Training yard wanted

A highly experienced trainer is looking for a yard to rent, preferably in the Midlands but would consider moving outside the area.

The trainer requires 30 to 40 stables, gallops, turn-out paddocks and residential accommodation.

Please contact the NTF in the first instance on the main office number, 01488 71719. All contacts will be treated in strictest confidence.

Legal helpline moves to NTF solicitors

As from the 16th May, the NTF legal helpline provider is moving to Knights solicitors in house lawyers.   The helpline telephone numbers remain the same so for employment dial 01488 71729 (24 hour service, 7 days a week) and for other legal matters dial 01206 846143 (9 am to 5pm weekdays).

The first port of call for members’ employment queries remains Dawn Bacchus at the NTF office on the above phone number; out of hours these calls divert to the helpline or when Dawn is not available.  In practice members should see no change.

Election of Northern region representative

The National Trainers Federation Council decides policy on everything that concerns the members and comprises representatives from its six regions. These representatives are elected from the membership in accordance with NTF rule 5(i).

There is a vacancy for a Northern Region representative so we are starting the election process set out in rule 6 by sending a nomination form to all members in the region.

If you would like to join the Council or suggest another trainer (with their consent), please complete the form at the link below and return it to the NTF office by Friday 5th May. This will allow us to complete the election in time for it to be ratified at the next regional meeting on Monday 26th June.

For further information please feel free to call Rupert Arnold, one of your current regional representatives – Ann Duffield (Chair), Nick Alexander and James Moffatt; or President Seamus Mullins.

North nomination form 2017

Dealing with social media abuse

Recent publicity has highlighted the abuse and harassment suffered by trainers and jockeys on social media. Even though the phenomenon is a fact of life, the distress and anxiety it causes is still real and disturbing to those affected.

The BHA has advised that trainers who receive abusive and threatening messages should not to be drawn into any response and report every single incident for them to record and profile. You should use these contacts details: email intel@britishhorseracing.com or the general telephone number is 0207 152 0172.

The BHA will take positive action to deal with those sending threatening abusive messages or posts. If threats are personal and you fear for immediate safety then you should also report the incident to Police.

How we send you weekly news

We would like to know from members whether the NTFWeekly news update and email is the best way for us to send you the information you need for your business. As it comes out once a week, we hold back items until the scheduled time for creating the email. Usually we aim to send it on Thursdays but other work commitments sometimes mean it isn’t sent until Friday.

An alternative would be for us to post news items on ntfmuse as they arise and send out a quick notification on Twitter or by text. At the end of the week, we would then send an email to everyone with a bullet point list of the items with links to ntfmuse.

The benefit would be more timely notification of news to members and wider awareness of the ntfmuse website where previous items are stored. We would also invite articles from external bodies such as the BHA, who already refer to ntfmuse in their rules consultations and disciplinary cases.

Let us know what you think by replying to the NTFW email or respond on ntfmuse.

Metal badges sent and pass cards

We have sent out your 2017 metal badges and car park labels this week so please look out for them in the post. They are contained in the membership renewal pack, which also provides details of the new link up with Racing FX for secure online banking and currency exchange services. The 2017 NTF Racing Diary has also been dispatched this week so you should be well equipped for the new year.

Mental health gaining a higher priority

It is good to see mental health issues receiving a higher profile in racing. Jockeys have been the focus of attention and this is understandable with the particular challenges they face as professional sportsmen and women. Whilst trainers face different pressures, the stresses are no less severe being self-employed people with multiple responsibilities, not to mention the difficulty of making the business financially viable.

The NTF is acutely aware of these issues and with the advent of the Racehorse Trainers Benevolent Fund, we have an opportunity to access funding to help trainers who face mental health difficulties. We will be looking into the options; it could be that a helpline like that offered to the jockeys would be the way forward. The PJA has advised us that the key to support is the follow-up face-to-face support.  This might be counselling, Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT), psychiatry or some other form of group therapy.  It is vital to be able to treat people as soon as possible to ensure a speedy recovery.

It is also worth mentioning that Oaksey House in Lambourn has appointed someone who is there one day a week to provide confidential advice and support.  This service is available to everyone. If you need psychological support, help with coping with the pressures of racing, support for lifestyle and well-being issues or any other mental health advice call 01488 674242 to book an appointment.