With effect from 1st March 2001, a small percentage of prize money allocated to the stables of winning and placed horses will be diverted to support the administration of the Stable Lads Association (SLA). The amendment to Order 194, to be published in the Racing Calendar on 15th February, was agreed by the BHB Board on 12th February. Based on total prize money in 2000 of £71,690,306, this mechanism would have generated £107,535 for the SLA.
Bill Adams, National Secretary to the SLA, explained:
“The demands on the SLA have multiplied over recent years, partly, I think, because of the increasing pressures on stable staff arising from the well known difficulties in recruitment and in retaining skilled staff . The SLA’s core responsibility remains to represent the workforce on pay and conditions, but the Association’s input is also needed on, for example, the Industry Committee (Horseracing) Ltd and the British Horseracing Training Board, and on the special project groups set up to tackle stable staff resources and to review Sunday Racing. On top of this, the SLA also advises and helps individual stable workers with particular problems, whether or not they are members of the Association. No one coming to the SLA for help is ever turned away.
“Following a review of the SLA’s workload, my National Council decided that a comprehensive re-organisation of the administration was needed. The new arrangements will mean that every stable worker is automatically an Associate Member of the SLA – from May there will be no need for additional subscriptions. Further details will be announced when the new office is up and running. Putting the finances of the Association on a sound footing for the future will enable us to modernise the office structure and streamline the communications system to the direct and immediate benefit of the entire workforce.”
BHB Secretary-General Tristram Ricketts pointed out:
“The profile of the SLA has been rising year on year for some time and Bill has taken on more and more work, supported loyally and practically by his wife Jeanette. We were all very pleased that his contribution to Racing was recognised in the MBE awarded in the New Year Honours List, which he will be receiving at Buckingham Palace on 20th February.
“The urgent need to address the problems of recruitment and retention of stable staff has been taken up by BHB through its Stable Staff Resources Group and it is clearly vital the SLA takes a prominent role in this process. BHB welcomed the SLA’s proposals to enhance its capacity to work effectively for all stable staff, and was happy to help.”