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.

_I2I7423

“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. ”

Ends

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.

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.”

Ends

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

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

 

Lycetts Team Champion Award 2019 nomination window open

NEWS RELEASE

3rd September 2018

NATIONAL TRAINERS FEDERATION ANNOUNCES  OPENING OF NOMINATIONS FOR THE  2019 LYCETTS TEAM CHAMPION AWARD

  • The Lycetts Team Champion Award showcases trainers’ yards which promote a team ethos
  • The judging criteria are drawn from The Winning Approach, the bespoke industry standard, supporting retention of racing staff and demonstrating modern management practices by racehorse trainers in Britain
  • Training days to offer guidance on practical management techniques

The National Trainers Federation (NTF) is delighted to be launching the second year of the Lycetts Team Champion Award. The window for nominations opens on Monday 3rd September 2018. The closing date is Monday 3rd December 2018.

Created in 2017 with the first awards presented in February 2018, the Lycetts Team Champion Award celebrates the training yards that have a strong team ethos.

The Lycetts Team Champion mission is to showcase the positive results of developing a team that works well together, spread the message about safe working practices and improve recruitment and retention rates by promoting the most successful ways in which racehorse trainers manage their staff and thereby encourage wider adoption of those practices.

An explanation of the process and the nomination form are available on the NTF website at https://www.racehorsetrainers.org/industry/teamchampion.asp . These will also be sent to trainers by post this week.

The Lycetts Team Champion Award has two categories – for trainers with 40 horses or more; and for trainers with fewer than 40 horses. The winning yard in each category will receive £4000 to be spent in a way that benefits and enhances the team.

Teams scoring above given points thresholds will achieve recognition through a star-rating system and have the right to use the unique award logo to promote their business. 39 current holders of the star-rating can be viewed on the award website.

The winners will be announced at a special ceremony on Thursday 28th February 2019.

The 2018 award winners were:

  • 40 horses or more: Warren Greatrex, Uplands Stable, Lambourn, Berkshire

Team Greatrex

  • Less than 40 horses: Nick Alexander, Kinneston, Fife

teamkinneston

Rupert Arnold, Chief Executive of the NTF, said, “Our members responded enthusiastically to the first Lycetts Team Champion Award. It was great to see how trainers and staff worked together to show the excellent management practices they use to instil a team ethos in the yard.

“By demonstrating the high standards currently operating 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.”

Tom Dascombe, whose team was shortlisted in 2018, commented, “All the team at Manor House Stables were thrilled to get onto the shortlist in the first Lycetts Team Champion Award. They really enjoyed being involved. It’s great to have a chance to show how the way we work together is good for the business and we will be having another go at winning the award this year.”

The NTF is helping its members meet the award criteria – and adopt the wider Winning Approach – by putting on a series of training days at Newmarket, Cheltenham and Kelso.

The training days, entitled ‘Building a Sustainable Business’, are supported by The Racing Foundation and delivered by Peplow Group’s Peter Burnet, who has run the Management Academy for Racing for the past decade.

Lycetts, a leading insurance broker specialising in the protection of all types of equine businesses, is supporting the award with prize money funding and promotion. Lycetts sees the award as the perfect way of raising awareness of safe working practices that will lead to a significant reduction in the risk of workplace injuries.

Piers Plunket, Divisional Director at Lycetts, said: “Racehorse trainers and their staff make a great contribution to the world of British horseracing and we want to shine a spotlight on all the hard work that is carried out on these yards.

 

“Our mission is to instil a sense of achievement in the best managed yards, as well as showcase the positive results of developing a team that works well together. In addition, we see the award as the perfect way of raising awareness of safe working practices to help reduce the risk of workplace injuries.”

Ends

Notes for Editors

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 17 offices in the UK, with its headquarters based in Newcastle-upon-Tyne.

All available profits from Lycetts are passed onto the company’s ultimate owner, the charity Allchurches Trust, which in turn invests them back into the community. This structure offers security and business stability for Lycetts while fostering an ethical and long-term approach and a high-level of client trust.

The National Trainers Federation represents the interests of British licensed racehorse trainers. For more information on the National Trainers Federation, please go to www.racehorsetrainers.org

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

 

 

“Inspirational” management training to support staff retention

“Inspirational.” “Very good ideas to take back to the yard and help with staff retention.”
“I learned a lot about leadership and management.”
“It has made me look at things from a completely different perspective and question how we do things in our yard.”

These are a few of the feedback comments about the management training modules we put on last year to support trainers with their Lycetts Team Champion Award nominations. The 2019 series begins in July. Trainers looking for support for the award have the opportunity with their senior staff to attend one of the modules created for the NTF by Peter Burnet of The Peplow Group.

With the title ‘Building a Sustainable Business’ the module is designed to help trainers recruit and retain exceptional staff teams. It is about sharing ideas, tips and support to match the team award criteria and make other wider ranging changes.

It will take place at three venues this summer / autumn:

  • The BRS in Newmarket on 20th July 2018
  • Malton on 8th August 2018
  • Cheltenham on 12th September 2018

Tea and Coffee will be available from 09.30. Each day will run from 10.00 to 16.30 with lunch and refreshments provided. Dress is casual / work clothes. The day will consist of a mix of activities, discussion and some new ideas.

Each participant will be encouraged to generate an action plan to help implement any new ideas back in the yard. There is no formal preparation for the day and please come with an open mind!

To book places

In the first year of the award, the Racing Foundation fully funded the management training. This year there is a charge of £100 per place. To book yourself and up to one other staff member onto any of the three days please contact the NTF at teamchampion@racehorsetrainers.org or ring 01488 71794.