Grand National course walk available this weekend

BHA Jockey Coach, Brian Harding, will be available on Saturday morning to walk the Grand National course with any riders who would like to do so. Jockeys who are having their first or second ride over the Grand National course will walk it with Brian; and likewise any with less experience over the Grand National course.

Harry Cobden was recently quoted about the value of the course walk: “Aintree trialled the course walks with a Jockey Coach at the Grand National meeting and I thought it was a great idea, so walked the course with Carl Llewellyn on the Friday ahead of the Topham Chase. I subsequently won on Ultragold and Carl’s advice and insight proved invaluable, so much so I walked the course with him again the next day before the Grand National! Whilst luck wasn’t to be repeated I did complete the course on Just A Par and I couldn’t recommend this initiative enough.”

Brian will be available from first thing in the morning and is happy to walk the course as many times as necessary. We hope that you are willing to encourage jockeys to utilise Brian and his experience. Brian’s numbers are 017684 80960, 07968 863068 for anyone who would like to liaise direct with regard to walking time.

Last Conditional Jockeys Licence Course of 2017

The Conditional Jockey’s Licence Course coming up next month (4-15 September) at the BRS is the last of 2017 so the BHA wants to make sure trainers are aware that this is their last option for new Conditionals looking to attend the course and be licensed this year. There are still places available at the moment.

  • All new Conditionals (or those currently holding Category ‘A’ Amateur Permits who wish to become Conditional) are required to attend the full 2-week Course (plus Pre-Assessment beforehand);
  • Those holding Category ‘B’ Amateur Permits who wish to “advance” to Conditional status are required to attend the second week of this Licence Course (from 11th to 15th September).
  • Any questions should be directed to Licensing Team at the BHA on 0207 152 0145.

Jump Jockeys Seminars

All trainers who employ a 3lb and 5lb claiming Conditional jockey should note that the mandatory Jump Jockeys Seminars take place on Tuesday 26th September at Hilton Hotel, Warwick and Wednesday 18th October at Mercure Hotel, Wetherby.

Jockeys should have received a letter about the seminars, which start at 9.30am prompt.

Late arrivals and non-attendees will be required to submit their reasons in writing to the Disciplinary Department.

Please ensure your Conditional jockey has booked on to one of the seminars by Friday 25th August.

NTF supports Racing Staff Week with new award and prizes


For Stable Staff Week last year the NTF enabled its members to say a big Thank You to all the dedicated people who care for the horses at the centre of our great sport.

This year, to support Racing Welfare’s Racing Staff Week, we are creating a new way for aspirational racing staff to develop their career path with the launch of The Toby Balding Award for development and training.  The £4,000  award funded by the National Trainers Federation Charitable Trust (NTFCT) from a donation made by the Swire Trust in memory of Toby Balding, will be presented to a member of stable staff who demonstrates a desire to further his or her career and to train for a higher level qualification or undertake personal development training.

Toby Balding was a great supporter of anyone looking to make their way in horseracing so the annual award named after him offers an exciting opportunity for ambitious employees in British racing yards to widen their knowledge and train to acquire new skills. We would encourage all trainers to embrace this award by supporting those loyal members of their staff to apply and help them advance to a more senior role. There is more detail in the document linked at the end of this article. For further details on how to apply please email

Toby Balding Award for Career Development

BEST TURNED OUT GROOMS – Windsor on Monday 3rd July 

In a further show of our support for Racing Staff week, the NTF is giving a cash prize to the ‘Best Turned Out Groom’ (yes – groom, not horse) in each race at Windsor’s evening meeting on Monday 3rd July. Whilst the preparation of horses for the paddock is always a priority, we would like to show our appreciation to Racing Grooms who take pride in their personal appearance including suitability of footwear for the job.

The best turned out groom in each race will receive a £40 prize and their photo will be shown on our new website when it is launched


Help with Model Agreement for apprenticeships

NTFW and the printed newsletter have reported recently on the Governments reforms to the apprenticeship programme. These came into effect on 1st May together with a new funding mechanism.

Trainers with employees on the programme will receive from the training provider a Model Framework Agreement (relating to Apprenticeship Training for Non-Levy Funded Employers.) It looks complicated but Duncan Gregory at the British Racing School clarified to us that

  • It is a generic document to be used across all sectors delivering apprenticeships
  • It looks more onerous than it is. In reality little has changed in terms of obligations
  • Do read the explanatory notes written by Anna Hall of Edmondson Hall solicitors
  • Any trainer concerned by the document may contact the BRS so that any uncertainties can be explained.

Therefore do feel free to contact your training provider for an explanation if required.

Coaching newsletter will help apprentice and conditional jockeys

The second issue of Coaching Matters, a quarterly newsletter designed to arm jockeys with knowledge, news and information within the world of jockey coaching, training and development, has been published by the BHA.

The latest edition features information on training, courses and seminars being held between June and October, and a must-read guide to walking the course from former jockeys and now jockey coaches, Philip Robinson and Colin Brown.

Your young riders can access a copy by clicking on the link below.