In Press Releases
  • Outstanding quality of nominations in extraordinary circumstances
  • Two out of three nominations awarded Gold accreditation
  • Awards continue to demonstrate and shine a light on the exceptional working practices adopted by British training yards
  • New Innovation and Wellbeing award

The National Trainers Federation (NTF) has announced the two shortlists for the 2020 Lycetts Team Champion Award.

In a year where everyone in the sport has had to deal with the immense pressures caused by the suspension of the racing fixtures, it is a huge accolade to all the nominating teams that they felt it important to put in the hours gathering evidence of the excellent working practices in their yard.

The Lycetts Team Champion Award celebrates the racehorse training yards that have developed a strong team ethos through the highest standards of staff management and safe working practices. There are more details on the NTF website at this link:

The award has two categories – one for yards with 40 or more horses; and one for yards with fewer than 40 horses. The shortlists (in alphabetical order by last name) are:

40+ horses

  • Roger Charlton
  • William Haggas
  • Jonjo O’Neill
  • Bryan Smart

Fewer than 40 horses

  • Susan Corbett
  • Dan Kubler
  • Richard Phillips
  • Suzy Smith

Through the scoring of assessment criteria based on The Winning Approach, a bespoke industry standard, nominating yards earn Gold or Standard accreditation: Gold represents outstanding levels of team ethos and staff engagement. Standard represents very good levels of team ethos and staff engagement.

All the shortlisted yards were awarded Gold accreditation as were two out of three 2020 nominations overall. A full list of accredited yards will appear on the NTF website and Racing Groom websites shortly. This will include all yards that have maintained their accreditation from the 2019 award.

The judges would like to emphasise how impressed they were with the very high standard of nominations demonstrating the ever-increasing quality of management practices in racing yards and sharing best practice.

Laura Whyte commented, “I’m delighted to have been involved in judging these awards from the start – and each year it just gets harder! For 2020 I was hugely impressed at the standard of entries both from yards new to the awards and those who have developed their procedures and ways of working since last year. The detailed collation of all the evidence to support the entries speaks to a huge amount of effort from the yards involved and I would like to express my gratitude to them.”

In the next phase of the award, the judges will adapt to the public health measures currently in place by holding online video calls with the shortlisted yards to meet team members and get a feel of the practices that have been described in the first stage nominations. The winners will be announced in June.

Speaking on behalf of the NTF, Chief Executive Rupert Arnold said, “We would like to thank the yards who all put considerable effort into their nominations. It shows that even under the stress caused by the pandemic, trainers and staff are keen to publicise how they are adopting best practice and pulling together to promote staff retention.

Farm & Stable Innovation and Wellbeing Award

New for 2020, the Farm & Stable Innovation and Wellbeing award focuses on enriching life within racehorse training yards and asks trainers to demonstrate how their business is changing, the steps they are taking to enhance the environment for staff, and how they support their local community.

racing welfare best turned out