First Lycetts Team Champion Award winners announced

Nick Alexander’s Kinneston yard from Fife in Scotland and Warren Greatrex at Uplands in Lambourn, Berkshire were announced today as the inaugural 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 following the National Trainers Federation AGM at the Institute of Directors, Pall Mall, London.

The winning yards were also awarded a £4,000 prize for each yard to benefit and support their teams.

Catch Bissett, Assistant to Nick Alexander, said “It is an honour to accept the prize on behalf of the team at home. They are a credit to the yard and the industry as a whole. The Lycetts Team Champion Award is a fantastic initiative which really reflects well on the staffing at the heart of the industry. The application process gave us an opportunity to look into what we do and think about how we can make improvements for the future.”


Warren Greatrex said “I am really proud to win the inaugural Lycetts Team Champion Award. We are so lucky to have the staff we do. I feel our team are great ambassadors for the yard and British horseracing.”


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 and positive working environment, 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, “It has been a very interesting exercise to be one of the judges and it has been a privilege to be involved in what I feel is a fantastic initiative by Lycetts and the NTF. I have been very impressed at the high standard of the applicants and it has shown that in many yards there is a very high level of work etiquette and team spirit.”

Rupert Arnold, Chief Executive of the NTF, said, “I am delighted at how enthusiastically trainers and their staff have responded to this new award. By participating, they have opened their businesses to scrutiny by knowledgeable professionals and demonstrated that British racehorse trainers offer great places to work.

“We have established a strong base from which to build the award for the future. I know other trainers are already keen to follow their colleagues’ example next year and we have acquired a bundle of knowledge and lessons to share with them.”



Lycetts Team Champion Awards to be streamed live on Facebook

This year’s Annual General Meeting is set to witness a double first – the inaugural Lycetts Team Champion Award presentations and the first live streaming of an NTF event.  The Institute of Directors, 116 Pall Mall, London SW1Y 5ED will host 90 members and guests from 11.30am. The AGM at 12noon will be followed by the announcement of the winners of the Lycetts Team Champion Award and presentation of prizes by chairman of the judging panel, Yogi Breisner.

While trainers on the shortlist and some of their staff will be attending for the ceremony, it is great news for those back home in the yards that they will now be able to join in the excitement of the announcements.

The live stream is courtesy of NTF Racing Diary and Trainer Magazine publisher Anderson and Co and will shown on their Facebook page

Also being shown is the address from Jim Chiapetta from Flair, the company that makes equine nasal strips.

Who are the winners going to be? – Choose your Lycetts Team Champion

There are only a few days to go now before the first Lycetts Team Champion Award winners are announced on Thursday 22nd February at the Institute of Directors, the venue for the NTF’s Annual General Meeting.

Take a look at our film below to get an insight into why the eight shortlisted yards reached the final stage. The winner in each category wins £4000, courtesy of sponsors Lycetts, to be spent on items of their choice to support the team.


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.

Funding for trainers to train older recruits

Would you like to recruit and train someone over the age of 19 but worry about the expense of carrying an inexperienced employee?

Over the last two years, the NTF and BHA have piloted an “employer led training programme” (ELT) aimed at new entrants to the industry over the age of 19.  Training for new staff in this age range is currently limited and restricted at the racing schools to those who may be able to benefit from attracting Government funding.

The ELT Programme enables a trainer to take on a new recruit aged over 19 on an employed basis and apply for funding of up to £2,500 to support the training to bring them up to the required industry standard. These recruits may come from a variety of backgrounds with or without established horse care skills but need racing specific training. The training should be delivered over a 30-week period with milestone payments made at agreed intervals.

Skills are recorded against a ‘Skills Passport’, to be completed by the employer and employee and will not involve external assessment or qualification achievement as a mandatory component of the training.

We have a number of trainers already using the ELT programme and if you are interested in taking part contact Shelley Perham, the NTF’s Recruitment and Training Coordinator, for further details on 07753 982052 or email

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.

Potential conditional jockeys should not miss this course

There is a Conditional Jockey’s Licence Course coming up in the New Year which doesn’t have very many applicants at the moment.

The Course is taking place from 19th February until 2nd March 2018 at the British Racing School.  However in order to attend, applicants must successfully complete one of the following Pre-Assessment days:

  • 8 January 2018 at British Racing School
  • 10 January 2018 at Northern Racing College

Brand new Conditionals and Category ‘A’ Amateurs who wish to turn Conditional must attend the full two weeks of the Licence Course.  Category ‘B’ Amateurs only have to attend the second week of the Course.

After February there will not be another Conditional Course until August 2018.  So any trainers thinking about applying for a Conditional Licence for one of their employees in the next month or two really need to get their applications in to the BHA as soon as possible.

Questions can be directed to the BHA Licensing Department, who will provide prospective applicants with the relevant forms and information. Please contact them on 020 7152 0145.