“Inspirational” management training to support staff retention

“Inspirational.” “Very good ideas to take back to the yard and help with staff retention.”
“I learned a lot about leadership and management.”
“It has made me look at things from a completely different perspective and question how we do things in our yard.”

These are a few of the feedback comments about the management training modules we put on last year to support trainers with their Lycetts Team Champion Award nominations. The 2019 series begins in July. Trainers looking for support for the award have the opportunity with their senior staff to attend one of the modules created for the NTF by Peter Burnet of The Peplow Group.

With the title ‘Building a Sustainable Business’ the module is designed to help trainers recruit and retain exceptional staff teams. It is about sharing ideas, tips and support to match the team award criteria and make other wider ranging changes.

It will take place at three venues this summer / autumn:

  • The BRS in Newmarket on 20th July 2018
  • Malton on 8th August 2018
  • Cheltenham on 12th September 2018

Tea and Coffee will be available from 09.30. Each day will run from 10.00 to 16.30 with lunch and refreshments provided. Dress is casual / work clothes. The day will consist of a mix of activities, discussion and some new ideas.

Each participant will be encouraged to generate an action plan to help implement any new ideas back in the yard. There is no formal preparation for the day and please come with an open mind!

To book places

In the first year of the award, the Racing Foundation fully funded the management training. This year there is a charge of £100 per place. To book yourself and up to one other staff member onto any of the three days please contact the NTF at teamchampion@racehorsetrainers.org or ring 01488 71794.

Brydi Allison’s Assistant Trainer Travel Scholarship experience

It won’t be long before we launch the next Alex Scott Assistant Trainers Travel Scholarship. To give Assistant Trainers another illustration of the fantastic experience this award can offer, we have posted the report from last year’s scholarship winner, Brydi Allison, on the NTF website in the page dedicated to the award.

Brydi’s work placement was with the McEvoys in South Australia. An interesting insight into the different regime followed in Australia can be gained from this small extract from her report.

“In my first week we had 10 two year olds trial at Murray Bridge. They quite often have horses trialling every week. Mr McEvoy has an excellent strike rate with two year olds. Every horse must trial and receive a barrier certificate before they are allowed to run. This is something that English racing does not do and is probably the biggest difference to English racing that I have come across.

“Trials are like ‘mini races’ that are done at racecourses under the rules of racing. Only licensed jockeys can ride in them and they wear their horse’s colours. These are not as competitive as an actual race. It is a great education for them and from watching Australian two year old races, I noticed they tend to run less green and more professionally than two year olds in Britain. You can also get older horses that trial which is good preparation for them getting back to full fitness if they’ve had a long break or injury lay-off from the track and haven’t ran for a while.

“Trial races are taken very seriously and are open to the public to view on the Internet and pundits can see how good some of the unexposed two year old are. I strapped a two year old filly called Kinky Boom at Morphettville. she won her trial by 6 lengths on the bridle. You don’t have stables at the racecourses in Australia so all the horses stand in tie-ups. I was amazed to see how patiently and well behaved the horses stand in them, even the two year olds who are experiencing this for the first time. The day after Kinky Boom’s trial she went to the Flemington yard and five days later she won her maiden at Caufield very easily.“


Look out for news about applications for the 2018 Scholarship. It is sponsored by the Tim Dunlop Memorial Travelling Scholarship. The trustees were disappointed with the low response last year so Assistant Trainers need to show they want opportunities like this if the scholarship is to continue.

BRS Additional Conditional Course 25th – 29th June – last one before mid August

The British Racing School (BRS) is putting on an additional Conditional Course in the last week of June (25th – 29th June 2018).  This is a Course just for Category ‘B’ Amateurs “converting” to Conditional, and not for brand new applicants or Category ‘A’ Amateurs wanting to become Conditionals.

The Course is a last minute addition to this year’s programme and there will not be another Conditional Course until mid-August after this one. Trainers wanting to apply for Conditional Licences for any of their employees (currently hold Cat ‘B’ Amateur Permits) over the summer need to send their online applications to the BHA as soon as possible.

For further information contact Max Milward by phone  (0207 152 0145) or email  licensing@britishhorseracing.com.

Exciting Mentoring and Leadership training will help develop your team

The National Association of Racing Staff (NARS) is set to expand its educational programmes to include a qualification in Mentoring, Leadership and Team Skills after securing a £100,000 funding partnership agreement with the country’s largest independent bookmaker, Jenningsbet.

Up to 28 Students each year will have the chance to study for the ILM Level 2 Introduction to Mentoring and ILM Level 2 Award in Leadership and Team Skills on a 12-week course delivered by West Suffolk College, with the first enrolments in September 2018.

George McGrath CEO of NARS said, “I know this course will be very popular and is much needed. The reality is that there are already a number of staff who act as mentors, and our view is that they should be recognised with a government qualification.

The support we are set to receive from Jenningsbet is outstanding and is an excellent example of bookmakers’ commitment to the future strength and prosperity of the sport at all levels, especially at a time when many aspects of the future funding of the sport remain uncertain.”

The NTF sees this training as a perfect fit with the aims of The Winning Approach, the industry standard we developed to underpin the Lycetts Team Champion Award.

Greg Knight CEO of Jenningsbet said, “Racing has identified a problem in retaining young people coming into racing and we think a mentoring system in which experienced racing staff are taught how to bring through the next generation will be an important tool. At the end of the day racing staff keep the whole show on the road – our shops wouldn’t be able to function without horseracing and make the media rights payments and levy contributions we make without the staff in the yards. We have a moral responsibility to recognise that.”

Valuable staff training in Mental Health First Aid

The NTF and the Thoroughbred Breeders Association are supporting a Mental Health Training Day hosted by Racing Welfare on Wednesday 30th May at the Queens Arms Hotel, East Garston.

Run by Mental Health First Aid England, this course is open for individuals to join independently but we hope that trainers will nominate a member of staff to attend, whom they are happy to give the afternoon off work if required to be able to make it.

The idea is that this person will become a key point of contact for anyone within the team who may be struggling with their own mental health or be worried about that of someone else.  This need not necessarily be a member of the yard management structure but more just a trusted member of staff who others are likely to confide in and is interested in learning about what to do to help maintain the wellbeing of others.

Places on the training day cost £20 and can be purchased from the Racing Welfare office in Lambourn or on the RW website here.

Coaching advice for young jockeys

The latest edition of the BHA’s Coaching Matters newsletter for jockeys features Richard Perham’s review of the changes to jockey licensing procedures introduced in 2017, news of the international success enjoyed by Apprentice Jockey Sebastian Woods, and the spring/summer regional training dates for 2018.

Go to this link to view the pdf and download it for your jockeys to read.

Opportunities to boost your employees’ skills

The British Racing School still has places for both its Foundation Course and Ground Based Yard Staff Course running in March and April respectively. Should you have anyone wanting to make the transition from Yard Staff to Rider then the Foundation Course will give them the training to do so. Similarly, the Yard Staff course is a great course for someone who has little equine experience but wants to forge a new career in racing.

If you have any Under 19s on your payroll that need to be in training, these courses will give them the accreditation to work in racing in Britain as well as meeting the government requirement in regards to education Post 16. Should you have a member of staff that wishes to apply, then apply online @ www.brs.org.uk or alternatively give the recruitment team a call on 01638 675905.