NTF responds to BHA announcement on new stewarding model

Commenting on today’s British Horseracing Authority announcement of plans for a new model for stewarding in British racing, Rupert Arnold, NTF Chief Executive, said

“To date the NTF has not been asked to provide stakeholder input so we look forward to the consultation in which we will be able to examine in more detail the BHA’s proposals and justification for a different stewarding model. Our initial reaction is that replacing the volunteer stewards with salaried stewards will mean the loss of a valuable source of impartial opinion in stewards’ decisions. We believe the volunteer stewards’ more independent perspective leads to a balanced outcome in enquiries.”



Promoting ‘The Horse Comes First’ at Epsom Open Day and Newmarket Open Weekend

The NTF is a supporter of The Horse Comes First, an industry-wide initiative which many trainers will be familiar with. The Horse Comes First promotes and raises awareness of the high standards of equine welfare in the sport. The initiative aims to improve understanding of the care given to our horses throughout and after their careers in racing.

The Epsom Trainers’ Open Day on Monday 28th August and Newmarket Open Weekend on Saturday 16th and Sunday 17th September are great opportunities for trainers to engage with The Horse Comes First and share the positive messaging about the high levels of welfare with visitors to yards. Here’s how trainers can get involved.

HCF logo

British Racing has a track record to be proud of: British Racing is among the world’s best regulated animal activities. The sport employs over 6,000 people to provide care and attention for the 14,000 horses in training, providing them with a level of care and a quality of life that is virtually unsurpassed by any other domesticated animal.

British Racing has a duty of care to its horses: Since the year 2000, British Racing has invested £32 million in veterinary research and education.

British Racing is open and transparent: Within the last 20 years, the equine fatality rate in British Racing has fallen by one-third, from 0.3% to 0.2% of runners.

Further information and messaging from The Horse Comes First can be found on its website (http://www.thehorsecomesfirst.com/key-facts) and we welcome you to share the messaging as you show visitors around your yards.



£9.7m boost for grass roots as 2018 Fixture List is published

Alongside the publication of the 2018 Fixture List today, the BHA, with the support of the RCA and Horsemen’s Group has announced a package of proposals to invest additional Levy income with the aim of delivering three key objectives for the sport – supporting ownership, delivering more competitive and compelling racing, and increasing customer engagement, which will in turn help grow the sport’s future revenues. Along with other horsemen representatives, the NTF was involved in the protracted and complex discussions to agree these measures.

Central to the proposals is an estimated boost of £9.7 million of additional Levy funding targeted at mid and lower-tier racing through increases to prize money funding supported by a new appearance money scheme and race incentive fund. These schemes will improve returns to horsemen and also aim to increase field sizes at Class 3 and below over jumps and Class 4 and below on the flat. As a consequence, most races in Britain (with a small number of exceptions depending on race type) will now be run with a total race value of at least £6,000 from 2018.

Racecourses will be given the opportunity to invest their own revenues to unlock the extra prize money funding and appearance money,which would see qualifying races introduce payments of at least £300 for horses finishing between fifth and eighth place. As a result the overall boost to returns to horsemen at grass roots level will be significantly greater than the extra money invested via the Levy, with an estimated total boost of more than £11m to prize money.

In addition, an existing £6m race incentive fund will continue to incentivise the programming of races at Class 1 to 3, with a £500,000 Development Fund continuing to be used to support longer term strategic initiatives to enhance the breed, alongside £1m of new funding collected through an auction of BHA Fixtures.

Class 6 race example

It is also the intention that the Plus 10 Bonus Scheme will receive a boost in 2018 with around £300,000 of revenue being invested to support returns to three-year-old staying horses, aligning the scheme with the broader, industry objective to encourage the breeding and racing of stayers.

The proposals are subject to the availability of forecast levy funding and the approval of the Horserace Betting Levy Board (HBLB). They are based on anticipated minimum Levy spend on prize money of £57.4m in 2018, which represents a growth of £8.05m from 2017. Prize money spending efficiencies, including race divisions being funded by the racecourses, will allow for the £9.7m investment in grassroots.

Other headlines include:

  • Earliest Fixture List publication since 2009
  • Introduction of a week-long break after the Bet365 Jump Finale at Sandown, with the new Jump season proper starting on the following Saturday afternoon at Uttoxeter
  • A small number of additional fixtures have been programmed in customer-friendly slots on Friday evenings and Saturday afternoons throughout summer with the aim of increasing attendances.
  • Around 20 Monday and Tuesday afternoon fixtures, capable of being staged under floodlights in the winter, will have a later start time as a twilight fixture to support changes to the betting market.
  • At the time of year when the available horse population means that flat eliminations are at their highest, twilight fixtures will be staged on Monday evenings in September and October.
  • With a view to continuing strengthening Sunday racing, an incentive fund will offer support for the staging of a fixture worth at least £70,000

Top line figures from the 2018 Fixture List are:

  • A total of 1,508 fixtures have been scheduled, 11 more than planned in 2017.
  • Ratio of fixtures in 2018 – Jump: 39.7%, Flat Turf 37.7%, All Weather 22.6% (2017: Jump 40.1% : Flat Turf 38.1% : All Weather 21.8%)
  • 910 Flat fixtures scheduled (14 more than in 2017). Of these fixtures, 569 are Flat Turf fixtures (one fewer than 2017) while 341 are All Weather fixtures (15 more than originally scheduled in 2017)
  • 598 Jump fixtures scheduled (three fewer than 2017
  • By betting session, there will be 1,096 afternoon fixtures (19 fewer than 2017) and 412 evening fixtures (30 more than 2017).

RSPCA asks racing community for winning homes for companion ponies

The RSPCA is asking racing trainers for help rehoming small hack and companion ponies this summer.

For several years now the RSPCA and other horse charities has been picking up the pieces of the equine crisis, with inspectors being called out to sick, injured, neglected or cruelly treated horses every single day.

Despite their best efforts the RSPCA has more than 800 horses, donkeys and ponies in care and is asking for the racing community for help to give them winning homes.

Amy Quirk, a former jockey, and the RSPCA’s director of field operations, said: “We are asking the racing community for help rehoming our ponies as we know these animals will get fantastic care and also lead purposeful lives as hacks or field and travel companions for your thoroughbreds.

“You may not have considered rehoming a rescue horse until now, but we have hundreds of really smart little ponies (like little Chewie, pictured) who are just waiting for a chance in a new home after being rescued from serious neglect and cruelty.”

To find out more, please email equinerehoming@rspca.org.uk the RSPCA website and see the companion horses, ponies and donkeys currently available for rehoming or foster (www.rspca.org.uk/homesforhorses)


Jump Jockeys Seminars

All trainers who employ a 3lb and 5lb claiming Conditional jockey should note that the mandatory Jump Jockeys Seminars take place on Tuesday 26th September at Hilton Hotel, Warwick and Wednesday 18th October at Mercure Hotel, Wetherby.

Jockeys should have received a letter about the seminars, which start at 9.30am prompt.

Late arrivals and non-attendees will be required to submit their reasons in writing to the Disciplinary Department.

Please ensure your Conditional jockey has booked on to one of the seminars by Friday 25th August.

Stud and Stable Staff Award nominations now open

With a plethora of events happening to mark Racing Staff Week, it might have escaped some people’s notice that nominations opened on Saturday 8th July 2017 for the 2018 Godolphin Stud and Stable Staff Awards.

The awards, now in their 14th year, recognise and reward the outstanding skills, commitment and contribution of racing’s 6,000 stud and stable staff. Sponsored by Godolphin and run by the BHA in association with the Racing Post, the Awards offer more than £120,000 in prize money with up to £40,000 available to a single yard or stud.

The opening of the nomination window was timed to coincide with the final day of Racing Staff Week 2017. Nominations, which can be made online here, will close on Tuesday 21st November 2017.

Allow more time when declaring foreign jockeys to ride in France

France Galop have contacted the BHA to remind trainers of the timescales involved for booking jockeys when they have runners/rides overseas.

Any Trainer or Jockey who requires a clearance to be sent to France Galop should contact the BHA Licensing Team in good time so that this can be written and sent to France Galop on the day before declarations day, at the latest.

The BHA always encourage Jockeys to pick up a racecourse clearance before riding overseas (this can be picked up from the Clerk of the Scales after their last ride). However, France Galop often require a full clearance which needs to be obtained from BHA Licensing.  Jockeys/Trainers are advised to request this with at least 48 hours’ notice or as soon as they are aware of the proposed ride.

Please be aware the BHA Licensing team are only in the office from Monday to Friday, so Jockeys/Trainers need to factor that in when requesting a clearance.  To contact the BHA Licensing team call 020 7152 0145   and France Galop +33-1-49-10-21-26


“Since March 1, 2017, the French Rules of Racing require that any foreign jockey must be in good order with France Galop at the latest the day before the declarations of mounts (art. 43 § IV) :

jockey etrangersTherefore, in order to accept their rides, we must receive the clearance of their horse racing authority at the latest the day before the declarations of mounts.”