Nominations are officially opened on Monday 2 September 2019, for the 2020 Godolphin Stud and Stable Staff Awards.
The awards, now in their 16th year, recognise and reward the
outstanding skills, commitment and contribution of over 10,000 stud and stable
staff in England, Scotland and Wales.
Sponsored by Godolphin and run by the British Horseracing Authority (BHA) in
association with the Racing Post and Racing TV, the awards provide total prize
money of £128,000 with up to £40,000 available to a single yard or stud.
Nominations will close on Tuesday 12 November and can be made by anyone on
behalf of anyone working in a yard or stud online at the Godolphin Stud and
Stable Staff Awards website, studandstablestaffawards.co.uk
Video submissions will again be accepted in advance of the
2020 awards, ensuring that the nominations procedure is as fair as possible for
all those involved, irrespective of their level of written communication and
The categories are Leadership Award, Dedication
Award, Rider/Groom Award, Stud Staff, Rory MacDonald Community Award and David
Nicholson Newcomer Award (n.b. the David Nicholson Newcomer Award is for people
who entered racing within the last three years).
With the new BHA Rules coming into force, the NTF and ROA
have updated the Training Agreement to reflect the new chapters numbers for
ownership categories and the rule number where there is reference to leased
horses in clause 12 (Authority to Act).
You should use this new training agreement with effect from 1st
September 2019 including any training arrangements that are being
updated. There is no immediate necessity to update all existing
training agreements provided you are comfortable that the agreement you have
has been correctly signed by the owner in their ownership capacity or, where it
has been signed by someone else, that they were properly authorised to do so (although
it would be good practice to update where possible.)
We are currently in discussions with the BHA about
strengthening the protection for trainers where owners do not pay and with the
ROA as to the position of syndicates particularly where a syndicate manager is
not acting correctly and there may be a further revision of the Training Agreement
as a result of these discussions.
If you are using CCTV in your business for crime prevention
purposes then you need to be aware of the implications under the General Data
Protection Regulations (GDPR) – importantly you need register and pay a fee to
the Information Commissioner’s Office.
New guidance about these regulations have been uploaded to
the Members Area on the NTF website. They are in the Business Section – click
on the General
Data Protection Regs link on the right had side of the page. You will find:
- Guidance on the GDPR requirements if operating
- A template CCTV policy
- A template Subject Access Request policy
As usual, if
you have any questions, call Dawn Bacchus at the NTF office.
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 Awards page on our website.
They include last year’s winner Emma Sayer, whose work placement was with
Graham Motion in the USA, and 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 www.racehorsetrainers.org/industry/alexscottaward.asp
We hope you will bring this opportunity to the attention of
your assistant in recognition of the huge part winning the award could play in
helping his or her career.
The BHA currently mandates that all trainers carry a minimum
limit of indemnity for Public Liability of £5million, but as the costs involved
in defending any claim rise, together with the increasing size of the awards
given after the claim has been settled, the current limit is now considered
Public liability insurance covers your legal liability for
accidental injury or property damage claims made against you or your business,
so deciding on the appropriate limit of indemnity your business might need
depends on the amount of public contact or exposure your work entails. Horseracing falls into the “high-risk”
bracket which is supported by the historically high claims experience as a
result of the general public’s exposure to training stables and centres across
the country and of course at the racecourse.
Personal injury claims involving horses has to be viewed
differently because the Animals Act applies ‘Strict Liability’, so negligence
does not need to be proven. Following an
injury, the court will assess the cost of ongoing care, incurred and future
medical costs, loss of earnings to the individual, potential rehabilitation
costs, legal fees and of course compensation awards. When the courts reach their verdicts and
awards are then discussed, an inflationary system called the Ogden Discount
Rate is used to determine costs and compensation where there have been
In conclusion, because these claim costs continue to rise, we
recommend that all trainers should now buy Public Liability coverage with a
limit of £10million, commensurate with the Employers’ Liability limit. This is
likely to be a subject for discussion between the NTF and the BHA in relation
to future licensing requirements.
Due to several enquiries to the NTF office, we thought it
worth recapping on the current BHA requirements for Equine Flu vaccinations. It
is important to emphasise that this is a temporary arrangement pending
discussions between horseracing authorities in Britain, Ireland and France with
the aim of harmonising the rules for all three countries.
From 1st May 2019, racehorses must be vaccinated
for equine flu within NINE months of racing and/or entry to racecourse
stables. This temporary change applies from until 31 December 2019
inclusive. The nine-month vaccination requirement consists of eight months,
plus a grace period of one month, which will apply in 2019 only.
If a horse you train has not had a booster in the nine-month
period before the day it is due to run, only a booster is required (plus the
seven-day waiting period) to make it eligible to race – assuming it is less
than 12 months since the horse’s last booster. Horses that are not running
should be vaccinated according to the standard 12-month cycle.
We are planning a one-page guide to the vaccination rules for
trainers and their staff to refer to if needed. We have also asked the BHA to
amend its online rules to make the requirements clearer and more accessible.
By Christopher Marriott
- Communication from the Valuation Office
- Advice on appeals
Many trainers will have recently received Notices from the
Valuation Office Agency requiring information about their leases, and
threatening a fine of £100 if they don’t reply in 56 days. The reason for this
is that there is to be a rating revaluation on 1st April 2021 and the
“Antecedent Valuation Date” for this is 1st April this year. Since rating
assessments are based on rental values, this means that the 2021 RVs will
reflect the evidence supplied in these Notices which are legal documents.
Therefore, trainers should be extremely careful when completing these forms
because incorrect information supplied to the VOA could have a prejudicial
effect on their rate liability in the future. If anyone is in the slightest
doubt about how to fill in the form, they should take advice from a qualified
rating surveyor. I would be more than happy to advise if asked; and I do not
charge for telephone calls!
Second, the current appeal system of “Check, Challenge and
Appeal” is proving to be a nightmare. It is complicated to put in place; it is
convoluted; the Valuation Office Agency refuses to divulge the evidence on
which they base a rating assessment, so the onus of proof rests entirely with
the ratepayer; it is taking an age (I have put in Challenges for several yards
over a year ago and I still do not know the name of the Valuation Officer with
whom I should be discussing them), and in the meantime the trainer is having to
pay rates on an excessive valuation. If any trainer is concerned about the size
of their rate bill, I would suggest contacting a qualified rating surveyor –
who should have RICS, IRRV or RVA after their name – for advice as soon as
possible I would also advise treating cold calling “rating experts” with the
very greatest suspicion. If in any doubt, then please get in touch and I will
be able to help.
Lastly, a word of warning. Normally a rating appeal is
retrospective, either to the start date of that Rating List, or to the date of
any change which leads to a new assessment. However, during the last Rating
List a measure was brought in with little prior notice limiting the date from
which any appeal could take effect: it meant that instead of going back to
2010, rebates would only go back to 1st April 2015. With a new revaluation
in the offing there is a concern that this might happen again so, if in doubt,
put in an appeal.
Please note my contact details have changed to
Christopher Marriott, Marriott Brown Ltd., Hull Farm, Stratford Road, Chipping Norton, Oxon OX7 5QF. Tel: 01608 698888, Mobile: 07970 749658, Email: Christopher@marriottbrown.co.uk