Result of the trainer sponsored RoR Eventing Championship at Gatcombe

Gold Nugget and rider Andrew  were the winners of the NTF sponsors the RoR Retrained Racehorse Eventing Championship at The Magic Millions Festival of British Eventing at Gatcombe Park last weekend.

Gold Nugget is an eight year old gelding formerly trained by Richard Hannon Snr., now owned by Jane Moss and was ridden to victory by Andrew Downes. He has graduated to Advance level this year. In 2nd place was Dream Big, a seven year old mare, with Zippi Jazzman, last years’ winner in 3rd place and Summon Up The Blood in fourth.


Our sponsorship is funded by trainers through part of the contributions trainers make each year with their licence renewal. Together the sponsors have put up a £6,000 prize-fund for the final.


Alex Scott Future Trainers Travel Scholarship – call for applications

It has become a feature of successful young trainers to travel abroad, working for a trainer in another country to add to the array of knowledge needed and to acquire new insights to further their career. For those without the necessary funds, these opportunities may seem beyond reach. One reason for setting up the Alex Scott Future Trainers Travel Scholarship was to provide that opportunity for those who wouldn’t otherwise be able to go abroad.

The Scholarship is funded by the Tim Dunlop Memorial Travelling Scholarship (TDMS). 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.

The NTF is responsible for promoting and managing the Alex Scott Scholarship. The winner will receive a grant of £3000 towards their travel costs and living expenses. The NTF will assist the winner to plan their trip and if necessary will facilitate introductions to a trainer abroad.

James Given and Charlie Longsdon are among previous winners; to get an idea of the hugely valuable experiences these and others have gained, reports from recent winners can be viewed on the Award’s page on our website. They include Charlie Duckworth, who is now Racing Manager for Chris Waller, trainer of the great Winx in Sydney.

Applications, which must be received by 30th September, can be made by downloading the form from the same page here

We hope trainers will bring this opportunity to the attention of their staff in recognition of the huge part winning the award could play in helping develop their career.

Latest Employment Manual updates

The NTF Employment Manual has recently been updated and the new version is available on the NTF website.

Most of these changes are minor to ensure that statutory figures are up to date.  We have added “just in time” wording relating to data protection in many of the template letters –  this is wording in letters, such as the disciplinary invitation letter, reminding the employee that the way their personal data is used is set out in the Employee Privacy Notice. It is good practice to advise employees of this, particularly if the disciplinary involves sensitive personal data such as a sickness absence record.

A new hard copy manual is not being produced at this time.

Jessica McLernon receives first Toby Balding Award


2 August 2018 – For immediate release


The National Trainers Federation (NTF) is delighted to announce that Jessica McLernon is the first recipient of the new Toby Balding Award.

The annual award, worth £4000, offers an exciting opportunity for ambitious employees in British racing yards to widen their knowledge and train to acquire new skills.

The NTF launched the award for racing staff in memory of the late Toby Balding, who as a trainer was dedicated to the support and development of young people in the horse racing industry. It is funded by the National Trainers Federation Charitable Trust (NTFCT) from a donation made by the Adrian Swire Charitable Trust in memory of Toby Balding and will be presented to a member of racing staff who demonstrates a desire to further his or her career in the horseracing industry and to train for a higher-level qualification or undertake personal development training.

“In her application, Jessica McLernon demonstrated the pride she takes in setting high standards in her work,” said Rupert Arnold, NTF Chief Executive and NTFCT trustee. “She is more than happy taking on additional responsibilities, which have included gaining a mentoring qualification so she can take new starters under her wing and ensure they have a positive and formative experience. The trustees of the NTFCT see Jessica as a role model for staff to use training to improve their career pathway.”

Responding to the award, McLernon, who is employed by Richard Fahey at Musley Bank Stables in Malton, North Yorkshire, said, “I am absolutely thrilled to be the first recipient of the Toby Balding Award. I am in the process of completing my trainers’ modules at the Northern Racing College and this award will assist me greatly in furthering my education within the racing industry. Thank you to the NTF and its Charitable Trust for their continued support throughout my career.”

 Notes to editors:

The Toby Balding Award offers an exciting opportunity for ambitious employees in British racing yards to widen their knowledge and train to acquire new skills. There is more about the award here.

 The National Trainers Federation Charitable Trust aims to provide training for employees within the racing industry so they can develop their knowledge and skills. There is a special focus on training to enable those who meet with an accident or ill health to remain in the industry. Racing Welfare manages the applications on behalf of the NTFCT trustees.

For more information, please contact Rupert Arnold or Shelley Perham at the NTF.


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


Timing of pre-race testing is a nuisance but necessary

From time to time trainers ask us why the pre-race blood tests must be done so close to the race time (usually 30 to 45 minutes.) The answer is that pre-race bloods are taken to detect raised levels of TCO2, which is an indicator of alkalisation (or “milk shaking” as it is known.) This practice is designed to buffer lactic acid build up and therefore increase stamina.

The test has to be done shortly before a race to achieve a valid sample because of the metabolism of alkalisation. Where testing is conducted pre-race the trainer or their representative will usually be given an appointment card indicating the time that they should be present at the horses’ racecourse stable for testing to be conducted.

If a horse is known to react badly to needles, there is an option to have the test done 2 to 3 hours post-race (again, this timetable is due to the metabolism of the sodium bicarbonate (the alkalising agent.) Trainers need to inform the BHA of horses that are “intractable”, i.e. will react badly to sampling and may be difficult to restrain.

Should you have any questions about TCO2 testing, or the BHA’s testing programme in general, please contact BHA Officials on duty in the stables, or contact the Equine Health and Welfare Department on 02071520090 or at

Croatian workers now have full right to work in UK

The restrictions on employing Croatian nationals have been removed so they now have the same freedom to work in the UK as other EEA nationals.

Remember that all employers are required to carry out three simple checks on all potential employees to prevent the employment of illegal workers.  These checks are:

  1. Obtain the person’s original documents as specified in the Home Office guidance
  2. Check the validity of the documents in the presence of the holder, and
  3. Make and retain a clear copy and make a record of the date of the check.

The Government has an online interactive tool to help an employer check if a potential employee has the legal right to work in the UK.