Race sponsors’ clothing need not be worn

An enquiry to the NTF office last week prompts us to confirm that your staff are not obliged to wear race sponsors’ clothing. It is very tempting for racing staff to accept clothing offered to them by racecourse officials or sponsors’ representatives. However, it is for the trainer to decide if it is appropriate for the clothing to be worn.

In some cases wearing the clothing may infringe the requirements of the Racehorse Owners Sponsorship Framework. Where a horse and/or jockey carries owners’ sponsorship, at least one sponsorship site must be visible in the parade ring. Race sponsors’ clothing must not be worn if it would obscure the only visible owners’ sponsorship site.

The only exceptions are at the Investec Derby meeting and Randox Health Grand National meeting – both have exclusive sponsorship deals and owners receive a compensatory payment from the race sponsors.

Free badge scheme launched for Racing Grooms

Press release – 28 June 2019

The National Trainers Federation (NTF) is delighted to announce the launch of a new badge scheme in a partnership  between Arena Racing Company (ARC) racecourses and RacingGroom.com.

Headed  by Shelley Perham, Recruitment and Training Co-ordinator at the NTF, the new scheme enables members of RacingGroom.com to visit an ARC racecourse on up to four occasions per year, including two passes that may be used by guests of the badge holder.

It has been a long-held ambition by the NTF to enable grooms to attend and enjoy race fixtures, and not just work behind the scenes. We want these valued members of the team to experience a day out at the races with friends and family, and have the opportunity to enjoy the sport they contribute to with such dedication.

Shelley Perham,  National Trainers Federation

‘We are grateful to ARC for working with us so proactively on facilitating this badge scheme. RacingGroom.com was developed by the NTF to communicate value, rewards, and respect to existing racing staff, and this is just the type of reward we want to be sharing with members.

Racing Staff Week is a spotlight under which the industry stakeholders and race-going public can all show our gratitude for the dedicated care of our much-loved racehorses. It is this work ethic and commitment which makes the quantity and quality of racing on offer in Britain, possible. We look forward to seeing staff enjoying a race day from the stands and with friends and family very soon.’

Mark Spincer, Operations Director of ARC

‘We’re really pleased to be introducing this new badge scheme for Racing Grooms that will sit alongside the ones we already operate for Owners with the ROA.  The team at RacingGroom.com and the NTF have developed a really useful resource for Racing Grooms working in British Racing and we hope that this scheme will offer some enjoyable afternoons and evenings out for them, their friends and families at our racecourses.’

The ARC RacingGroom.com Badge Scheme will be eligible for over 500 fixtures across the 16 ARC racecourses per year.  In 2019, racing fixtures featuring live music at Wolverhampton (Madness and Jess Glynne, 30 and 31 August) and Doncaster (James on Saturday 17 August) will be included in the scheme.

To access the badge scheme, racing grooms must be signed up to RacingGroom.com which is free and simple to do. For the full terms and conditions for the ARC RacingGroom.com Badge Scheme, please visit http://www.arenaracingcompany.co.uk or http://www.racinggroom.com.


For any further information or queries, please contact Shelley Perham, s.perham@racehorsetrainers.org.

National Trainers Federation, 9 High St, Lambourn, Hungerford RG17 8XL

High res imagery available on request

About RacingGroom.com

RacingGroom.com, a new website and resource focused entirely on the rewarding career of racing staff. The site is designed to address recruitment and retention of young people in horse racing with a two fold mission;

  1. Communicate value, rewards, and respect to existing racing staff
  2. Inspire and inform potential racing staff about the invaluable role of racing grooms, and how to get involved.

Made possible through funding from Racing Foundation, the website is a real resource for all; racing staff, stakeholders and employers and can be utilised to complement the existing careers advice services. It is vital that the industry seeks to attract, engage with, mentor, inspire and care for the racing grooms, on which 14,000 horses (source: British Horseracing Authority) in training in Britain, rely on. The site serves as both an information service and signpost; to direct users to training providers, health and wellbeing support, job boards, and the relevant industry bodies. RacingGroom.com also serves to inspire newcomers into the industry, dispelling myths about the roles of racing staff, highlighting the real perks and benefits, and career progression opportunities. RacingGroom.com ensures that grooms have a central resource to access all the information they need to embark on, or develop their career.

There are two elements to the website, a front end with all the information on how to become a groom and to inspire anyone exploring racing groom as a career choice. Then there is a community hub, which is free to join. The hub is really dedicated to those serious about working as a groom, or are already doing so. It highlights exclusive rewards, access to trainer and racecourse information, health and wellbeing support, further information on training options and providers, and even has a unique CV and cover letter building tool.

About ARC

Arena Racing Company (“ARC”) is the largest racecourse operator in the UK. In 2019 ARC Group racecourses will host 570 fixtures with 1.2 million people attending racing at one of ARC’s racecourses each year.

ARC is made up of the following sixteen racecourses: Bath, Brighton, Chepstow, Doncaster, Ffos Las, Fontwell Park, Great Yarmouth, Hereford, Lingfield Park, Newcastle, Royal Windsor, Sedgefield, Southwell, Uttoxeter, Wolverhampton and Worcester.

ARC runs four of the six all-weather racecourses in the UK offering three different types of surface for horses to run on: Polytrack at Lingfield Park, fibresand at Southwell Racecourse and tapeta at Newcastle and Wolverhampton Racecourses – the only tapeta racing surfaces in Europe.

Further information about ARC can be found at www.arenaracingcompany.co.uk.

Deductions from wages

As an employer you cannot legally make deductions from an employee’s wages unless certain conditions are met.   You can, of course, make a deduction where it is required or authorised by legislation so tax, NI, child maintenance service payments or attachments of earnings orders made by courts.

For anything else you need written permission from the employee before the deduction is made or the event giving rise to the deduction occurs. 

The NTF standard contract of employment contains a clause whereby the employee consents to the RIABS deduction and if not using the standard contract ensure that provision is made into your own contracts for RIABS to be deducted from wages.

The NTF template accommodation licence gives you the right to deduct from wages for repairing damage or cleaning a property if it is not left in an acceptable condition –  all these documents can be found in the employment area of the NTF website.

You also need to ensure that those deductions are not bringing the employee’s wages below the National Minimum Wage or the National Living Wage as appropriate.  In respect of deductions for accommodation, there is a figure set by Government called the Accommodation Offset which from 1st April 2019 is £7.55 a day which impacts upon whether or not the National Minimum/National Living Wage is being paid.  You need to bear in mind that the higher the accommodation charge (which for minimum wage purpose includes any charge you are making to the employee for gas or electricity), the lower an employee’s pay will be when calculating the minimum wage and it could be that even though the wage paid appears to be over the minimum wage but once the accommodation deduction is made, allowing for the accommodation offset, the employee is being underpaid for minimum wage purposes.

There is detailed guidance on the NTF website and on the Government website www.gov.uk and your own accountant should be able to assist you with the specifics relating to your own business arrangements.

Searching for Project Manager | Horse Welfare Board

This is a unique opportunity to help shape the future of equine welfare in British racing, both in terms of racing’s overall welfare strategy and in the way that we communicate about horse welfare to a wide range of inside and outside audiences.

Racing’s new Horse Welfare Board has been established to develop and align a cross-industry programme of work around equine welfare and to set welfare priorities for the sport for the next 5- 10 years.

The Horse Welfare Board is looking for an experienced project manager to assist with this complex but potentially ground-breaking work. The successful candidate will have a proven track record managing cross functional projects, bringing together a range of different projects into coherent programmes of work.

If you feel you have the relevant skills and experience, please apply by completing our application form on the following link Application Form. The closing date for applications will be 23 June 2019

Further details are available at this link on the BHA website

Programme Book 3 – provisional index

The provisional index for Programme Book 3 is now in the Members Area on the NTF website under Race Planning. The fully searchable index covers September to the end of December.

Thank you to trainers who have given us their feedback about the new format of the Programme Book and Racing Calendar. We are discussing this with the BHA, who have also started a thread on the new Racing Admin Forum. This is another opportunity to give the BHA your opinion on the way race programme information is provided to trainers so please don’t hesitate to use it.

FEI warns about contamination from synephrine

After ten horses, mainly from South America, tested positive for the stimulant synephrine, the FEI has warned competitors to be vigilant for potential sources.

Synephrine is used as a weight loss aid and is found in plant in certain parts of the world. The BHA tells us that it is not licensed for human or veterinary medicines, or any registered homeopathic products in the UK.

The risk of a problem in the UK is small but our advice, as ever, is to only use products which carry the BETA NOPS logo. If a product does not carry the logo, ask the manufacturer whether or not the product has been tested for NOPS/Prohibited Substances. As a reminder, refer to the NTF advice on avoiding feedstuff contamination here.

BHA notice – injectable omeprazole

The BHA would like to make Trainers, veterinary surgeons and other industry participants aware of an international issue regarding injectable omeprazole manufactured by BOVA. The following announcement from Racing New South Wales reports that a bottle of Omeprazole 100mg/ml (BOVA Australia) was confirmed to contain testosterone (an anabolic androgenic steroid):

Omeprazole 100mg/ml (BOVA UK) is available in the UK and is a compounded prescription-only veterinary medicine (POM-V). Following discussion with the manufacturer, the BHA can inform industry participants that the UK product is manufactured at a separate location to the Australian product.

In light of the international situation, the BHA is conducting analysis of the UK product to seek assurance that a similar issue does not appear evident here. We expect results of the analysis at the end of next week, and will advise trainers of the results as soon as possible. In the meantime we would advise trainers to be cautious if using Omeprazole 100mg/ml in racing Thoroughbreds.