During the autumn Belinda, with the help of Jon Hughes, Paul Davis and, of course, the team here, put together an application for the Lycetts Team Champion Award, an award sponsored by Lycetts and the brain child of Rupert Arnold at the National Trainers Federation primarily to ensure that all yards in racing are looking after their team in the best possible ways. Being a model employer has been one of the goals we’ve had in the forefront of our minds since we became a Limited Company in late 2016 and therefore the announcement of this award late summer 2017 was perfect timing as many of the practices were already well underway in the yard.
We sent our application in at the end of November and were overwhelmed to hear in early December that we had been awarded the top standard of 3 stars and were shortlisted with three other yards in the under 40 horse category. A huge compliment to the team here and to the hard work put into our working practices. A thank you must also go to our Bookkeeper Carole Arnold who is meticulous with her record keeping and has had a personal goal of also making us a model employer and has worked hard ensuring that no stone has been left unturned in completing the team’s individual files. This was something in particular that the Judges were impressed with today.
So back to today and the Judges consisted of Dana Mellor, a key figure in establishing the Jockeys Employment Training Scheme, Kevin Parsons, a highly experienced member of stable staff in some of the top racing yards in Britain and and Olly Stevens, former Group 1 International winning Trainer. We weren’t prepared for snow to fall this morning and poor Olly had the journey from hell but they all arrived and we were delighted to show them around the yard, our facilities and, most importantly, meet the team.
A long morning but we all felt it went as well as it possibly could have done. The team did us proud and the Judges went up to the gallops 2nd lot with Foxy, were shown around the yard by Issy and got to meet all the team and have a brief chat with them all. Finally they had a chat with our youngest member of the team, Alfie, before thanking the whole team for all their help and congratulating them on getting so far – they explained how well we have done.
I simply could not be prouder of each and every one of the team today. We won’t know the result until 22nd February after the NTF AGM in London so fingers crossed for then. Whatever happens, as Chairman Jon Hughes quite rightly said today, we’re in the final 4 for the Champion Hurdle, we’re already in the Winners’ Enclosure and anything else is a bonus.
Well done Team!