29 Nov 2005 Pre-2014 Releases

The Racing and Breeding Industry’s considerable efforts in improving the recruitment, retention, welfare and career development of stable and stud staff over the last year were announced at a press conference in central London today.

Coinciding with the Stable and Stud Staff Steering Group’s first year of activity, the Group’s Chair Baroness Mallalieu, BHB Chief Executive Greg Nichols and BHB Head of Industry Recruitment and Training Sara Hay-Jahans reported on developments since the publication of the Independent Stable and Stud Staff Commission’s Report in June 2004.

A number of the ‘agents of change’ were also in attendance as significant advances in the following key areas were outlined:

• Work carried out by Racing Welfare, the National Trainers Federation and the Stable Lads Association to address issues of bullying and harassment, in particular Racing Welfare’s implementation of a 24-hour Samaritans helpline – sponsored by the Racehorse Owners Association – and the continued support of their welfare officers

• Within the Breeding Industry, the Thoroughbred Breeders Association has appointed a dedicated project manager and allocated funds to drive the Report’s recommendations. The registration of studs and their employees is the first major step of this project

• The Stable and Stud Staff Awards, generously sponsored by Godolphin and run by BHB in association with the Racing Post, were an important development in increasing ‘respect and recognition’

• The SLA, through its new consultant Tim Lyle, has worked closely with racecourses and the Jockey Club to improve conditions for stable staff, who are now provided with better facilities than were previously available at the overwhelming majority of courses visited

• The industry is preparing to launch its first co-ordinated recruitment campaign and website in early 2006, which is being created in consultation with key bodies such as the NTF and TBA, and training providers such as the British Racing School and Northern Racing College

Work is ongoing in other fields which the Steering Group identified as priorities, including pension provision and accommodation.
Racing’s Chaplain, the Reverend Graham Locking was also present at the press conference, along with representatives from the SLA, NTF, TBA, Racecourse Association and Racing Welfare.

The BHB Board at a meeting earlier this autumn agreed to offer financial support to Rev Locking’s work. The contribution, to be reviewed annually, will be paid through the registered charity Score, who are Locking’s principal employer and provide chaplains to various sports. Such additional funding – on top of that received from Racing Welfare for his core activities – will allow Rev Locking to extend the breadth of his work in offering pastoral care and support to the racing community. The request to BHB for funding initially came through Mark Tompkins, Chairman of the Newmarket Trainers Federation.

Stable and Stud Staff Steering Group Chair Baroness Mallalieu said: “Very considerable progress has been made on a number of recommendations in the past 18 months, which is greatly to the credit of the agents of change identified by Lord Donoughue’s Independent Commission. In other areas, notably working patterns and conditions, progress has been slower than we had hoped, and much remains to be done.”


The Stable and Stud Staff Steering Group was set up by the BHB Board following the publication of the Report of the Independent Stable and Stud Staff Commission, Chaired by Lord Donoughue.

Among its Terms of Reference are to evaluate and prioritise the recommendations in the Report, in consultation with the relevant industry bodies, and to report to the BHB Board on a quarterly basis and to the wider industry annually.

The Steering Group’s membership is comprised as follows:
Baroness Mallalieu (Chair and an Independent BHB Director)
Dawn Bacchus (Legal Executive, National Trainers’ Federation)
Fiona Birt-Llewellin (former BHB Recruitment and Training Director, and Board Member, National Stud)
Lady Burnham (former BHB Director and former Chairman of the Stable Staff Resources Study Group)
Brigadier Cedric Burton (Chief Executive, Racing Welfare)
Alan Byrne (Member, Stable and Stud Staff Commission; former Racing Post Editor)
Jim Furlong (former BHB Director and former ROA President; former head of Furlong Associates, a City-based headhunting company)
Richard Lancaster (Stud Director, Shadwell Stud)
Brough Scott (Racing Post Editorial Director)
Caroline Turnbull (TBA Training and Rectruitment Manager)