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.
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 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.
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.
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 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 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
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: firstname.lastname@example.org