Plus 10 for breeze-up graduates

There is a post-sale allowance for trainers to qualify Plus 10 horses bought at breeze-up sales.

This allowance provides for the new trainer (owner) of a horse to pay the final Plus 10 registration fee to qualify their purchase to win a £10,000 bonus should their horse go on to win a Plus 10 race.

The presence of a Plus 10 logo on a horse’s pedigree page in a breeze-up catalogue will indicate that the horse is entered into Plus 10.

To confirm if the final fee can be paid –

The Owner registration payment must be made before a horse is entered to race.

Get in on the fun during Racing Staff Week

Once again the ROA is helping to fund trainers organising BBQs or other social events for their staff and owners during Racing Staff Week (29 June – 6 July 2019). And better yet the cheques have been boosted to £150 from £100 in previous years.

The initiative, which saw around 30 events in 2017 and 2018 provide the ideal environment for owners and staff to get to know each other better in a relaxed and informal atmosphere. Owners have cited that an important element of their ownership experience is getting to know the member of staff that cares for their horse(s).

Closing date for applications is Friday 7 June. Download an application form from the ROA website here.

Mental Health in racing report will help shape NTF services

Yesterday was the start of Mental Health Awareness Week and we were at Windsor Racecourse for an event to publicise the findings of a report commissioned by Racing Welfare about mental health in British horseracing. It can be found here on Racing Welfare’s website.

Over the last twelve months, the NTF has highlighted researcher Will McConn’s interaction with trainers and other groups whose collective efforts make racing happen. Thank you to all the trainers who spoke to Will and took part in forums.

According to the research reported yesterday, 76% of trainers surveyed said that they felt the industry provided inadequate support for their mental health.  We will be using the report’s recommendations, along with those from the Horseracing MBA report on Occupation Stressors for Trainers, to shape future NTF services for our members.

At the same time, we would encourage you to make the most of our existing services, many of which address issues raised in the report. For instance, debt collection and management was a key theme for trainers. Applying the advice available in the Business Section in the members area of the NTF website should avoid many debt problems. These include credit management advice and services, debt recovery through the Legal Expenses Insurance scheme, and Weatherbys Invoice Payment Service. 

Don’t be fooled by dubious business rates advisors

We have been told about a trainer who was visited by a person from a ‘Rating and Valuation Company’ suggesting that they could get the rateable values of stables in Lambourn almost halved based on a property in the nearby village of Chilton Foliat. It is likely that the suggested comparable property was in fact a livery yard as they are valued at the level quoted by this person.

You should be very wary of approaches of this kind and we recommend trainers to only use the services of a Chartered Surveyor, not least because they are not permitted to ask for the fee of £895 up front which was the case in this instance.

As you know, Christopher Marriott is the NTF’s retained advisor for Non-Domestic Rates. He has a huge amount of experience dealing with the Valuation Office and the idiosyncrasies of rateable values of training premises. You can contact him at Marriotts Property LLP on 01367 242422.

RIABS contributions increase from 1st April

Due to the increasing cost of claims the trustees of the Racing Industry Accident Benefit Scheme (RIABS) have decided to raise the weekly contribution per employee from £5.24 to £6.00. As you know, the contribution is shared equally between employer and employee.

Although this is a sizeable increase, it should ensure that the scheme meets its obligations without having to review contributions again for some time. RIABS is managed by the NTF for the trustees; the weekly benefit is run as a mutual fund so surpluses are retained within the scheme to pay claims in future years.

Legal helplines answered by specialist legal team

Now members have agreed the full renewal of the NTF’s Legal Expenses Insurance policy, we thought it worth clarifying that the helplines are answered by specialist lawyers, not a call centre.

The NTF has two legal helplines for trainers.  The employment law helpline in the first instance goes through to our in house legal executive, Dawn Bacchus. When she is not available the call is diverted to Knights plc solicitors where a specialist employment solicitor will be available to advise.  We have been working with Knights plc since 2014 and they understand the training business as well as the law.

The second helpline is for non-employment calls and goes direct to Knights plc in the first instance.  Calls to this helpline have included advice on contract disputes, property and ownership issues and their litigation solicitors are undertaking cases for NTF members through the NTF legal expenses insurance.

Weatherbys moves documentation online

Weatherbys have asked us to convey the information below to our members.

As part of the BHA’s efforts to modernise and reduce the costs of racing administration, from the beginning of May, many hard copy letters currently received by owners and trainers will be moving online. While you are not required to take any action, we wanted to make sure you understand the changes.

What is moving online?

From 1st May, invoices for BHA racing accounts and VAT summaries for all ownership types (including Sole owners, Companies, Partnerships, Syndicates and Racing Clubs) will be available to view online via the Racing Admin system.

For the avoidance of doubt, if you have a Weatherbys bank account as opposed to a BHA racing account, the way you receive your statements will not change, but your VAT summaries may move online as described below.

What does this mean for me?

As all trainers already have access to the new Racing Admin system, you will be able to view your invoices and VAT summaries online. This will include those for any Partnerships you are involved in, plus any Syndicates and Racing Clubs you manage. Your hard copy invoices and summaries will be replaced by monthly emails notifying you when these are ready to view online.

If your VAT summaries are currently delivered to a VAT agent, they will continue to receive these in hard copy.

What other improvements are being introduced?

In addition to the move online, invoices and VAT summaries are being aligned to cover the same dates each month, and their layout improved to make them easier to understand and utilise. For more information on these changes please visit

Do I need to take any action? While there is no need for you to take any action in order to enjoy these improvements, if there is a reason why you need to continue receiving hard copy invoices and VAT summaries, or you would like further information, please contact the Accounts Team via