Brexit: movement of people in the fields of sport and culture

Trainers concerned about access to migrant workers from Europe after Brexit will be interested in the House of Lords EU Home Affairs Sub-Committee inquiry into potential future arrangements for the movement of people between the EU and UK in the fields of sport and culture. The BHA will be submitting evidence to this inquiry, based on its joint submission with the NTF to the Migration Advisory Committee call for evidence last year.

The Parliamentary website notice of the enquiry says that BBC research has shown that without freedom of movement, 332 current players in the English Premier League, the Championship and the Scottish Premier League would not meet the requirements for non-EU/EEA nationals.

Owner registration deadline for Plus 10 bonus scheme

Time is running out to complete registrations for the expanded Plus 10 bonus scheme, with Owner Registration due by 28 February to qualify eligible 2016 born horses to win £10,000 bonuses.

For the first time, £10,000 Plus 10 bonuses will feature across all Class 5 three-year-old maiden races over 1m3f and further for the 2018 flat season and beyond. The additional races see the total bonus race programme spanning about 800 races across Britain and Ireland. For more information, visit

ROA event for secretaries, Epsom, 5 Feb

The ROA will be hosting an informal social event for Racing Secretaries and Senior Staff at The Cock Inn (Headley, KT18 6LE) on Monday 5th February.

Secretaries are invited to attend between 1-3pm for a general discussion on ownership related matters and to share new ideas for the recruitment and retention of owners. There will also be the opportunity to discuss ways that the association can support secretaries in their daily communications with owners.

A selection of sandwiches, cakes and light refreshments will be provided.

Those wishing to attend please RSVP to Chloe Martin no later than Monday 29th January.

Start now to incorporate new Data Protection Regulations

New data protection regulations are coming into force on 25th May 2018.  Whilst that seems a long way off, businesses need to start taking action now to move towards compliance next year.

The General Data Protection Regulations apply to employers because they process personal data about their workers – personal data is general data about the individual and a special category of data which relates to particular characteristics (racial or ethnic origin, political opinions, religious or philosophical beliefs, trade union membership, health, sexual orientation or sexual life and genetic and biometric data) – extra steps must be taken with regard to special category data.

The NTF will be issuing guidance over the coming months, working through the different stages of what you need to do.

The new legislation will require privacy notices to be given to employees explaining how their personal data is used, the lawful basis for the business processing the information, and the amount of time it will be retained, as opposed to the employee just giving blanket consent as at present.

Other key issues are that you must be able to demonstrate compliance and notify those affected by a data breach. You must have systems in place designed with privacy and data protection in mind.

As an initial step, we would advise that you decide who in the business will take responsibility for overseeing compliance with the new data protection regulations.  Once you have done that, the next step will be to audit what information your business currently holds.   You can then consider what needs to be kept, why you need it and then move towards notifying employees about it.

Step 1 Appoint the person or persons responsible for data protection within your organisation

Someone should be given overall responsibility to ensure that the data protection work is undertaken; however we recommend that you do not call the person a data controller since this is a title that brings various obligations with it.  We suggest using the title data protection manager or data protection leader.

Step 2  Arrange an audit of personal data held by your company

There is no set way of carrying out the audit but questions to be considered about the information held include:

  • What kind of data is being collected, where and why?
  • How is the data used (i.e. processed) both internally and externally?
  • How long is the data retained?
  • Who has access to the data both inside and outside the business?
  • What procedures and controls are in place to keep data safe?

The amount of time this may take should not be underestimated so it is good to start now.   Such data will include use of CCTV, sending payroll out to a third party provider, and customer data bases – it is not just about employees.

Further information – which will be developed over the next few months as more guidance is issued by the Information Commissioners Office – is available on the NTF website in the employment area under General Data Protection Regulations.     Members can find a suggested audit template and a link to the ICO website.

Shortlisted finalists announced for Lycetts Team Champion Award

The National Trainers Federation (NTF) is delighted to announce the two shortlists for the inaugural 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:

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
Tom Dascombe Nick Alexander
Warren Greatrex Martin Keighley
Mark Johnston Seamus Mullins
Dan Skelton Suzy Smith

Under the grading system, all the shortlisted yards are awarded 3-star status. Competition was extremely strong and the standard of nominations very high resulting in other yards also achieving a 1, 2 or 3-star rating.

The judges would like to emphasise how impressed they were with the very high standard of nominations and the remarkable progress taking place in management practices in racing yards.

Laura Whyte, former Director of HR at John Lewis, commented “I thoroughly enjoyed assessing the entries and was impressed at the breadth of initiatives going into recruitment and development at many yards – especially the care taken of our youngest members of staff.  The various recognition schemes such as “employee of the month” and similar show how well some trainers work on celebrating individuals who make a big difference to the team effort. I’m looking forward to visiting the short listed yards to see and learn more about their ways of working.”

Equally complimentary was another judge, Kevin Parsons, Union Learn Project Manager for National Association of Stable Staff, who said ““It has been an absolute pleasure reading through the nomination forms and some fantastic work and practices are going on out there in many yards across the country.”

Dana Mellor added her thoughts on the nominations: “Good business practice is essential in racing yards if trainers want to recruit and retain good staff and the nominations for the award reflect high standards throughout Britain and across the jump/flat divide. We now have an opportunity to harvest this by recognising trainers who are putting people as well as horses first. By rewarding them as role models, good practice can be rolled out to all yards and become part of the culture of racing. It’s a huge step forward.”

n the next phase of the award, the judges will visit the shortlisted yards during January 2018 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 at the NTF Annual General Meeting on 22nd February 2018.

Speaking on behalf of the NTF, Chief Executive Rupert Arnold said, “We would like to thank all the yards who collaborated so well to describe in detail the way they work as a team and are engaged and developed as individuals. The shortlists are a product of the scoring system and while competition for the eight places was intense, yards that have not made the shortlists should be proud of what they are doing in their workplace and will have a star rating to prove their yard is a great place to work.”



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 30th November 2017.

The judges are Yogi Breisner, Dana Mellor, Kevin Parsons, Olly Stevens 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 15 offices in the UK. Lycetts specialises in farm and estate insurance and also provides bespoke financial services, commercial and bloodstock insurance advice.

The Racing Foundation has contributed to the funding of the Team Champion Award and The Winning Approach, a bespoke industry standard for the management of staff in British racing yards. The Winning Approach was developed by the NTF with assistance from Sport and Beyond consultancy.


Plus 10 owner registration discount

Owners of yearlings registered for the Plus 10 bonus scheme are encouraged to finalise scheme registration before the end of the year.

Up until 31 December, the cost of the third and final Owner Registration is £300. After this date, the fee rises to £350 per horse and must be paid by 28 February 2017.

The Owner Registration is required to be paid to qualify a horse to win a full £10,000 bonus on top of first-place winnings, with the horse’s registered owner at the time of the win receiving £7,500.

More than £11 million worth of Plus 10 bonuses have been won since March 2015. Bonuses apply to more than 650 two and three-year-old races in Britain and Ireland each year.


Syndicates Association to collaborate with the NTF

For many trainers, syndicates are the life-blood of their yard and it’s not uncommon for well over half the horses to be in group ownership schemes of various types.  It is estimated that there are over 5,000 owners involved; commercial syndicators are already managing well over 1,000 horses, with numbers growing all the time; and the economic contribution to British racing is well over £50 million a year.  This is in marked contrast to sole ownership which is in steady decline. Syndicates are inevitably going to be an even greater component of total ownership in the future. Different types are emerging, with trainers entering into joint ventures with professional syndicators, racecourses setting up their own racing clubs and increasingly large numbers of first-time owners coming into the sport through small, fractional shareholdings.

The Racehorse Syndicates Association (RSA) is the industry body representing professional syndicators.  Details can be found on  All the big names such as Highclere and Middleham Park are represented, as well as many smaller operations right across Britain.  Some of these groups are amongst the biggest owners in the country.  Membership has doubled in the past two years and is now at its highest ever level.  In the short term the RSA is working hard to improve the overall benefits package at racecourses for syndicators and syndicate owners while developing a longer-term strategy that assesses the broader implications for racing of the likely huge growth in syndication.

The RSA recently approached the NTF with a view to collaborating with us, so we’re proposing a small working group to identify areas of common interest and create an action plan for joint promotion of syndication as well as understanding the needs of trainers and racing secretaries in this area.  If you’d like to be involved in this group, please let us know.