John Dunlop (1939 – 2018)

Today’s Racing Post is packed with memories of John Dunlop, who died at the weekend. For us at the NTF, John was all this and more. He gave so much time to the Federation and as a valued Council member instigated the constitutional review which led to the current regional structure and Presidential Triumvirate system.

As a trustee of the NTF Charitable Trust, which makes training grants to racing employees, John helped staff to develop their skills and so forge a career in the sport. This was typical of his approach to people – full of encouragement and practical support. He will be greatly missed and our thoughts are with all his family.

Mental health study looking into trainers’ needs

In the recent NTF newsletter we referred to a workshop on mental health being organised by the BHA and facilitated by Mind. We were very pleased to participate and it was interesting that the crucial role trainers play as employers was acknowledged.

One of our aims at the workshop was to make sure the needs of trainers are not forgotten in the strategy for mental health support in racing. To that end, we are liaising with Will McConn, who is conducting the Liverpool John Moores University (LJMU) 12-month study on mental health. Our plan is for Will to contact trainers for informal conversations so he can learn more about the aspects of mental health that affect trainer.

The study’s aims are:

a) assess the current mental health needs of the horseracing industry workforce;

b) identify appropriate support mechanisms and

c) make recommendations around the delivery of holistic support.

The focus is on the front line, equine facing, people such as stable employees, jockeys, trainers, etc. Data is being collected through interviews (April-May), focus groups around the country (May-Oct), and also via an electronic questionnaire (Oct – Jan 2019).  The aim is to get a sense of the breadth and depth of mental health challenges. If you are interested in participating in this research, please contact Rupert Arnold or Will McConn on or 07501 9500 10

Ann Duffield first female President of the NTF

Last week’s Annual General Meeting saw Seamus Mullins end his two-year term as NTF President and the role pass to our first female President, Ann Duffield. In view of the racing industry’s vision for more diverse representation on governing boards, we are proud that the trend will continue when Emma Lavelle assumes the Presidency in 2019. In fact, one third of the NTF Council is now female.

Members will be aware that the Presidential Triumvirate works as a succession plan for the Presidency and that the NTF aims to alternate codes and maintain geographical representations. With this in mind, the AGM confirmed the election of Ralph Beckett as the new member of the Triumvirate.

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.

Malcolm Jefferson, 1946 – 2018

We are all so sad to hear that Malcolm Jefferson has passed away after fighting serious illness. Our condolences go to the family.

Everyone will know Malcolm as a mainstay of National Hunt racing in the north. To the NTF he was also a much valued member of our Council and NH Committee representing the Northern Region. His down-to-earth common sense and fundamental horsemanship were always evident in his contributions to debate.

Another attribute was Malcolm’s strong belief in supporting the recruitment and training of young people. He ensured those who showed their enthusiasm for a life racing received a sound education and he will be greatly missed by all sections of our sport.

Death of Peter Walwyn

It is with great sadness we note the passing of Peter Walwyn. As well as his highly successful record over many years as a trainer, Peter made a massive contribution to horseracing, in particular to the training centre of Lambourn, to which he was utterly devoted.

Everyone has their story of encounters with Peter. One was never quite sure whether praise or brickbats were about to be bestowed. But the certainty was that his ultimate aim was the good of the sport or the community in which he was held in such high regard.

Mary Reveley

The NTF sends sincerest condolences to the family of Mary Reveley, who has died suddenly.

In her career as a trainer Mary saddled a huge volume of winners across both codes. She was from that rare seam of trainers whose fundamental horse knowledge enables them to bring out each horse’s full potential whatever its characteristics and aptitudes.

Her understated success gained her the respect of fellow trainers and at the NTF we benefited from her wise thoughts on racing matters.