Making use of the careersinracing jobs board

For a number of years the BHA has paid for adverts to be placed in the NTF Diary.  The adverts promote and the fact that it is a free job board for all trainers to use.

Survey results show most trainers are aware of careersinracing but only 18% say they have used it. The BHA is keen for trainers to make sure they advertise current vacancies on the website because if trainers don’t advertise roles, the BHA has no way of promoting them or driving interest in available opportunities in racing.

Whatever way of looking at it I am keen to ensure I am not complacent in ensuring trainers are aware of the service we offer.  To measure if the recruitment situation is improving or not, the BHA needs better visibility of the recruitment needs.

The website/job board is being rebuilt at present. BHA plans to communicate directly to all trainers when the new job board is launched as another way to remind you of the service offered.

Rule changes on headgear, gelding notification and 14-day qualification to run

The BHA Board has approved some rule changes that will affect common practices in every trainer’s operations. Please make sure to note these as we have been told that the BHA is experiencing a fairly regular number of breaches/potential breaches of these rules, in particular the gelding and 14-day Rules.

The rules changes take effect from 3rd January and are explained below.

Schedule (B)4 – Equipment

 (a)   Blinkers

The definition has been updated to state that “Cheek Piecesmeans two strips of sheepskin of equal size or any other similar material or device which is attached to the cheek pieces of the bridle”. This is as a result of horses wearing cheek pieces of different sizes on a number of occasions this year, where one was virtually non-existent, to attempt to circumvent the requirement of a horse to wear two cheek pieces.

(b)   Headgear changes

The current Schedule allows changes to be made to headgear after the time for declarations (for a fee), but only one piece for another – some item of headgear must be worn if it has been initially declared, and vice versa. The new Schedule will also make provision for any change in headgear to be permitted (for a fee of £140) within a 2-hour window after declarations.

Rule (C)17 – Geldings

The current Rule requires that if a horse has been gelded it must be notified at least 5 days before the horse next runs. Although this was logical when all entries were made at the 5-day stage, it is now more consistent to require that the change be notified by the next entry point (whenever that may be for the race in question). Consequently there is also provision for it to be notified before the next Scratching Deadline/confirmation of entry for an early closer if the horse is gelded subsequent to being entered.

Schedule (B)3 – Requirements for horse to run (“14 day”)

In order to remove any ambiguity in computation, the time for which a horse must have been in a Licensed Trainer’s yard before it races will now be described as: For the fourteen clear days immediately before the day of the race, the horse must have been in the care of and trained by a Person who: holds a licence to train for flat races which is granted by the Authority, or, if the horse is trained outside Great Britain, is duly qualified as a Trainer in the country where the horse is trained.”

Therefore if a horse goes into training in a Licensed yard at any point on 1st of a month (midnight – midnight), it cannot run until 16th of that month.

In any case where the horse has not been recorded as “in training” for the requisite period the trainer will be asked to confirm when the horse went into training. If the date does not comply with the Schedule, the horse will not be allowed to be declared for the race. If the date does comply with the Schedule, and there was just an administrative oversight in not listing the horse as in training, then the horse will be allowed to be declared and run but a fine will be imposed for any breach of the Schedule (please note there is a 72 hour grace period to actually record the horse as in training, provided it has physically been with the trainer for the required period).

Changes to Two Year Old programme in 2017

Over the last six months, the BHA Racing Group has been developing changes to the Two Year Old programme and these will be introduced in 2017. We will provide further details in the first printed newsletter of 2017 but here is a summary.

  • The Novice/Maiden programme, introduced from March to June 2016, will be extended to the full year
  • To qualify for a rating for nursery handicaps, two year olds will have to run either three times, or twice including one win. Two year old ratings will be published from 1 July.
  • There will be an increased share of Auction races with 75 new auction races converted from Open and Median Auction races.
  • An auction cap will apply in Median Auction races. This will comprise the median price +£20,000; for example a race with a sire’s median of £20,000 will exclude horses that were sold or bought in for in excess of £40,000.
  • There will be more staying races for two year olds in the autumn.

Plus 10 discount for yearling buyers

Trainers of yearlings registered for the Plus 10 bonus scheme are encouraged to finalise scheme registration before the end of the year to save money. Up until 31 December, the cost of the third and final Owner Registration is £300. After the discount window closes, the fee rises to £350 and must be paid by 28 February 2017.

The Owner Registration is required to be paid to qualify a horse to win £10,000 bonuses on top of first-place winnings.


More than £8 million worth of bonus prize money has been won since March 2015.

Bonuses apply to more than 550 two and three-year-old races in Britain and Ireland each year. Each time a Plus 10 bonus is won, the trainer, jockey and stable staff share in a £500 bonus.


To complete the Owner Registration, follow the instructions on this form.

Contact or +44 (0)20 7152 0026 for more information.

Metal badges sent and pass cards

We have sent out your 2017 metal badges and car park labels this week so please look out for them in the post. They are contained in the membership renewal pack, which also provides details of the new link up with Racing FX for secure online banking and currency exchange services. The 2017 NTF Racing Diary has also been dispatched this week so you should be well equipped for the new year.

Smoothing out the new Racing Admin site

While the Council was meeting at the BHA offices on Tuesday, we took the opportunity to invite Richard Wayman (BHA Chief Operating Office) and Steve Gibson (Programme Manager) to tell us what steps were being taken to make changes to the new Racing Administration website in response to trainers’ feedback.

The Council was assured that a number of upgrades were being introduced this week. We were told that clarity of the screen print outs had been a big area for feedback and this was being addressed. The BHA welcomes as much comment as possible as that is the best way for them to understand the users’ needs and be able to respond. You can email constructive comments to .

The old Racing Admin website will not be switched off until the BHA is satisfied that it is working properly but that time will come so it’s important for trainers and their office staff to make the transition. Steve and his team are happy to travel to trainers’ offices to assist trainers and their office staff to use the new site. It would obviously be most cost effective if trainers grouped together for a visit. The BHA is also considering further regional workshops. You can use the email address above to request a visit.

Jessica McLernon wins 2016 Alex Scott Assistant Trainers Travel Scholarship




 Jessica McLernon, assistant to trainer Richard Fahey, is the winner of the 2016 Alex Scott Assistant Trainers Travel Scholarship.

Judging from a short list of four, the panel was particularly struck by Jessica’s enthusiasm for learning and the wide ranging role she plays in the Musley Bank Stables in Malton, North Yorkshire. She has developed skills in mentoring the young staff and finds this makes a valuable contribution to the business.

The Alec Scott Scholarship aims to support those who are committed to a career training racehorses in Britain by promoting their education and improvement of their skills outside the United Kingdom.

The Scholarship has been funded for the last four years by Racing to School (RTS.) Chairman, David Adam, a member of the judging panel, commented, “Amongst strong competition Jessica McLernon proved to be a worthy winner. She impressed the judging panel with her confidence, her ambition, her tenacity and her proven track record to date. This significant and challenging opportunity will undoubtedly further her knowledge and her future career”’’

Jessica will be spending a month with training legend Gai Waterhouse at Randwick Racecourse, Sydney, Australia. Reacting to having won the award, Jessica said, “I am extremely honoured to be chosen as the winner of such a prestigious award that is so close to so many people’s hearts. I owe so much to the great people I have around me, most of all my fantastic boss Richard Fahey. During my trip to Australia I hope to gain more knowledge and experience of the Racing Industry and this will in time help me to become a young trainer.”

With further news of the Scholarship, Rupert Arnold, Chief Executive of the NTF, which manages the administration, reports that from 2017, the Tim Dunlop Memorial Travelling Scholarship (TDMS), will take over sponsoring the Alex Scott Scholarship. TDMS is a charity that was set up by friends of Tim, in his memory, after he was tragically killed in a car accident in France at the age of 21 in 1987. The charity sponsors young people who wish to travel abroad to expand their experience in the thoroughbred industry initially as a prize for the best overall student on the main National Stud course, it now also sponsors a participant on this course as well.

Expressing his appreciation, Rupert Arnold said, “The NTF is delighted that the Alex Scott Assistant Trainers Scholarship has found a permanent home with the Tim Dunlop Memorial charity.  We are immensely grateful to RTS for funding the Scholarship for the past four years. It is now appropriate for RTS to relinquish that responsibility and TDMS is a natural fit. As well as sharing objectives, there is the connection that Tim’s brother Ed was Alex’s assistant.”


Notes for editors:

  1. Alex Scott trained in Newmarket and handled champions Cadeaux Genereux, Sheikh Albadou and the two-year-old Lammtarra. After his death in 1994, Alex Scott’s family and friends set up an Assistant Trainers’ Scholarship giving the winner the chance to spend one month abroad gaining work experience with a trainer in the country of their choice. More details here on the NTF website.
  1. The Scholarship is currently worth £3000 to the winner funded by a grant from Racing to School. The application process is managed by the National Trainers Federation.
  1. The other judges were Stephen Wallis, RCA nominee on the Racing to School Board, and Rupert Arnold, Horsemen’s Group nominee on the Racing to School Board.