Changes to apprentice agreements to take effect from 15 July

06 Jul 2020 BHA Features Financial/Political

The British Horseracing Authority (BHA) has today confirmed that the previously announced changes to the Apprentice and Conditional jockey training arrangements will now come into effect from 15 July 2020.

The changes had originally been scheduled for introduction on 28 March but, owing to the Covid-19 situation and the suspension of racing at that time, the decision was made to temporarily postpone the start date.

The initial decision for new agreements to be brought in required approval by the BHA Board, following a considerable period of consultation and discussion between the Professional Jockeys Association (PJA) and National Trainers Federation (NTF) where agreement did not prove possible.

The BHA is committed to continue to work with  all parties on further developments in this area, for example to recognise the contribution made by trainers who continue to support the development of top-level professional jockeys.

With that in mind, and with a view to ensuring that implementation and effectiveness of the changes are regularly reviewed, and that new ideas are considered, the BHA has invited the PJA and NTF to re-establish the Working Group set up to discuss this subject. Membership of this group, and the potential for expanding it, will be reconsidered.

Tim Naylor, Director of Integrity and Regulation at the BHA, said:
“This has always been a subject which has created strong feelings both from jockeys and trainers and their representatives. Our job has been to mediate to try and arrive at the best compromise possible, whereby there is not the potential for an uneven balance of power and also that trainer’s contribution to the early stages of an apprentice’s career is suitably recognised.

“Given all that happened with the COVID-19 pandemic and suspension of racing, the original implementation date was not viable. We also felt that it was not appropriate to bring in the new agreements in the initial stages of resumption, particularly as there were restrictions on apprentices riding.

“We fully accept that both from the point of view of apprentices and trainers there is more discussion to be had on this topic, and as such have re-instated the cross-industry working group to ensure there is a suitable forum to work together on any further concerns that arise.”