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The 2020 Lycetts Team Champion Award
and Accreditation - Nomination deadline extended to 30th April 2020

The Lycetts Team Champion Award celebrates and rewards the British racehorse training yards with the highest standards of employee management.

The 2020 award was launched on 7th October 2019; nominations must be submitted by 30th April 2020 (extended deadline from the 3rd April.) Our objectives are to:

  1. Reward yards where staff are managed to the highest standards
  2. Showcase how developing a high performance team has positive effects on your business - including levels of recruitment and retention
  3. Spread the message about safe working practices
  4. Demonstrate to potential employees and the public that British racehorse trainers provide the best supported jobs anywhere in the equine sector

A £4000 prize awaits the winner in both categories, yards with 40 or more horses and yards with fewer than 40 horses.

All entries are eligible for Lycetts Team Champion Accreditation - Standard or Gold, depending on the points earned from the nomination. Trainers can choose not to compete for the award and apply only for accreditation.

How to apply for Lycetts Team Champion Award and Accreditation
All the documents you need to apply can be downloaded using the links below.

To apply for the 2020 Award and Accreditation - register your intention to nominate by sending an email to You will receive a confirmation email to assure you that you are part of the LTCA 2020 and answers to any questions you may have.

In 2020 there is a nomination form for each of the five sections. The forms comprise step-by-step instructions and examples showing the type of evidence the judges expect to see. An explanation of the award process can be viewed in the video link below - "Guide for Teams 2020".

Download Nomination Forms & Guide

Form 1
Recruitment and Induction

Form 5
Reward and Recognition

Why Should My Yard Enter The 2020 Award?

Taking part in the Lycetts Team Champion Award will

  • Give you an industry-recognised accreditation. This quality mark shows employees and clients that your yard operates high standards of staff management.
  • Give you an opportunity to benchmark your business and indicate where and how improvements could be made.
  • Qualify your yard for promotion through the Racing Groom website.
  • Give your business a chance of winning 4000 funded by our generous sponsor - Lycetts Insurance Brokers.

Watch this video to hear Lycetts Team Champion Trainers describing the benefits of entering the award.

  • Research for a University of Liverpool MBA found that accredited yards have seen a positive impact on their staff retention rates and the nomination process is a great way to see how you can strengthen your business. Read about the research in this document "Staff Retention and Lycetts Team Champion Award" below.

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 working environment, leadership and communications, 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. Development of The Winning Approach and the award was funded with the help of The Racing Foundation.

Lycetts Team Champion Award Yards in 2018 and 2019
In 2018 and 2019, the Lycetts Team Champion Yards were awarded a star-rating based on their scores. A new accreditation is in place from 2020.

Lycetts Team Champion Standard Accreditation is awarded to yards that have shown very good levels of team ethos and staff engagement.

Lycetts Team Champion Gold Accreditation is awarded to yards that have shown outstanding levels of team ethos and staff engagement.

Based on their previous scores, the following yards are currently accredited:

Nick Alexander Andrew Balding Ralph Beckett
Jim Boyle Ruth Carr Susan Corbett
Tom Dascombe Geoffrey Deacon Robin Dickin
Harry Dunlop Ann Duffield Richard Fahey
James Fanshawe Charlie Fellowes Jo Foster
Warren Greatrex Rae Guest William Haggas
Nicky Henderson Philip Hobbs Richard Hughes
Emma Lavelle Linda Jewell Mark Johnston
Eve Johnson Houghton Martin Keighley Alan King
Dan Kubler Emma Lavelle Charlie Longsdon
Mark Loughnane George Margarson Brian Meehan
Seamus Mullins Amy Murphy Paul Nicholls
Fergal O'Brien Jedd O'Keeffe Jonjo O'Neill
Ben Pauling Amanda Perrett Richard Phillips
John Ryan George Scott Dan Skelton
Brian Smart Suzy Smith Jamie Snowden
Tim Vaughan Ed Walker  


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 for 2019. 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."

For the 2019 LTCA 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 for 2019 were:

40+ Horses Fewer than 40 Horses
Andrew Balding Nick Alexander
Tom Dascombe Dan Kubler
Warren Greatrex Jedd O'Keeffe
Richard Hughes Richard Phillips

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.

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
2020 Team Champion Award

Supporters of
The Winning Approach

Consultants for
The Winning Approach

Delivery of the
Management Training Modules

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