from racing for 14 months and stood down from training for 12 months.  In addition, the trainer as at the date of the latest missed test may incur a penalty. 

If you require further guidance on the whereabouts rules, either now or in the future, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with the BHA via

BHA update on equine flu vaccination requirements

1. Introduction

Following temporary changes to the Equine Influenza vaccination requirements earlier this year, we indicated that we would be consulting on changes to the permanent EI vaccination rule prior to the end of 2019.

This notice is to advise that this consultation will now take place in 2020.  Until this consultation is complete, the current vaccination requirements for all horses on racecourse property will remain in place. 

The current temporary requirements will remain in place for the duration of 2020.

This follows  a meeting of the European Horseracing Scientific Liaison Committee (EHSLC) in early October, where proposed changes were agreed by the Committee after considering advice from a number of experts in equine infectious disease. Other European racing jurisdictions will be carrying out similar consultations in 2020, with the aim of achieving harmonised vaccination requirements for racehorses across Europe.

With that in mind,  and to provide clarity to owners and trainers, the BHA has decided to maintain the existing requirements until further notice. We will advise you of the consultation process and timings in early 2020.

If you require any further clarification, please contact

2. Summary of Requirements

ALL horses on racecourse property

  • Compliant EI vaccination within NINE calendar months* (eight months plus a one-month grace period) of the day of the race.

*Calendar months (e.g. 1 January – 1 October)

N.B. Compliant EI vaccination within twelve calendar months will continue to be acceptable for horses NOT on racecourse property (e.g.) injured horses which are not currently racing

  • There is NO requirement to submit information in advance – where necessary, passports will be checked by BHA staff upon entry to the Racecourse
  • There is NO requirement to submit a Health Declaration Form or for a nasopharyngeal swab (PCR) to be completed

Guidelines on overweight “two-horseboxes”

In a recent conversation with NARS, concerns were raised about staff being asked to drive overweight boxes, in particular boxes stalled for two but with insufficient payload to legally carry two horses.

The Road Traffic Act 1988 requires all businesses to ensure their vehicles are not overloaded – as well as the risk of action being taken, the handling of the vehicle may well be affected. 

The manufacturer’s or ministry plates (usually fixed to the inside of the passenger door frame) specify the weights that should be adhered to on the vehicle. These weights must not be exceeded on public roads and it is important to also appreciate that these weights include the driver, passengers, horses and fuel. It is a good idea to take the vehicle with a full fuel tank and any equipment that is usually carried to a weighbridge to ascertain how much payload is left for the horse or horses.  Many HGV operating companies have weighbridges available for public use.

The VOSA guide to horseboxes is available on the NTF website and gives further information.