Cumani tack sale, 3rd March

Luca Cumani’s tack sale will take place at 11.00am on Sunday 3rd March at Bedford House Stables, Bury Road, Newmarket CB8 7BX. Viewing is from 9.00am.

There are over 1000 items, including: Bridles, Bits, Girths, Grooming Kits, Rugs, Headcollars, Martingales, Pads, Saddles, Shanks, Stirrups, Buckets, Feeders, Tack boxes, Racing Equipment and Wheelbarrows.

Enquiries and Commission Bids – contact Claudia Fisher, or 07900 432191. Full Details on Facebook – Cumani Racing, UK


Update from the Thoroughbred Industries Brexit Steering Group

The British Racing and Breeding industries, represented by the Thoroughbred Industries Brexit Steering Group, hope that a Withdrawal Agreement between the United Kingdom and European Union can be reached in the coming weeks. Any implementation period following a withdrawal agreement would, for example, see a continuation of the current free movement of thoroughbreds between Britain, Ireland and France until at least December 2020 with work proceeding on longer-term arrangements beyond any such period. However, we are making no assumptions and therefore ruling out no scenarios.

As such, we are increasing our preparations for the event of the UK’s departure from the EU on 29 March without a deal. We will be communicating further and formally with our stakeholders and participants over the next month with practical guidance and advice, and continue our regular contact with UK Government, colleagues elsewhere in the horse sector, and the Irish and French thoroughbred industries, in particular.

We have had productive discussions with the Department for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) in the last two weeks and are encouraged by the level of ‘no deal’ planning in place.

An online hub to provide guidance to industry participants on what to do as the UK leaves the EU has been set up on the BHA website (, collating industry relevant information which is regularly updated as further advice from government departments becomes available.

Julian Richmond-Watson, Chairman of the Thoroughbred Breeders’ Association (TBA) and of the British Thoroughbred Industries Brexit Steering Group, said:

“With continuing uncertainty around the outcome of the Brexit negotiations, it is only right that the thoroughbred industries prepare for all scenarios, including a No Deal which we hope can be avoided. We have been very encouraged by our engagement with Government around preparations for a No Deal, and endorse its stance that current systems for horse movement into the UK will continue in these circumstances.”

Thoroughbred movement

We would reiterate that the UK Government has made clear that in the event of no deal, thoroughbreds will still be able travel freely into the UK from Ireland and France, as current systems will be replicated. These current systems under the pre-existing Tripartite Agreement work well and have evolved over decades. They facilitate and foster growing international competition and allow for smooth and efficient trade, most importantly prioritising the welfare of our horses and reflecting their high health, high welfare status.

We fully support and lobbied for this position adopted by the UK Government as the pragmatic and right thing to do and to minimise unnecessary disruption.

The UK’s third country status post-Brexit

We have recently had confirmation from the Government that if the UK does leave the EU without a deal then it will be treated as a third country, and in order to be prepared for all possible outcomes, the UK Government has submitted its application for listing as a third country to continue exporting live animals and animal products to the EU after Brexit. The Commission’s recently published Contingency Action Plan states that: “On the basis of the EU veterinary legislation, the Commission will – if justified – swiftly ʻlistʼ the United Kingdom [as a third country], if all applicable conditions are fulfilled, so as to allow the entry of live animals and animal products from the United Kingdom into the European Union”.

We understand that the technical discussions between Defra officials and the European Commission are currently ongoing and are hopeful that they will reach a positive and timely conclusion. Upon the UK achieving such listing the process for thoroughbreds returning or travelling to, for instance, Ireland or France, will become clearer, and the relevant guidance will be provided.


The Government’s priority continues to be to secure a deal which maintains the current, liberalised access arrangements for transporters, and in the meantime is working to ensure the UK is ready for all exit scenarios.

There was a significant concern within the industry that the administrative barriers that the EU could apply for transporters as the UK becomes a third country would add to the challenges with the movement of horses in the event of a no deal. The European Commission however has recently published proposals that would allow UK hauliers to continue carrying goods into the EU until the end of 2019 if there is no deal, without the need for an ECMT permit. The UK Government has welcomed the proposal as a positive step forward for UK hauliers and intends to reciprocate.

Additional requirements for road travel within the EU for UK citizens and registered companies remains likely, whether in the short or medium term, and seeking clarity on the practicalities for companies and individuals transporting thoroughbreds continues to be a priority area for the Steering Group.  We will provide a further update in this area as soon as there is greater clarity.

Stud Book Recognition

As of 1 November 2018, a new EU regulation came into place for horses coming from Non-EU countries. This legislation states that, if a Stud Book or Breed Society from a third country is not listed as being permitted to trade with the EU, horses of that country are not allowed to enter any EU country or to be registered in that country.

Weatherbys has lodged an application with Defra for submission to the EU Commission for the General Stud Book to be recognised by the EU Commission and to be added to its list of breeding bodies. In requesting a listing, we agree to respect the legal right of entry in the General Stud Book of Thoroughbreds from stud books in EU Member States.

European Union citizens working in the British thoroughbred industry
The UK Government has launched a website outlining details of the EU Settlement Scheme for European Union citizens, and their families, to continue living in the UK after 30 June 2021 with either settled or pre-settled status. The application process opens in full on 30 March 2019 and further guidance will be provided in advance of that date.

The Steering Group has been making representations, with the support of the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS), to the ongoing Migration Advisory Committee process to ensure as far as possible that the requirements of our industry of the future UK immigration system are satisfied. This includes a submission to the recently closed consultation on the composition of the Shortage Occupation List to apply for the Racing industry to be returned to the list. If that were to happen, it would mean that those wishing to come to the UK to work in the racing industry could be processed far more quickly.

Notes to Editors:

1. Useful links

UK Government – Settled and pre-settled status for EU citizens and their families

How our Charitable Trust supports staff training

An interesting aspect of 2016 The Racing Foundation survey on racing staff training and development was the finding that many employers did not believe there was a demand for staff training whereas the staff expressed the desire for more opportunities to train.

This demand is witnessed by the NTF Charitable Trust, which provides grants for employees to learn new skills. There is a particular focus on people who want to stay in racing after an accident has prevented them continuing their current role.

The NTFCT’s grants are managed through Racing Welfare’s Careers Advice and Training Service (CATS – You can view a short promotional film of CATS case studies on Youtube.

Guidance on postponing a disciplinary of grievance meeting

Employees have the right to be accompanied by a union representative or a work colleague at a formal disciplinary or grievance meeting.

What happens if their chosen companion is not available for the date and time scheduled for the meeting?

Generally, the advice is to re-arrange the meeting to an alternative date; legislation provides that the employer only need agree to the postponement if the new date is within five working days of the original date.

However, a recent Employment Appeal Tribunal has held that an employer acted unreasonably by refusing to postpone a rescheduled disciplinary hearing by 10 days so that the employee’s chosen trade union representative could attend.

This refusal to postpone for a short time rendered the subsequent dismissal procedurally unfair even though it was not in breach of the relevant legislation.

This finding was fact-sensitive to this particular case and it does not mean that an employer should always agree to a postponement in such circumstances. It does show the importance of acting reasonably and that to do so may involve a greater degree of flexibility in the process than the legislation requires.

Payslip rules from April 2019

From 6th April 2019, employers must itemise payslips for employee’s wages. They will need to show either:

  • The combined number of hours worked for which the payment is being made, or
  • Itemised figures for different types of work worked and/or different rates of pay.

The pay slips must also show the figures for earnings before and after any deductions; the amount of any deductions that may change each period such as tax and NI; an explanation of any fixed amount deductions (for example RIABS deductions); and the net wages to be paid.  This applies to all workers including permanent, casual and those working on a zero hours contract.  

Whilst it is around 6 months until this legislation comes into force, employers should start preparing for compliance by ensuring payroll processes are adjusted to collect the new information required, and amending the format of their payslips to include the new information, where appropriate.

NTF response to Jockey Club Racecourses decision to maintain prize money

“The NTF appreciates Jockey Club Racecourses’ decision to maintain prize money levels in 2019. The contrast with the Arena Racing Company (ARC) stance is acute. The NTF is disgusted that ARC took the first opportunity to cut their contribution; where possible, owners and trainers have a chance to vote with their race entries with Chelmsford City also committed to maintaining their prize money.

“Racecourses should not need to have it pointed out to them how vital it is for the health of the industry to underpin the flow of revenues to horsemen in the form of prize money. Most licence holders receive meagre reward as it is for producing horses every day so racecourses have a product to sell to the betting industry”.

Rupert Arnold, Chief Executive.

Shortlists announced for 2019 Lycetts Team Champion Award


17 December 2018


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:

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.”


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:

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: .

For more information on the National Trainers Federation, please go to