2019 Lycetts Team Champion Award winners celebrated at Institute of Directors

Jedd O’Keeffe and Tom Dascombe were announced yesterday as the 2019 winners of the Lycetts Team Champion Award, which celebrates the British racehorse training yards with the highest standards of employee management.

The announcement was made at a ceremony at the Institute of Directors, Pall Mall, London, where the winning yards were presented with their trophy and awarded a £4,000 prize for each yard to benefit and support their teams. ITV Racing presenter Sally Ann Grassick hosted the ceremony.

Collecting the award for husband Jedd, Andrea O’Keeffe said “”Firstly it should be Jedd standing here but he has flu – the human version! – so he is really sorry he can’t be here.

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“It means the absolute world but it’s really about these guys and the team that we have who are amazing. We love working with them, they just pull out all the stops in every respect. This whole process has been a really good thing for us to go through as a team. We can’t believe we’ve won and to hear the comments on the other yards you are sitting here thinking ‘there is no way we are going to win!’ because everyone is doing such amazing work in their yards too.”

Tom Dascombe, playing down his role in the nomination, said “”I think we have a good team spirit. It’s really all down to the team and nothing to do with me. This award is for the team and is not for me.”_I2I7438

 

 

 

 

 

 

The National Trainers Federation (NTF) and Lycetts Insurance Brokers created the Lycetts Team Champion Award to:

  • Deliver praise and a sense of achievement for the racehorse training yards with the highest standards of employee management
  • Showcase the positive results of developing a team that works well together
  • Spread the message about safe working practices
  • Improve recruitment and retention rates by promoting the most successful management practices and encouraging their wider adoption among racehorse trainers.

The assessment criteria for Lycetts Team Champion Award are based on The Winning Approach, a best practice standard developed for the NTF by consultants Sport and Beyond. They include effective recruitment and induction systems, a safe working environment, leadership, communication and management structures, developing staff to fulfil their potential, and rewarding achievement. Development of The Winning Approach and the award was funded with the help of The Racing Foundation.

Yogi Breisner, renowned for his stellar accomplishments as a competitor and team leader in the field of Three Day Eventing, chaired the judging panel and presented the prizes. Commenting on the judges’ experience of the awards and the assessment, Breisner said, “In this, the second year of the Lycetts Team Champion Award, it’s very encouraging to see how a lot of trainers have embraced the concept of the Award and have upped their game and improved from the already high standard that we saw last year.”

Rupert Arnold, Chief Executive of the NTF, said, “We received another very strong set of nomnations for this second edition of the Lycetts Team Champion Award. Congratulations to this year’s winners who set an amazing example but let’s remember that there are now 52 trainers (10% of all licensed yards) who are accredited with a star rating to show their business operates to a recognised best practice standard for staff management. ”

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Notes for editors:

Shortlist

The short lists for the two categories were:

40+ horses Fewer than 40 horses
Andrew Balding Nick Alexander
Tom Dascombe Dan Kübler
Warren Greatrex Jedd O’Keeffe
Richard Hughes Richard Phillips

 Industry standard

A copy of The Winning Approach, the award nomination form and an explanation of the award can be found on the NTF website here. The Lycetts Team Champion Award promotes practices that are most closely aligned with strengthening the team ethos.

 

 

Lycetts Team Champion Award winners to be revealed on Thursday 28 February

With only a few days to go before the 2019 Lycetts Team Champion Award winners are announced on Thursday 28th February at the Institute of Directors, here is a glimpse of the eight shortlisted yards to have reached the final stage.

They are up for the chance to win £4000, courtesy of sponsors Lycetts, to be spent on items of their choice to support the team.

Sean Murray receives 2019 Toby Balding Award

The National Trainers Federation (NTF) is delighted to announce that Sean Murray is the 2019 recipient of the Toby Balding Award.

A presentation was made at the Lycetts Team Champion Award presentation on Thursday 28th February at the Institute of Directors in London.

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.

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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 is 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.

About Sean Murray

Sean Murray has worked his way up the career ladder beginning with weekend work for Peter Beaumont while still at school. He was in the first cohort of staff when David O’Meara started out on his training career, progressing to be head lad. He is now Assistant Trainer to Roger Fell at Arthington Barn.

“I have gained a vast amount of racing and equine knowledge working alongside many talented horse men and women” says Sean. “We have a variety of people from different backgrounds and levels of experience and I have a person-centred approach to their career development. I make sure we look at their individual strengths and qualities and I am positive about what can be done however inexperienced or anxious the person might be.

“I would like to use funds from this bursary to invest in more training such as Introduction to Management for the Racing Industry course and Level One NCFE Award in Mentoring. I am so grateful to the NTF Charitable Trust for enabling me to gain more training to further my career.”

Underlining the career progression that Sean Murray has made on his own initiative, Roger Fell commented,” Sean started his career at the British Racing School and has progressed through the ranks to his current position as Assistant Trainer. Sean is a key member of the training team here at Arthington Barn and has put in the hard yards working as a positive role model, putting in long hours to ensure we achieve the best results. This bursary has come at an important time in Sean’s career as it will allow him to fund his ongoing development, and will help him to achieve his ambition to become a licensed trainer.”

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.

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Lycetts Team Champion Award presentation at Institute of Directors on 28 February

In a change to last year’s AGM format, the Lycetts Team Champion Award presentation ceremony will begin at 4.00pm at the Institute of Directors following the AGM lunch. To celebrate the winners, there will be a drinks reception after the presentations.

This allows us to use the space in the beautiful Nash Room at the IoD for our members’ meeting and make best use of the staging and audio-visual facilities. The break for lunch enables the IoD staff to change the room layout for the awards.

Congratulations to the yards that reached the shortlist to be a Lycetts Team Champion winner. Yard visits to the following trainers are underway:

40+ horses Fewer than 40 horses
Andrew Balding Nick Alexander
Tom Dascombe Dan Kubler
Warren Greatrex Jedd O’Keeffe
Richard Hughes Richard Phillips

All trainers whose yards have been awarded a star rating under the award system are now on display on the award page on the NTF website here. The 2019 award logos have been produced will be sent to each trainer whose yard earned a rating in the current award year.

Shortlists announced for 2019 Lycetts Team Champion Award

NEWS RELEASE

17 December 2018

SHORTLISTED FINALISTS ANNOUNCED FOR 2019 LYCETTS TEAM CHAMPION AWARD

The National Trainers Federation (NTF) is delighted to announce the two shortlists for the 2019 Lycetts Team Champion Award.

Lycetts Team Champion Award celebrates the racehorse training yards that have developed a strong team ethos through the highest standards of staff management and safe working practices. There are more details on the NTF website at this link: https://www.racehorsetrainers.org/industry/teamchampion.asp

The award has two categories – one for yards with 40 or more horses; and one for yards with fewer than 40 horses. The shortlists (in alphabetical order) are:

40+ horses Fewer than 40 horses
Andrew Balding Nick Alexander
Tom Dascombe Dan Kubler
Warren Greatrex Jedd O’Keeffe
Richard Hughes Richard Phillips

Through the scoring of assessment criteria, nominating yards that reach a sufficient number of points earn a star rating: 1 represents good team ethos and staff engagement; 2 is very good; and 3 is excellent. All the shortlisted yards were awarded 3-star status. Competition was extremely strong and the standard of nominations very high resulting in a higher proportion of 3-star nominations than in the inaugural award last year. A full list of star-rated yards will appear on the NTF and Racing Groom websites shortly.

The judges would like to emphasise how impressed they were with the very high standard of nominations demonstrating the transformation of management practices in racing yards.

Yogi Breisner, Chairman of the judging panel, commented, “It’s been a real pleasure to be involved with Lycetts Team Champion Award again, and it’s great to see the progress from last year and also some very exciting new applications.”

Laura Whyte, former Director of HR at John Lewis, commented “There were some very strong entries this year and it was good to see some of the yards build on their submissions from twelve months ago. I’m really looking forward to our yard visits!”

In the next phase of the award, the judges will visit the shortlisted yards during January 2019 to meet the team members and get first-hand experience of the practices that have been described in the first stage nominations. The winners will be announced on 28th February 2019 at a ceremony at the prestigious headquarters of the Institute of Directors.

Speaking on behalf of the NTF, Chief Executive Rupert Arnold said, “We would like to thank the yards who all put considerable effort into their nominations. It shows that even at this very busy time of year, trainers and staff are keen to publicise how they are adopting best practice and pulling together to promote staff retention.”

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Notes for editors:

The statistics for the number of horses in each yard are provided by Weatherbys and based on a rolling monthly average from 1st January to 1st December 2018.

The judges are Yogi Breisner, Simon Christian, Dana Mellor, Kevin Parsons and Laura Whyte. Before judging began, they each declared conflicts of interest and are not judging any yards with which they have a commercial, employment or personal interest.

The Lycetts Group has grown to become one of the UK’s leading independently-operated insurance brokers with 14 offices in the UK. Lycetts specialises in farm and estate insurance and also provides bespoke financial services, commercial and bloodstock insurance advice.

The assessment criteria for Lycetts Team Champion Award are based on The Winning Approach, a best practice standard developed for the NTF by consultants Sport and Beyond with funding from The Racing Foundation. A copy of The Winning Approach, the award nomination form and an explanation of the award can be found on the NTF website here: https://www.racehorsetrainers.org/industry/teamchampion.asp

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: r.arnold@racehorsetrainers.org .

For more information on the National Trainers Federation, please go to www.racehorsetrainers.org

Emma Sayer wins 2018 Alex Scott Future Trainers Travel Scholarship

NEWS RELEASE

– 26th November 2018

EMMA SAYER WINS THE 2018 ALEX SCOTT FUTURE TRAINERS TRAVEL SCHOLARSHIP

Work Placement with Graham Motion in the USA

Emma Sayer, successful amateur rider and assistant to her mother Dianne Sayer, is the winner of the 2018 Alex Scott Future Trainers Travel Scholarship.

Judging from a short list of four, the panel was particularly struck by Emma’s enthusiasm for learning and commitment to preparing herself for the demanding role a licensed trainer.

With the aid of the £3000 award, Emma will spend her work placement in the USA with Graham Motion, beginning in Florida in February and staying through the stable’s transition to Kentucky in the Spring.

Reacting to having won the award, Emma said, “I am so delighted to be awarded the Alex Scott Scholarship. My objectives are to work hard, learn lots and meet as many people as possible. Winning the scholarship is a chance to put these into practice and I am going to grasp the opportunity with both hands.”

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

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

Lead judge Harry Dunlop said of this year’s winner, “Emma is a hugely enthusiastic person who I am sure will make a good trainer. My brother Ed and I hope the funding from the Alex Scott Scholarship will enable her to achieve this goal.”

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Notes for editors:

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.

The Scholarship is worth £3000 to the winner. The application process is managed by the National Trainers Federation.

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: r.arnold@racehorsetrainers.org

For more information on the National Trainers Federation, please go to www.racehorsetrainers.org

 

News Release – Judges announced for The Lycetts Team Champion Award 2019

NEWS RELEASE 7 November 2018

For immediate release

JUDGING PANEL ANNOUNCED FOR  2019 LYCETTS TEAM CHAMPION AWARD

The National Trainers Federation (NTF) is delighted to welcome a new member of the judging panel in the run up to the closing date on 3rd December for nominations for the second running of the Lycetts Team Champion Award.

Simon Christian, former successful National Hunt trainer, joins the judges for the 2019 award. With his in-depth knowledge of the training business and experience as an employer, Simon will make an invaluable contribution to the assessment of nominations and yard visits.

Expressing his enthusiasm for Lycetts Team Champion Award, Simon Christian said, “To me, a good relationship between trainer and staff is integral; this truly affects the training of the horse. Merit achieved through this award will stand a stable in good stead, strengthening its reputation for a generation who are inclined to appreciate good treatment towards colleagues, plus an all-round sense of teamwork and respect.”

Lycetts Team Champion Award celebrates the racehorse training yards that have a strong team ethos. By demonstrating the highest standards of staff management currently operating in British yards and the ambition of trainers to modernise the way their businesses work, the award supports staff retention as a key method of addressing skills shortages in racing.

The judging panel comprises people with outstanding experience of the working environment in a racehorse trainer’s yard and first class expertise in human resources and team management.

The judges are:

Yogi Breisner (Chair of the Panel), former World Class Performance Manager and Chef d’Equipe for the British Three-Day Event Team.

Simon Christian, former National Hunt trainer, and now a bloodstock adviser.

Dana Mellor, a key figure in establishing the Jockeys Education and Training Scheme.

Kevin Parsons, a highly experienced member of racing staff in some of the most successful yards in British racing.

Laura Whyte, former head of Human Resources for John Lewis

Yogi Breisner, “I am delighted to have been invited to lead the judging panel again for The Lycetts Team Champion Award. Last year’s nominations were so impressive and it will be fascinating to see how teams are being developed and managed in more training yards.”

Fuller biographies appear below.

The NTF would like to thank the judges for their support of the Lycetts Team Champion Award and their time and effort in assessing the nominations.

Lycetts Team Champion has two categories according to the number of horses in training in the nominated yard (40+ and fewer than 40.) Each category winner will receive £4000 to be used in a way that benefits and supports the team. The closing date for nominations is Monday 3rd December 2018 and the winners will be presented with their awards on Thursday 28th February 2019 at the Institute of Directors in London.

Judges’ profiles

 Yogi Breisner

Yogi Breisner has had an outstanding career in the world of Three-Day Eventing both as a rider and a coach. He was a member of the Swedish International Three-Day Event Team at European Championship and Olympic level. From 1994 to 2000 Yogi was a member of British Horse Society’s Training and Education Committee and until 2016 was World Class Performance Manager and Chef d’Equipe for the British Three-Day Event Team.  Other roles include leading British Eventing’s Elite Coach Programme.

Yogi Breisner is also well known in horseracing for his advisory roles at the British Racing School; development of UKCC for jockey coaches; and advising trainers on schooling jump horses and coaching of work riders.

Simon Christian

Simon Christian has spent over forty-five years in the racing world. He started by working in top class stables and became assistant to Fulke Walwyn. He held a trainer’s licence for twelve years, with winners at the Cheltenham, Aintree, and Punchestown festivals. More recently, he has advised racehorse owners on purchasing many successful horses, including Group winners. He visits many racing stables and attends bloodstock sales in Britain and abroad.

SimonChristian

Simon has also served on Sandown Park’s race-day committee and worked in a leading hospitality company. He retains a great passion for horse racing and interest in its future.

Dana Mellor 

As a trainer’s daughter in Berkshire and an apprentice to Jack Berry in Lancashire, Dana gained valuable insight into the teamwork required to run a successful racing yard.  With a law degree behind her, Dana became a key player in establishing the Jockeys Education & Training Scheme (JETS). She now runs a local musical instrument retail business with responsibility for strategy, finance, recruitment and retention. Dana is also a parent governor at her local school.

Kevin Parsons

Kevin Parsons has been in racing for 18 years full time as an Apprentice, Conditional jockey, Work Rider, Head Lad, Assistant Trainer and Travelling Head Lad. He has worked for some excellent trainers including Chris Wall, David Loder, Roger Varian and Roger Charlton. In November 2012 he took on the role of Sports Coordinator and Union Learn Project Manager for the National Association of Racing Staff and thoroughly enjoys providing staff with education courses to help improve their qualifications and transferable skills.

 Laura Whyte

Laura Whyte was Human Resources Director for John Lewis where she oversaw major change programmes. Laura is now a Non-Executive Director on the British Horseracing Authority Board and is on the Defence People and Training Board for the Ministry of Defence.

 Notes for Editors

About the award 

The assessment criteria for Lycetts Team Champion Award are based on The Winning Approach, a best practice standard developed for the NTF by consultants Sport and Beyond with funding from The Racing Foundation. A copy of The Winning Approach, the award nomination form and an explanation of the award can be found on the NTF website here: https://www.racehorsetrainers.org/industry/teamchampion.asp

About Lycetts

The Lycetts Group was founded in 1961 and has grown to become one of the UK’s leading independently-operated insurance brokers.

Lycetts specialises in farm and estate insurance and also provides bespoke financial services, commercial and bloodstock insurance advice. It has 14 offices in the UK, with its headquarters based in Newcastle-upon-Tyne. For more information see www.lycetts.co.uk

 For more information, please contact Rupert Arnold, NTF Chief Executive, on 01488 71794 or 07899 797010. E-mail: r.arnold@racehorsetrainers.org