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The Lycetts Team Champion Award

Nick Alexander's Kinneston yard from Fife in Scotland and Warren Greatrex at Uplands in Lambourn, Berkshire are the inaugural winners of the Lycetts Team Champion Award 2018, which celebrates the British racehorse training yards with the highest standards of employee management.

The winning yards were also awarded a 4,000 prize for each yard to benefit and support their teams.

Catch Bissett, Assistant to Nick Alexander, said "It is an honour to accept the prize on behalf of the team at home. They are a credit to the yard and the industry as a whole. The Lycetts Team Champion Award is a fantastic initiative which really reflects well on the staffing at the heart of the industry. The application process gave us an opportunity to look into what we do and think about how we can make improvements for the future."

Team Nick Alexander (less than 40 horses in training)

Warren Greatrex said "I am really proud to win the inaugural Lycetts Team Champion Award. We are so lucky to have the staff we do. I feel our team are great ambassadors for the yard and British horseracing."

Team Warren Greatrex (more than 40 horses in training)

How To Apply for 2019
To apply for the 2019 Lycetts Team Champion Award please send an email to to register your intention to nominate and then complete the Nomination Form below. You will receive a confirmation email to assure you that you are part of the LTCA 2019 and we will answer any questions you have about completing the form and sending supporting evidence.

To give you an idea of what you need to do, read the section below about the Winning Approach which underpins the award and is the standard to which we hope all trainers will aspire.

The Winning Approach
The assessment criteria for Lycetts Team Champion Award are based on The Winning Approach, a best practice standard developed for the NTF by consultants Sport and Beyond. They include effective recruitment and induction systems, a safe and positive working environment, developing staff to fulfil their potential, and rewarding achievement.

A copy of The Winning Approach can be found on the NTF website using the link below. Team Champion emphasises the actions that are most closely aligned with strengthening the team ethos. Development of The Winning Approach and the award was funded with the help of The Racing Foundation.

Lycetts Team Champion Award
An Explanation for Trainers

Judging the Applications

Yogi Breisner, renowned for his stellar accomplishments as a competitor and leader in the field of Three Day Eventing, chaired the panel and presented the prizes. Commenting on the judges' experience of the awards and the assessment, Breisner said, "It has been a very interesting exercise to be one of the judges and a privilege to be involved in a fantastic initiative by Lycetts and the NTF".

The LTC Best Practice Workbook
Examples of working practices praised by the judges can be found in the LTC Best Practice Workbook here

Yogi Breisner went on to say, "I have been very impressed at the high standard of the applicants and it has shown that in many yards there is a very high level of work etiquette and team spirit."

The judges compared nominated teams in two categories - those with fewer than forty horses in training and those trainers with more than forty horses in training. The applicants were reduced to a short list of four in each category. The names of the trainers with teams in the shortlist were:

40+ Horses Fewer than 40 Horses
Tom Dascombe Nick Alexander
Warren Greatrex Martin Keighley
Mark Johnston Seamus Mullins
Dan Skelton Suzy Smith

Benefits Gained from the Award Experience

Rupert Arnold, Chief Executive of the NTF, said, "I am delighted at how enthusiastically trainers and their staff have responded to this new award. By participating, they have opened their businesses to scrutiny by knowledgeable professionals and demonstrated that British racehorse trainers offer great places to work. We have established a strong base from which to build the award for the future. I know other trainers are already keen to follow their colleagues' example next year and we have acquired a bundle of knowledge and lessons to share with them."

We congratulate the teams which achieved a star rating based on the judges' scoring of their nomination form. The star rating is awarded in recognition of the high standard of their employment practices.

Tom Dascombe ✪ ✪ ✪ Nick Alexander ✪ ✪ ✪ Andrew Balding ✪ ✪ ✪
Jim Boyle ✪ ✪ Ralph Beckett ✪ ✪ Ruth Carr ✪ ✪
Luca Cumani ✪ ✪ ✪ Susan Corbett ✪ ✪ Ann Duffield ✪ ✪
Geoffrey Deacon ✪ ✪ Richard Fahey ✪ ✪ Charlie Fellowes ✪ ✪
James Fanshawe ✪ ✪ Rae Guest ✪ ✪ ✪ Warren Greatrex ✪ ✪ ✪
Nicky Henderson ✪ ✪ Dan Kubler ✪ ✪ Philip Hobbs ✪ ✪
Mark Loughnane ✪ ✪ Mark Johnston ✪ ✪ ✪ George Margarson
Alan King ✪ ✪ ✪ Seamus Mullins ✪ ✪ ✪ Emma Lavelle ✪ ✪
Fergal O'Brien Brian Meehan George Peckham
Paul Nicholls ✪ ✪ ✪ Richard Phillips ✪ ✪ Jonjo O'Neill ✪ ✪
John Ryan ✪ ✪ Ben Pauling ✪ ✪ George Scott ✪ ✪
Dan Skelton ✪ ✪ ✪ Suzy Smith ✪ ✪ ✪ Brian Smart ✪ ✪
Jamie Snowden ✪ ✪ Tim Vaughan ✪ ✪ Martin Keighley ✪ ✪ ✪

The History of the Team Champion Award

In early 2017, Rupert Arnold proposed the initiative for the National Trainers Federation (NTF) to create a Team Champion Award. With a successful application to The Racing Foundation who awarded the NTF a grant and sponsorship from Lycetts Insurance Brokers, the Lycetts Team Champion was born.

The conception of the idea for this initiative was to:

  • Deliver praise and a sense of achievement for the racehorse training yards with the highest standards of employee management
  • Showcase the positive results of developing a team that works well together
  • Spread the message about safe working practices
  • Improve recruitment and retention rates by promoting the most successful management practices and encouraging their wider adoption among racehorse trainers.

Further Team Champion Award News

About Lycetts Insurance

The Lycetts Group was founded in 1961 and has grown to become one of the UK's leading independently-operated insurance brokers. Lycetts specialises in farm and estate insurance and provides bespoke financial services, commercial and bloodstock insurance advice. It has 17 offices in the UK, with its headquarters based in Newcastle-upon-Tyne.

About The Racing Foundation

The Racing Foundation was established in January 2012 to oversee the distribution of funds to charitable causes within racing following the sale of the Tote. It is registered with the Charity Commission as a charity (no. 1145297). Since inception, the Racing Foundation has granted just over 7.6million to charities associated with the horseracing and thoroughbred breeding industry in Britain, supporting work in social welfare, education, training and participation, horse welfare, equine science research, and heritage and culture.

    OF THE U.K.

Sponsors of the
2019 Team Champion Award

Supporters of
The Winning Approach

Consultants for
The Winning Approach

Delivery of the
Management Training Modules

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