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ISSUE 60 – JANUARY – MARCH 2018 £6.95 www.trainermagazine.com

THE QUARTERLY MAGAZINE FOR THE TRAINING AND DEVELOPMENT OF THE THOROUGHBRED

TEAM TIZZARD The farming family who have built a leading stable

DRESSAGE Why it works for racehorses

WHERE TO START? Set-up costs across Europe compared

STRANGLES

How can you minimise the risk?


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| OPINION |

GI LE S AN DE RS ON PUBLISHER’S OPINION

he National Hunt races are in full swing, with the season-ending crescendos soon to come in quickfire succession from March to June and the major festivals at Cheltenham, Aintree, Punchestown, and Auteuil all to look forward to. Over the past 10 years, one trainer in the west country of England has quietly shaken the public’s perception of him as a successful dairy farmer with racehorses on the side to being recognised as a major force in National Hunt racing with a successful dairy farming business on the side. That trainer is Colin Tizzard, and as Oscar Yeadon found out on his recent visit to Venn Farm, much of the success of the operation is based around the roles played by his team members, who make both the racing and farming business a thriving concern. Talking of teams, “teamwork” is now very much the buzz phrase in the racing industry. Gone are the days when the trainer is the one who would take all the plaudits for the success of his or her yard. Trainers are realising that their businesses can only improve with a dedicated team behind them. Last year, we ran many articles with ideas on how to improve the working lot of the trainer and their team, and within these pages we hear from the judges for the upcoming Lycetts Team Champion Awards – the winners of which will be announced in London on February 22nd. Location is especially important for a trainer whose career is just beginning, which is why in this issue we look at the most beneficial places across Europe for a trainer to start out. Some of the differences from place to place will make your eyes pop out, and I’d even bet that there are a number of trainers who will be tempted to move after reading this article! On a recent trip to France, it was interesting to learn how the country’s authorities are relaxing the criteria needed to become a French-based trainer. Gone are the days when a trainer needed to speak the language with fluency and accuracy. With the pressure to produce runners for the betting public, authorities are starting to widen their scope, and having heard at the recent ETF AGM how the PMU are now processing about €1,000,000,000 per year in bets, I am not surprised by this news at all. Finally, as regular readers know, we run in a TRM Trainer of Quarter award in each issue. Our current winner is Jessica Harrington, and for me, she is the trainer of the year! Not only has she been a major player with victories at the highest level in those National Hunt season-ending crescendos I mentioned above, but there seemingly wasn’t a week that went by over the summer without news of a Harrington-trained winner on the level. Looking ahead to the coming year – wherever your racing takes you, good luck!

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PROUD TO FEED THE TOP FOUR UK TRAINERS JOHN GOSDEN

RICHARD FAHEY

SIR MICHAEL STOUTE

MARK JOHNSTON

POWERED BY BAILEYS RACING RANGE RACE - RECOVER - REFUEL - REPEAT CONTACTS: Director of Nutrition, Liz Bulbrook - 07850 368 271 Raacing Manager, Simon Venner - 07977 441 571 Export Manager, Mark Buchan - 07711 701 56 65 Tel: 01371 850 247 www.baileysh horsefeeds.co.uk

ISSUE 60 TRAINERMAGAZINE.COM

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| CONTENTS |

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CONTENTS F E AT U R E S

10 Colin Tizzard

Oscar Yeadon profiles the trainer of Cue Card and Thistlecrack.

54 The thoroughbred trainer in the digital age

24 The positive and negative

Trainers have a reputation for being old school, but Peter J Sacopulos has advice for those who’d like to embrace social media.

Catherine Dunnett on what oils may be beneficial in a racehorse’s diet.

58 The ongoing effort to minimise

30 Where in the EU can trainers

Surfaces and musculoskeletal injuries, by Celia M Marr.

effects of oil in equine nutrition

get the best start?

With so many variables, where is the best place for fledgling trainers to start their careers? By Lissa Oliver.

36 Getting to grips with Strangles Andrew S Waller on the improvements in treating and preventing the once inevitable Strangles bacteria.

40 You are only as good as your team

Lissa Oliver on how the new Lycetts Team Champion Award is good for racing.

46 Horseracing in South Korea Alex Cairns with an inside look at the thoroughbred industry in South Korea.

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the rate and impact of fractures

64 Back to school

Integrating a little dressage into a racehorse’s programme can be a healthy change of pace, by Olly Stevens.

70 Licensing and integrity the

64 REGULARS 04 Contributors 06 ETF Members 08 TRM Trainer of the Quarter

@t ra in er _m ag /t ra in er ma ga zi ne /t ra in er ma ga zi ne

subject of latest EMHF seminar

Paull Khan gives his quarterly update on the latest from the EMHF.

80 Hindsight

Aisling Crowe catches up with Tommy Stack, Grand National-winning jockey and Classicwinning trainer.

Visit trainermagazine.com to download the digital edition of this issue.


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Editorial Director/Publisher Giles Anderson Editor Frances J. Karon Design ATG Media Editorial/Photo Management Suzy Stephens Advert Production Shae Hardy Circulation/Website Anna Alcock Advertising Sales Giles Anderson, Oscar Yeadon Photo Credits: Sarah-Jane Bullock Photography, Shutterstock, Alamy, Emily Graham, Eclipse Sportswire, Sarah Powell, Alastair Foote, Pieter Ramzan, Alex Cairns

Cover Photograph Sarah-Jane Bullock Trainer magazine is published by Anderson & Co Publishing Ltd. This magazine is distributed for free to all EFT members. Editorial views expressed are not necessarily those of the ETF. Additional copies can be purchased for ÂŁ6.95 (ex P&P). No part of this publication may be reproduced in any format without the prior written permission of the publisher.

Printed in the European Union For all editorial and advertising queries please contact: Anderson & Co. Publishing Tel: +44 (0) 1380 816777 Fax: +44 (0) 1380 816778 email: info@trainermagazine.com www.trainermagazine.com Issue 60

ISSN 17580293

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Alex Cairns Alex Cairns is a horse racing writer and photographer. He previously worked for the KRA as English Editor and International Liaison and is now based in his native Northern Ireland.

Lissa Oliver Lissa Oliver lives in Co. Kildare, Ireland and is a regular contributor to The Irish Field and the Australian magazine, Racetrack. Lissa is also the author of several collections of short stories and two novels.

Aisling Crowe Aisling Crowe is an awardwinning writer and journalist from Co Laois who has been recognised globally for her work on bloodstock and racing. Following her graduation from NUI Galway with a first class honours MA Journalism in 2012, she has contributed to leading publications around the world and also works as a consultant for Spanish and South American trainers, owners and breeders.

Peter Sacopulos, Esq Peter is a partner in the law firm of Sacopulos, Johnson & Sacopulos in Terre Haute, Indiana where he represents clients in a wide range of equine matters. He is a member of the American College of Equine Counsel and serves on the Board of the Indiana Thoroughbred Owners and Breeders Association and Indiana Thoroughbred Breed Development Advisory Committee. Mr. Sacopulos has written extensively on equine law issues and is a frequent speaker at equine conferences.

Dr Catherine Dunnett BSc, PhD, R.Nutr Dr Catherine Dunnett BSc, PhD, R. Nutr. is an independent nutritionist registered with the British Nutrition Society. She has a background in equine research, in the field of nutrition and exercise physiology, with many years spent at The Animal Health Trust in Newmarket. Prior to setting up her own consultancy business, she worked in the equine feed industry on product development and technical marketing. Dr Paull Khan, PhD Paull Khan, PhD. is an international horseracing consultant. He is SecretaryGeneral of the European & Mediterranean Horseracing Federation and Technical Advisor for Europe to the International Federation of Horseracing Authorities. His other clients include the British Horseracing Board. Previously, Dr Khan held many senior roles at Weatherbys, including Banking Director and Racing Director. Professor Celia Marr Professor Celia Marr is an equine clinician at Rossdales, Newmarket. She is a RCVS and European Specialist in Equine Medicine and Honorary Professor at the Glasgow University Veterinary School. She has previously worked at veterinary schools in Glasgow, Pennsylvania, Cambridge and London and in racehorse practice in Lambourn. She is Chairman of the Horserace Betting Levy Board’s Thoroughbred Research & Consultation Group and Editor-in-Chief of Equine Veterinary Journal.

Olly Stevens A Royal Ascot and International Group 1-winning trainer, Newmarket native Olly Stevens has a broad international experience and an innovative outlook. Having won races on turf, dirt and even ice, Olly enjoyed a short yet fruitful training career in his own right based in the south of England. Olly now splits his time between publishing and advising a select group of racing clients. Andrew Waller BSc, PhD. Andrew Waller joined the Animal Health Trust 14 years ago as Head of Bacteriology. His group have used DNA sequencing to learn more about how Streptococcus equi causes Strangles and spreads through horse populations. His group have utilised this information to develop new diagnostic tests, which are used around the World. His group are now applying the very latest techniques to develop better vaccines that protect against Strangles. Oscar Yeadon Oscar Yeadon is an advertising executive for Anderson & Co Publishing, as well as a longstanding fan of National Hunt racing. His passion for the sport developed during his time managing racing syndicates and events across the UK, a career path that was not immediately obvious when he read microbiology at the University of Wales, Aberystwyth.


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EUROPEAN TRAINERS’ FEDERATION AIMS and OBJECTIVES of the ETF:

a) To represent the interests of all member trainers’ associations in Europe. b) To liaise with political and administrative bodies on behalf of European trainers. c) To exchange information between members for the benefit of European trainers. d) To provide a network of contacts to assist each member to develop its policy and services to member trainers.

ETF REPRESENTATIVES Chairmanship: Guy Heymans (Belgium) Tel: +32 (0) 495 389 140 Email: heymans1@telenet.be

Vice Chairmanship:

Vice Chairmanship:

Criquette Head-Maarek (France) Tel: +33 (0)3 44 57 25 39 Fax: +33 (0)3 44 57 58 85 Email: entraineurs.de.galop@wanadoo.fr

Christian von der Recke (Germany) Tel: +49 (022 54) 84 53 14 Fax: +49 (022 54) 84 53 15 Email: recke@t-online.de

AUSTRIA

HUNGARY

Treasureship:

Michael Grassick (Ireland) Tel: +353 (0) 45 522981 Mob: +353 (0) 87 2588770 Fax: +353 (0) 45 522982 Email: irishta@eircom.net

RUSSIA

Mrs Živa Prunk Tel: +38640669918 Email: ziva.prunk@gmail.com

Livia Prem Email: livia.prem@hotmail.com

Olga Polushkina Email: p120186@yandex.ru

CZECH REPUBLIC

Agostino Affe Email: affegaloppo@gmail.com

ITALY

SLOVAKIA

Roman Vitek Tel: +42 (0) 567 587 61 Fax: +42 (0) 567584 733 Email: dr.romanrvitek@gmail.com

GREECE

Aggeliki Amitsis Tel: 30 229 908 1332+ Email: angieamitsis@yahoo.com

GERMANY

Erika Mäder Tel: +49 (0) 2151 594911 Fax: +49 (0) 2151 590542 Email: trainer-und-jockeys@netcologne.de

NETHERLANDS

Geert van Kempen Email: renstalvankempen@hetnet.nl

NORWAY

Are Hyldmo Email: arehyldmo@hotmail.com

UNITED KINGDOM

Rupert Arnold Tel: +44 (0) 1488 71719 Fax: +44 (0) 1488 73005 Email: r.arnold@racehorsetrainers.org

www.trainersfederation.eu

Jaroslav Brecka Email: jaroslav.brecka@gmail.com

SPAIN

Mauricio Delcher Sanchez Tel: +34 (0) 666 53 51 52 Email: mdelcher@hotmail.com

SWEDEN NORTH

Julian McLaren Tel: +46 (0) 709 234597 Email: jmclaren@hotmail.com

SWEDEN SOUTH Jessica och Padraig Long Email: jplong@live.se


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FROM BLEEDING TO WINNING

NEW NATURAL APPROACH CAN STOP BLEEDING IN ITS TRACKS BY MARK HANSEN

There it was again. A trainer’s worst nightmare. Suddenly not just one, but two of his best horses were bleeding from EIPH (Exercise Induced Pulmonary Hemorrhage). They were in danger of being banned from racing, even though they were still in their prime. Lasix (Salix) isn’t an option in Europe. The trainer was at a loss. What can be done? EIPH is a rough deal for any trainer, horse owner, and horse. After all, it can lead to poor performance, lost training days, costly treatments, or worse — a very sick horse that’s banned from racing for life. Facing these concerns for two of his horses, the trainer (who asked us to withhold his name for competitive reasons) was willing to try anything. So, he searched for another option. He gave his horses an alternative to bleeder drugs and treatments; something he had read about called BleederGard. This natural respiratory horse supplement helps control bleeding. It is just as effective in improving the health and performance of bleeders but without any of those “drug issues” that come with most race-day bleeder medications. “I used BleederGard paste on two horses that had been bleeding. Now, neither horse has bled. This is a great product; it saved the careers of two very good horses.”

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Graham L. et al. J Vet Emerg Crit Care. 12:4 (2002) 279-282. Graham L. Vet Clin North Am Equine Pract. 2006.


| EXCELLENCE IN EQUINE NUTRITION |

rainer Jessica Harrington has maintained an excellent run of form under both codes through 2017, including in the most recent quarter, which included a Listed success on the Flat at Great Yarmouth; winning seasonal debuts for two of the stable’s leading lights, Sizing John and Jezki; and a close second at Ascot’s Champions meeting for Torcedor. On the back of winning three Gold Cups at the end of last season, the winning return of Sizing John in the Grade 1 John Durkan Memorial Punchestown Chase pleased Harrington enormously. She said, “I was delighted with Sizing John. You never know what mark those three races might have left and he’s in great form.” So how does Harrington rate 2017 overall, given the spread and level of success through the year? “This year has been unbelievable, since January, really. We had Sizing John winning three Gold Cups and Our Duke in the Irish Grand National, Rock The World and Supa Sundae winning at Cheltenham, then Supa Sundae only just being beaten at Aintree, when stepped up in trip, and Punchestown was fantastic.” Harrington is no stranger to the winners’ enclosure at the major Jumps meetings in Ireland and Britain, but there has been a marked improvement in the form of her Commonstown Stable’s Flat string. “We made a good start early in the season, and this year has been our most successful on the Flat,” says Harrington. The stable’s flagbearer on the Flat this year has been Torcedor, who joined Harrington from David Wachman and

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TRAINER OF THE QUARTER

JE SS IC A HA RR IN GTO N The TRM Trainer of the Quarter award has been won by Jessica Harrington. Harrington and her team will receive a selection of products from the internationally acclaimed range of TRM supplements, as well as a bottle of fine Irish whiskey. Oscar Yeadon

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Caroline Norris

WE MADE A GOOD START EARLY IN THE SEASON, AND THIS YEAR HAS BEEN OUR MOST SUCCESSFUL ON THE FLAT.


| EXCELLENCE IN EQUINE NUTRITION |

has raced with distinction in the top stayers’ races. The gelding will be charting new territory for connections in the spring. “A highlight was Torcedor’s second to Order Of St George at Ascot last time and we’re aiming for the Dubai World Cup. I’ve had a runner over there before, about five years ago, but this will be another level.” Harrington singles out the addition of a second gallop, over seven furlongs, as a factor that has helped her team. “This made a big difference as previously I would have to go over to The Curragh, but I can now train mainly from home.” Torcedor’s Group 3 win in the Vintage Crop Stakes was one of eight black type victories on the Flat for Harrington in 2017, and the stable’s overall form has strengthened their strings for both codes. “We’re pretty even between Jumpers and Flat horses, but our results have led people to send us more horses. We have some more quality and I probably have 30-35 yearlings for 2018, with some more coming in.”

Sizing John en route to landing his third Gold Cup, at Punchestown

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PROFILE

COLIN TIZZARD ON FA R MI NG , FA M ILY AN D T HE TRAINERS’ TITLE

H

e’ll win the King George, two years’ time, you wait and see!” Given that the speaker is Colin Tizzard, who has saddled the last two winners of the Grade 1 chase, the opinion carries weight, but a warm chuckle from him downplays the gravity of his statement. Tizzard, his son Joe, and a group of owners are in jovial mood as they watch a pair of promising young novices school upsides at the trainer’s Venn Farm in Dorset, south-west England. Home to some of the most successful trainers, past and present, in National Hunt (Jumps) racing, the region has long been a hotbed for the sport and also for Point-to-Point (PTP) racing, a related category of amateur thoroughbred racing over fences which is often a starting point in the careers of National Hunt jockeys, trainers, and horses. Tizzard is one of a number of trainers in the area who have a background in Point-to-Points and have made a successful transition to racing under Rules. His team has firmly established itself as one of the top 20 National Hunt stables in the country season in and season out, having started with two pointers to support his son’s embryonic riding career more than two decades ago, while also running the family dairy farming business. The stable’s run of form has notably progressed from very good to excellent in the past three years. Last season was Tizzard’s best to date, when he finished third in the trainers’ championship to the two trainers who have

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Oscar Yeadon

Sarah-Jane Bullock

dominated the British National Hunt scene for the past decade or so, Nicky Henderson and Paul Nicholls. So what has propelled Colin Tizzard to the highest echelons of the trainers’ table? One can certainly trace the origins of the stable’s current form to the emergence of Cue Card, who has long been one of the cornerstones of the Tizzard string. Since beating the highly regarded Al Ferof to win the Champion Bumper on only his second start, Cue Card not only elevated the profile of the stable but reassured the team that they were heading in the right direction. “Cue Card came along when we were just ticking along with 15-20 winners per year, and we thought we were flat out at that point, but he gave us the confidence that we could do it,” says Tizzard. In the seven years since that memorable day at Cheltenham, the stable proved they could indeed do it, and across the board, with nearly 20 individual Graded or Listed winners. Everything came together in the 2016/17 season for the Tizzards: third place in the trainer rankings, 33% more runners than the previous season but with a near-identical winning strike rate, plus six individual Grade 1 winners. So, what next? “We won £2.5 million last season, including Irish prize money, and it would be amazing if we could do that again,” enthuses Tizzard. “It is exciting; some of those four-year-olds we schooled this morning aren’t just winners, they’re potential Cheltenham horses.” When asked how he would assess his chances of landing the trainers’ championship this season, he takes a typically practical view of his situation.


| COLIN TIZZARD |

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PROFILE

ABOVE: Looking to the future: Tizzard holds the new recruits to his string in high regard

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“No, I’m 50 horses short of what is needed to win a championship. But I could be better set for the spring festivals this season and I probably have a better crop of novice hurdlers this time around too. “Thistlecrack and Native River are late starting, and Native River faces a tougher task this season than last year. He jumped the last nearly upsides and you would have bet money that he would have outstayed anything up that hill (in the Cheltenham Gold Cup), but he didn’t. Whether it was that our stable wasn’t in the best form at the time or we had been to the well a few too many times with him, but for me the Gold Cup is the hardest race of the year. It tests horses, their wind, and tests the jockeys. It tests the owners and tests the trainers, too!” However, while the established stable stars occupy a special place in the story of the rise of the Tizzards and remain key players in plans for this season, it’s apparent that he is also planning and building for the future. Among Tizzard’s string are 18 newly turned four-yearolds. Once Tizzard has gone through plans for the runners with his son, he points out a nice type whose dam is a sister to the 2017 French Champion Hurdle winner L’Ami Serge. This is just one example of how the stable’s rising profile has attracted new owners and brought increased strength to an already successful string. Although Tizzard remains coy about absolute numbers, it’s fair to estimate that his string now runs to more than a 100. One of the signs of a well-organised stable is its ability to adapt to changing demands, but not at the expense of the results on the track, and this is perhaps where lessons Tizzard has learned in the family farming

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business, which runs alongside the training operation, have paid dividends. Certainly, the family ties to the training and farming businesses remain strong. Tizzard has been a dairy farmer in his own right for many years, with 500 head of cattle, and along with his brothers Alan and Michael, who have farms on neighbouring land, has followed in the footsteps of his parents. Leslie and Marjorie Tizzard started out as tenant farmers on the Venn estate in the post-war years, just down the road from where the majority of Tizzard’s horses are stabled today. Tizzard’s elder brother Robert is an owner-breeder who returned to the area after a career in London. Situated close to Venn Farm on the Somerset/Dorset county border, Robert’s house overlooks the paddocks that are home to his select band of broodmares as well as the arena where Colin Tizzard schools his jumpers. Displaying his typical shrewdness, Tizzard’s move into training more than 20 years ago was very much informed by the farming business and what he was learning in his early years as a trainer. “We are farmers and it (the farming side of the business) is very much our safety net. We have seen a lot of trainers in the position we are now, but then they’re 25th next year, 50th the next, and then they’re gone. “The pressure really is on the younger trainers these days, those who have a few horses, rent a yard, and maybe have families to support. The only pressure I get is the pressure I put on myself, so to be in that position, we make sure the stable is first run as a business. “Simply, anyone who has ever had a horse loves training


| COLIN TIZZARD |

Joe Tizzard with his nephew, Freddie Gingell

them. If you had a hunter, a polo pony, a show pony or a gymkhana pony, whatever you’ve got, you think you can beat the next one and that’s all we’re doing here.” This measured, straightforward philosophy meant that the Tizzards developed the training business steadily rather than dramatically in the early years. “There was no masterplan. We had pointers when we were teenagers, so we would milk the cows and then ride the horses and I also rode as an amateur under Rules. Later, we and our children Joe and Kim would go hunting, and we did that for years. But we enjoyed the training as much as the riding and we made a start with some pointers, and it was just a natural progression as Joe’s riding career started. When the pointers started winning all the time, we thought we would take out a licence. “Not long after that we put the gallop down and then Joe became first jockey to Paul Nicholls, so we didn’t get Joe much for a while. Then, even when he wasn’t with Paul, he would be off playing golf, so we never saw him! “After Joe retired from riding, he has worked as hard as anyone and he’s very much involved with the running of the farm as well as the training side. Joe lives on the farm, in the ‘love nest,’ but I probably shouldn’t call it that! Joe and I both have entry books and we sit down together and he does it online. We have debates and then he has to come around to my way of thinking. “Joe and Kim are partners in the business, rather than assistant trainers, and Kim drives 19 miles every morning to ride first lot, before anyone else, does three lots per day and then goes to the stable office to sort out a lot of the administration with my wife Pauline, including the weekend staff rotas. “Pauline used to run our bed and breakfast business, but it came to the point where we didn’t have time to do that, so we finished that and she still does a hell of a lot now, dealing with owners, dealing with racing colours, going to the races, making sure the VAT is right, and checks on everyone, and she checks on me. “Joe’s the man who makes contact with new owners coming onto the market. I’m a farmer, I can’t quite go over and do it like he can. He does attract new types of owners. “By and large, Kim and Joe do everything I don’t and try and do everything I do!” As Tizzard is talking, his mother Marjorie, now retired and who lives close by, calls into the yard. Tizzard strides over and embraces her warmly and says, “Make sure you get a photo. I owe her everything!”

WE WON £2.5 MILLION LAST SEASON, INCLUDING IRISH PRIZE MONEY, AND IT WOULD BE GREAT IF WE COULD DO THAT AGAIN. ISSUE 60 TRAINERMAGAZINE.COM

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PROFILE

TOP: A family affair; Colin with his daughter Kim, a partner in the business, along with Joe. ABOVE: Colin’s mother Marjorie, a frequent visitor to the yard

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| COLIN TIZZARD |

A member of the family’s fourth generation is also present in the yard, to ride ponies out before school. Freddie Gingell, Kim’s son, has ambitions to be a jockey and has been riding in PTP pony races with success this year, winning two races in the Charles Owen series, at Chepstow and Ascot. “Seeing Freddie win was one of the proudest moments of my life,” says Tizzard. “He’s into everything in the yard.” By necessity, Tizzard and the team have adapted to the growth of the training side of the operation, and the family business has now expanded to a staff of around 35, including part-time employees. “We were short of staff and one year, Pauline and I were doing about 25 horses by ourselves on Christmas Day. We have a good team now from a number of different countries and ethnic backgrounds. Some are now naturalised British citizens. We heavily subsidise the accommodation and the pool money was good last season.”

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The yard’s expansion required investment in facilities, and one of the biggest advances was the erection of an American-style barn at the main yard three years ago, with the majority of the horses now based there rather than at the bottom of the hill, near the main farmhouse, or in the various satellite yards dotted around the local village, Milborne Port. “The barn’s well ventilated and airflow is important, so being up on the hill does help, and if you walk in there, you won’t smell any ammonia,” says Tizzard. “We get the odd bug but with the prevailing south-west winds coming straight through, they don’t hang around. As with the cattle, daylight is really important; it’s needed for their ‘zen factor.’ The crossover from cattle farming extends to meeting the dietary requirements of the string, as Tizzard grows his own haylage. “We still end up with twice as much as we need. So, if we cut it one day and it rains the next, we use it on the farm and then the next bit for the horses.” Tizzard’s practical approach extends to how and on what he exercises his horses. “Things evolve all the time. I used to use the uphill gallop every day for every horses, but I now also use the deep sand three days a week. The combination of the hill and sand trains the whole body.” The deep sand was imported at some expense from Ireland until Tizzard experimented with different grades and hit upon a cheaper alternative sourced from nearby Wareham on the Dorset coast. As well as being an area rich in natural resources, Somerset and Dorset have long been home to some of the UK’s leading National Hunt trainers, including Harry Fry, Nicholls, David Pipe, and Philip Hobbs. Tizzard doesn’t see the proximity of such powerful stables as an issue for concern. “It’s a very competitive area around here. There are lots of local trainers, and they’re all good trainers. There’s fierce competition but plenty of respect. Going back a few


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PROFILE

| COLIN TIZZARD |

years, the likes of Martin Pipe, Philip Hobbs, and Paul Nicholls brought the standard up around here, which is good for all of us. “However, it means that we will probably head north for valuable races. All the big chases will be ultra-competitive for the next three to four months, which is partly why Hey Big Spender won the Rehearsal Chase at Newcastle three times.” As one who has built up a training yard from scratch into one that could be mounting a title bid in the coming seasons, what does Tizzard think of the challenges that face trainers today? “Well I think that the BHA (British Horseracing Authority) are very good and are talking to trainers. We

THINGS EVOLVE ALL THE TIME. I USED TO USE THE UPHILL GALLOP EVERY DAY FOR EVERY HORSE, BUT I NOW ALSO USE THE DEEP SAND THREE DAYS A WEEK. THE COMBINATION OF THE HILL AND SAND TRAINS THE WHOLE BODY.

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should maybe look after the prize money for the lower end races to provide for owners and trainers competing in those races, so we look after those at the ‘other end.’ That was me five years ago and it might be me in five years’ time.” In discussing their current situation and training career to date, it’s clear that the Tizzard team are not content to rest on their laurels, and their results in recent seasons have of course put Venn Farm on the radar of many owners. One such is long-time National Hunt fan and professional gambler Russ Watts, who was celebrating his 50th birthday on the day of his visit to the yard accompanied by his two sons, Sam and John. Already a National Hunt owner for more than 10 years, Watts has an interest in The Russian Doyen, his first horse with Tizzard. “I first thought of having a horse with Colin some years ago, as he was then a local, rising trainer and I live around 30 minutes away. Later, a friend had a horse here and that led to me coming on board last year,” says Watts. “Colin’s open, honest, and good fun.” Watts is one of the more locally based people to have joined the burgeoning list of owners at Venn Farm in recent years. The yard’s success means it is attracting notice from further afield, including from high-profile owners such as the late Ann and Alan Potts, whose Ann


P OLYTRACK


PROFILE

ABOVE: Three generations of the Tizzard family make plans for morning work.

| COLIN TIZZARD |

& Alan Potts Limited entity has multiple horses at Venn Farm, alongside those of longer-standing owners Jean Bishop and Brocade Racing. The passing of Alan Potts in November, just a handful of months after the death of his wife Ann, came as a huge shock to the National Hunt racing scene in the UK and Ireland. Their familiar yellow, green, and red colours have been very much a fixture at the major meetings from the days of the top two-mile chaser Sizing Europe onwards, notably landing the Cheltenham Gold Cup last March with the Jessica Harrington-trained Sizing John. The switching of some of the Potts’ Irish-trained horses to Tizzard’s yard in the autumn of 2016 was headline news in the racing press, but the results that followed warranted the faith of the prominent owners. Perhaps the most surprising aspect of the arrangement were the circumstances in which Alan Potts and Tizzard first met. “I was at Cheltenham, watching a race on the one of the TVs in the bar. This chap behind me told me,’ Get out of the f***ing way.’ I looked around and said ‘I’m not in the way.’ He said, ‘Yes, you are, you’re still in the f***ing way.’ I said, ‘I’m sorry, but I would never stand in front of anybody.’ He said, ‘Well, you f***ing did.’ So I said, ‘Well,

I HAVE NO PLANS FOR RETIREMENT. I’M ENJOYING IT TOO MUCH. 18

TRAINERMAGAZINE.COM ISSUE 60

I’m sorry.’ Afterwards, someone told me it was Alan Potts, so I went back to him and said, ‘Sorry, Mr Potts, I won’t do it again.’ “The next meeting I went to at Cheltenham, he was sat in the bar with a bottle of wine” – and here Tizzard stretches out his arm – “and he offers me a glass and says, ‘We didn’t get off to the best of starts, did we?’ So I sat down with him. “That was in the spring of 2016 and in October he rang up and asked if I could take 15 of his horses.” Alan Potts’ death this year just ahead of the threeday meeting at Cheltenham was a shock for everyone, particularly as he had been due to visit Venn Farm that week. In accordance with the wishes of the Potts family, the entries ran, and the victory of Finian’s Oscar at Cheltenham provided an emotional win for all concerned. “I only knew Alan for 18 months,” remembers Tizzard. “He was a man that you wouldn’t forget. He wasn’t always easy, but he made things happen, so you can see why he achieved what he did, given where he started from. He left a lasting impression on me.” The increased patronage of sizeable owners has undoubtedly helped to elevate Venn Farm to new heights, in tandem with the shrewd evolution of their stable and facilities. Maybe it’s an illustration of just how far the stable has come in recent years, in terms of the strength of its string and results, that while Tizzard had once talked of retirement in interviews as recently as five years ago, he is now quick to dispel the notion: “I have no plans for retirement. I’m enjoying it too much.” With a string comprising multiple-Graded winners and brimming with potential talent for next season and beyond, it’s not hard to see why.


| TOPIC |

A MORNING AT VENN FARM

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| FEATURE NAME |

ISSUE 60 TRAINERMAGAZINE.COM

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| NUTRITION |

THE POSITIVE AND NEGATIVE EFFECTS OF OIL IN EQUINE NUTRITION

Dr Catherine Dunnett BSC, PHD, R.NUTR

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Sarah-Jane Bullock, Shutterstock, Alamy


| OIL |

O

il is a regular ad ddittion to modern racing dietss, eitther by feeding a high oil-containing racing feed or through extra addition of liquid vegetable oil. Research over the years has shown that oil is palatable to horses and digested very well, and that there is little diff fference in digestibility between ffe the main type pes of vegetable-based oils used. Oil that is integral to feed ingredients, such as that found in rice bran, linseed, naked oats, soya, etc., may have a marginally lower digestibility, as this wi will depend on how wil digestible the encapsulating matrix is to the horse. However, in the main both free oil and integral oil is well tolerated and digested in horses. In a natural envi vironment, horses can easily consume vir between 2-3% of their body weight as dry matter from pasture. Oil has always been a natural part of the horse’s diet, as grass contains about 2-3%, which may seem low but can provi vide the equivalent of 200-400mls of oil per vid day. Other forages, such as hay, haylage, and chaff, will also contain oil at a similar level on a dry matter basis. Horses can tolerate up to 20-25% of their total energy intake coming from oil, and this has been exploited successfully to help manage rhabdomyolysis related to exercise (exertional rhabdomyolysis syndrome, or ERS) or aberrant carbohydrate metabolism (Polysaccharide storage myopathy). [See Diet Example 1.] However, the level of oil that individ iduals can tolerate in their diet wil ill vary and is likely to be dependent on variations in enzymatic lipase activit ity and speed of passage through the small intestine. It quickly becomes apparent if you have too much oil in the diet of a particular horse, as their droppings tend to become looser and they often develop a fairly unpleasant smell, which can be a sign to pull back on the oil inclusion. There are many advantages to feeding additional oil wiitthin a racing ration, some of which relate to its extremely high energy content compared with carbohydrate. When directly compared with oats on a weight-for-weight basis, oil delivers 70% more energy. Other potential advantages depend on the chemical makeup of the oil, in terms of its constituent fatty acids. Oils are made up principally of triglycerides, which consist of three free fatty acids of varying types bound to a single glycerol. The relative proportions of the diff fferent free fatty acids contribute to the physical ffe characteristics of an oil, for example, whether they are liquids or solids at room temperature and how they behave biochemically in the body. There are many diff fferent typ ffe ypes of fatty acids, characterised by the carbon ype chain lengt gth of their core structure and the number gth and position of double bonds wi within this chain. Like wit amino acids, there are also dietary essential fatty acids, principally linoleic acid and linolenic acid, which must be provid ided, as they cannot be synthesised. Fatty acids are grouped structurally into distinct families which behave in a similar fashion, which include the omega3, omega-6, and omega-9 fatty acids. There are also medium chain fatty acids which are a further group of structurally diff fferent saturated fatty acids (with no ffe double bonds).

POTENTIAL BENEFITS OF A HIGH OIL RACING RATION

• Oil is more energy dense – It allows the addition of calories without a great increase in feed volume. This is of great advantage for fussy feeders or those that strug ggle to maintain condition • Lower starch ration – The addition of oil allows a reduction in the starch content of the feed, whilst maintaining total energy intake. This is useful for horse prone to tying up or those that have an excitable nature. • Source of omega 3 fatty acids – These are regarded as having a more anti-iinflammatory action compared to an excess of omega 6 fatty acids which are potentially pro-inflammatory. • Gastric protection – Oil in the diet is reputed to have benefits in maintaining the gastric mucosa, possibly by effects on the rate of emptying of the stomach.

DIET EXAMPLE 1 – HIGH OIL RATION FOR HORSE AT RISK OF EXERTIONAL RHABDOMYOLYSIS % Oil

Oil Contribution

Hay fed at 8kg

2%

430g

Alfalfa fed at 2kg

2.5%

50g

8% Oil racing feed fed at 6kg

10%

480g

Micronised linseed fed at 500g

40%

200g

Total

40%

1160g

• Total energy intake DE from diet approximately 162 MJ per day • Total energy intake from oil approximately 40 MJ/day • Contribution of oil to total energy intake of oil 25% • The racing feed is likely to deliver mostly omega-6 fatty acids, whereas the hay, alfalfa, and linseed will offer balancing omega-3 fatty acids.

Family Rivalry – The Omegas

The essential fatty acid linoleic acid belongs to the omega6 family, while alpha linolenic acid belongs to the rival family of omega-3. These essential fatty acids must be provided in the diet, as they cannot be synthesised by the body. Each is the parent compound for an extended family of longer chain bioactive fatty acids, which can eventually be used to form hormone-like substances called eicosanoids. The eicosanoids, which include prostoglandins, prostacycline, thromboxanes, and leukotriens, can be derived from omega-6 or omega-3 and influence many physiological processes, including the immune response, inflammation, and blood coagulation. The formation of these eicosanoids from their omega-6 or omega-3 parents depends on how much is present in the body, as they are formed through competing common enzymatic pathways and this in turn is influenced by diet. Active competition between these two families of fatty acids ultimately influences their relative effects on these important body processes, and there is a balance ISSUE 60 TRAINERMAGAZINE.COM

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| NUTRITION |

to be struck. There is little information on where that balance lies in horses, but suffice to say that most high-oil containing ingredients found in a racehorse’s concentrate diet are rich in the omega-6 fatty acids with a predominance of linoleic acid, with much less omega-3 fatty acids being present. Pasture is a rich source of the omega-3 fatty acid alpha linolenic acid. In fact, data suggests that alpha linolenic acid makes up a large proportion of the oil in pasture and could be as high 50-70%. This has been highlighted by advocates of the organic movement and ‘clean eating’ lobby in human nutrition, who suggest that this higher intake of omega-3 by grass-fed cows transfers health benefits to both their meat and milk, compared to grainfed animals. The benefits of a diet with a suitable omega3:omega-6 ratio is more understood in human nutrition than in horses, with research suggesting health benefits to the respiratory system, immunity, mental health, and skeletal integrity, presumably being brought about by balancing the pro-inflammatory and anti-inflammatory effects of these two fatty acid families. I find it very interesting how nature often provides what seems to work, and by moving horses in training farther away from their natural diet, we have inadvertently shifted towards a diet that is richer in omega-6 fatty acids and potentially more pro-inflammatory. It is important to remember that inflammation is an important part of the healing process and so it should not be regarded as a complete negative. Whilst the omega-3 fatty acid content of hay and haylage is lower than pasture, it still delivers a significant level of omega-3 fatty acid in the form of linolenic acid, helping to offset the omega-6 fatty acids which predominate within the concentrate feed. This yet again highlights the need for a high level of forage/access to pasture to be maintained for horses in training. The use of linseed meal has recently increased both as an ingredient in proprietary horse feed and as a standalone supplement for top dressing. As can be seen from Table 1, linseed has one of the highest omega-3: omega-6 ratios. Equally, rapeseed oil or canola oil has an increased omega-3 content compared to corn or soya oil.

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THERE ARE MANY ADVANTAGES TO FEEDING ADDITIONAL OIL WITHIN A RACING R ATIO N , S O M E O F W H IC H R E L ATE TO ITS E X T R E M E LY H I G H ENERGY CONTENT COMPARED WITH CARBOHYDRATE. Oily fish

Although alpha linolenic acid is a precursor of the longer chain, more bioactive omega-3s, eicosapentanoic acid (EPA), and docosahexanoic acid (DHA), the efficiency of conversion is quite low, estimated to be only 5-10% in other species. Whilst the contribution of alpha linolenic acid may have some benefit, other ingredients that provide a more concentrated source of either or both EPA and DHA are becoming more widely used. Ingredients such as microencapsulated and deodorised fish oils – e.g. tuna or salmon oil – as well as green-lipped mussel have been used in small amounts as a rich source of DHA and EPA. However, the fishy smell can be off-putting and there is the whole moral question of whether herbivores should be eating fish. Plant sources of DHA in the form of algae (similar in makeup to what fish eat in their diet) are now more commonly seen in equine products, primarily supplements. There is little data in horses on the optimum ratio of omega-3 to omega-6 fatty acids. In humans it is suggested


| OIL |

that a ratio nearer to 1:1 is healthier, although a Western diet can be 1:10-15. The ratio of omega-3 to omega-6 seems to be as important as the absolute level of omega3 present in the diet. This may also depend on the type of omega-3 delivered, given the inefficient conversion of linolenic acid to DHA and EPA. There are a few studies that have looked at the efficacy of omega-3 fatty acids in horses. A preliminary study using ponies with sweet itch suggested a beneficial effect of linseed / flax on this inflammatory skin condition when fed at a level equivalent to 500g for a 500kg horse daily. Encouraging results have also been reported for the effect of supplementation with a combination of EPA and DHA on arthritic horses with a significantly lower concentration of white blood cells in synovial fluid being present and lower plasma levels of PGE2 (an inflammatory prostaglandin) in horses supplemented with a pelleted product providing 15g of EPA and 20g of DHA for 90 days, compared to a non-supplemented control group. This follows on from work carried out that suggests an increase in stride length in horses supplemented with EPA and DHA. In humans, there is also some evidence to support a protective role for omega-3 fatty acids in asthma, a condition that is not unlike recurrent airway obstruction (RAO) in horses, although the results

are not indisputable. A supplementation study with omega-3 fatty acids in horses, however, did not significantly alter clinical indicators of pulmonary function, although the white blood cell counts in epithelial lung-lining fluid were reduced in the omega3 supplemented horses. This may suggest an effect of supplementation on pulmonary inflammation. A supplement containing both omega-3 fatty acids and additional vitamins perhaps unsurprisingly delivered a change in the omega-3 to omega-6 ratio in plasma, but more significantly, it delayed the characteristic fall in red blood cell membrane fluidity seen during exercise because of splenic contraction and increased viscosity, which is important to maintain unfettered blood flow and reduce pressure in small blood vessels.

Medium-chain fatty acids

Oils such as coconut and palm oil contain a high proportion of medium-chain fatty acids (C6 – C10). Copra is a feed ingredient that is now more widely available for horses, and it is made from the white parts or flesh of the coconut. Characteristically, it has a low non-structural carbohydrate content (NSC) and is particularly low in starch, making it an attractive feed ingredient. It typically has an oil content of about 8-10% and this oil is saturated, making it less likely to go rancid during storage.

FATTY ACID CONTENT (% OF TOTAL LIPID) COCONUT OIL PALM OIL SOYBEAN OIL OLIVE OIL CORN OIL SUNFLOWER OIL FLAXSEED / LINSEED OIL RAPESEED / CANOLA OIL 0

20

40

60

80

100

■ SATURATED ■ OLEIC ACID (OMEGA 9) ■ ALPHA LINOLENIC (OMEGA 3) ■ LINOLEIC (OMEGA 6)

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| NUTRITION |

| OIL |

Medium-chain fatty acids are absorbed from the intestines more quickly and with less breakdo own and re-assimilation needed compared to long-chaain fatty acids. Medium-chain fatty acids are interestin ng as a fuel source, as they don’t depend on L-carnitiine for their transport into the mitochondria, wh hich is the powerhouse of the cell. It has been proposed that this simplified absorption from m the gut and transport within muscle cells mayy offer a potential advantage for performance, and early research suggested this may be the case. However, follow-up studies failed to reproduce these results, so any beneficial effect on performance remains controversial.

Oil production

There are a number methods of production, includ ding solvent extraction and cold pressing, used to deliver vegetable-based oils. The former involves the use of solvents such as hexane and a variety of inten nsiive processing to extract the maximum amount of oil from m

OILS SUCH AS COCONUT AND PALM OIL CONTAIN A HIGH PROPORTION OF MEDIUM-CHAIN FATTY ACIDS. COPRA IS A FEED INGREDIENT THAT IS NOW MORE WIDELY AVAILABLE. the oilseed to produce an oil that is light coloured, not highly flavoured, and can withstand oxidation. In contrast, cold-pressed oils undergo a much less intensive low-temperature process and yield less oil, but may retain more of the minor nutrients, contain less trans fatty acids, and retain more of the natural flavour. There is obviously a cost implication of the different methods of processing and there has been no work done to date to suggest any benefit or disadvantage to either type for horses thus far. Due to the high propensity for oxidation of oils, particularly those with a high polyunsaturated nature, they will usually contain natural antioxidants in the form of vitamin E-like substances, which may benefit the horse. Equally though, the current advice when adding oil the diet is to add a further 100iu of vitamin E for every 100ml of oil added. In summary, a racing diet supplemented with oil has many nutritional and practical advantages. Oil offers an energy-dense feed ingredient that is devoid of simple carbohydrate and starch. Whilst there is currently insufficient information on the requirements of horses for omega-3 fatty acids and the optimum ratio compared to omega-6, there is a balance to be struck. The predominance of the omega-3 fatty acid alpha linolenic acid in pasture and forages offers further rationale for maintaining a high-forage-to-concentrate ratio in all racing diets.

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THE EUROPEAN SECRET! Racing in Sweden is a well kept secret in the racing world. We have bigger purses than most realize. The best money for all-weather races in Europe. And plenty of opportunities to get the sought after Black Type performance. We’re not even that far away... Give it a go – before everyone else does. JÄGERSRO MAY 21th To close on March 26th. With supplementary entries on April 29st 120 000 € PRAMMS MEMORIAL (L) 1730m Dirt, 4YOs & Up 40 000 € LANWADES STUD JÄGERSRO SPRINT (L) 1200m Dirt, 3YOs & Up

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60 000 € TATTERSALLS NICKES MINNESLÖPNING (L) 1600 m Dirt, 3YOs & Up 50 000 € LANWADES STUD STAKES (L) 1600m Turf, 3YOs & Up F&M

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60 000 € BRO PARK SPRINT CHAMPIONSHIP (L) 1200 Turf, 3YOs & Up F&M

BRO PARK


| BUSINESS |

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TRAINERMAGAZINE.COM ISSUE 60


| WHERE TO GE T THE BEST START |

WHERE IN THE EU CAN NEW TRAINERS GET THE BEST START? Lissa Oliver

Shutterstock, Alamy,

I

n the previo ious issue of European Trainer (IIssu ue 59, OctoberDecember 2017), the Trainers’ Dailly Rates Survey was summarised, while Europe’s best training centres were also featured. From the former we learned that onlly 38 8% of trainers derive their sole income from training, yet this doesn’t deter hopefuls from taking out their fi first licence. So, where is the best place to set up a fir new yard to tip the balance in your favour? Just over half of European trainers keep between 10-50 horses; fewer than 10% have more, and it is generally not considered to be economically via iable to train fewer than 30 horses. The average daily rate per horse charged by a trainer is €43, which would provid ide a weekly revenue of €9,030 for a 30-h horse yard. Comparing daily rate to staff wages, there is little benefi fit to be found in startin fit ng up in one country versus another. The EU minimum wage maintains a constant across the board although the stable staff ff associations of some countries, such as Ireland, do ensure that a higher rate is paid. Therefore, anyw ywhere from 50-90% of the ywh daily rate charged wil ill go to staff ff. A shortage of good ff. riders and experienced staff ff is currently being endured throughout Europe, so, again, a new trainer is free to choose any location. Locating the pin is only half the batt ttle, however. A new ttl trainer requires a yard and probably accommodation, too, for his/herself and staff ff. The number of trainers who own ff. their own yard or rent a yard or boxes is more or less half and half, wi with 54% renting. There are top-class training wit

ISSUE 60 TRAINERMAGAZINE.COM

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| BUSINESS |

ABOVE: Staff wages are a major cost but are generally consistent across Europe

32

facilities to be found in all of the European racing countries, but the cost of purchasing or renting can vary enormously. The “State Of Housing In the EU” publication by Housing Europe compiled from Eurostat statistics provides an average monthly rental figure, combining houses and apartments, major cities, and less desirable locations to generate an overall average per country. While this won’t reflect the specific needs of most trainers, it does provide a clue as to where the most expensive properties will be found. The average monthly rental in Britain, for example, is €902, some way ahead of €822 in Switzerland and €629 in Ireland. After that comes very little disparity in costs between The Netherlands (€625), Denmark, Spain, Belgium, Germany, or France (€598). Prices decrease

TRAINERMAGAZINE.COM ISSUE 60

more noticeably between Greece (€580), Austria (€562), Italy (€538), Sweden (€500), Finland (€492), the Czech Republic (€366), and Poland, the cheapest country for property with an average monthly rental of €322. Overall, the average that might be spent on rent or mortgage could be as low as €150 per week, but rental per box in Newmarket, for example, is around €25 per week, while a complete yard with house there would set you back €1,200 per week. Elsewhere in Britain, a 30-box training establishment with accommodation can be found to rent for €600 per week and an historic Epsom 47-box yard, with trainer’s house and staff accommodation, was recently offered to rent for €72,500 per annum (€1,400 per week). Property searches in Germany reveal suitable yards (with a minimum of 30 boxes) with houses from a low of €500,000 to a more commonly offered €1.7m, which reflect similar prices in Ireland and The Netherlands. Suitable properties can be found throughout France from €275,000 to €625,000, with a 17-acre Normandy stud farm a good example at €395,000. A stud of the same size on offer in Andalusia, Spain, was listed as €791,000 and in Douro, Portugal, for €1.2m, but obviously there are so many variables that bargains are sure to be found wherever the location. Even though average property prices would appear to be higher in Britain than elsewhere, the majority of British trainers break even, while the Trainers’ Daily Rates Survey found only 70% break even in Ireland and 75% of French trainers fail to cover costs. Surprisingly, this is at distinct odds with prize money, which is another important factor to take into consideration. Could it be yet another consideration that almost half the trainers in


| WHERE TO GE T THE BEST START |

BRITAIN OFFERS THE GREATEST CHANCE OF GETTING TO THE TRACK, WITH 6257 RACES, AVERAGING €19,526. Britain produce their own hay and straw, which is much more cost-effective than purchasing bedding and forage? Many Turf Club estates subsidise horseracing premises available for rent or purchase, where restricted to professional use, and the ability to be self-sufficient in bedding and forage is undoubtedly a benefit to British trainers, but prize money availability has to be top of any tick-list. For National Hunt trainers, a clear advantage can be seen in average prize money, as most recently recorded in the International Federation of Horseracing Authorities (IFHA) Blue Book 2017, showing 2016 statistics. In France, the average purse for a National Hunt horse is Country

No. Flat Races

No. of Starters

€30,501, compared to the next best on offer, in Ireland, of €18,480 and Britain’s €15,298. While the average prize money per race for National Hunt races in Belgium, Germany, Italy, and Norway may look quite high, there are comparatively fewer races and the average is distorted by a large purse for the major races. For National Hunt trainers, France is definitely the place to settle, with 5,186 runners competing in 2,249 races. Average prize money per race can be skewed by disproportionately high purses for the Group and Grade One contests, but horses also need opportunities to run. Over jumps, only Italy and the Czech Republic can provide such opportunity alongside Britain, France, and Ireland. Flat trainers have far greater choice, but average prize money levels may help to narrow that choice. In those countries where over 1,000 races are run per year, the highest average purse is €24,758 from 4,908 race options in France. Next comes Ireland, whose 1,113 races offer an average of €24,624. Britain offers the greatest chance of getting to the track, with 6,257 races, averaging €19,526. Germany is a fourth choice, offering €11,056 in 1,294 contests. Italy, although suffering from its own problems in this respect, still provides nearly 3,000 races for an average of €9,767, so for opportunities and reasonable returns, albeit with a wait, it certainly looks more tempting than Germany. And don’t overlook Cyprus, with just over 1,000 races for an average of €7,252 and having 1,131 individual runners last year.

Average Prize Money per Flat Race

BELOW: At the time of going to print €1 = £0.88

No. of NH Races

No. of Starters

Average Prize Money per NH Race

Austria

8

51

€9,000.00

Belgium

167

399

€5,964.00

4

44

€50,000.00

Britain

6,257

9,996

€19,526.00

3,784

8,589

€15,298.00

Croatia

8

36

€1,391.00

Cyprus

1,030

1,131

€7,252.00

Czech Rep

335

1,128

€3,130.00

150

541

€4,924.00

Denmark

256

518

€7,078.00

France

4,908

8,896

€24,758.00

2,249

5,186

€30,501.00

Germany

1,294

2,194

€11,056.00

22

54

€8,923.00

Greece

317

304

€5,854.00

Hungary

291

477

€2,749.00

11

34

€2,093.00

Ireland

1,113

3,154

€24,624.00

1,409

4,300

€18,480.00

Italy

2,952

2,947

€9,767.00

166

870

€16,546.00

Netherlands

32

58

€7,525.00

Norway

254

485

€9,735.00

8

31

€9,762.00

Poland

518

499

€4,075.00

44

129

€5,567.00

Serbia

166

204

€1,041.00

Slovakia

139

486

€4,875.00

25

97

€2,238.00

Spain

438

718

Not Available

Sweden

616

1,104

€12,203.00

24

59

€9,735.00

Switzerland

142

330

€11,250.00

33

53

€11,923.00

Tunisia

474

716

€3,712.00

Turkey

2,898

3,351

€20,825.00

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| BUSINESS |

| WHERE TO GE T THE BEST START |

IT WOULD SEEM THAT TAKING A PURELY ANALYTICAL APPROACH TO CHOOSING A TRAINING BASE, CYPRUS IS A DARK HORSE... ABOVE: Stable ownership and rental is split evenly in Europe

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There is, of course, one other consideration that many trainers feel is one of their biggest outlays, and that is the cost of utilities. If we take, for example, electricity, we can again thank Eurostat for the 2016 price comparisons across Europe. The average price in the EU per kWh is 21ct, but the highest charged per kWh is 31ct in Denmark. Germany is almost as expensive at 30ct. Next we have Ireland at 24ct and Spain and Portugal at 23ct. Hitting the European average of 21ct are Cyprus, Belgium, and Britain. Austria and The Netherlands are just below at 20ct, followed by Sweden and Greece. France has a comparatively low rate of 16ct, and Poland and Hungary even less, down to 11ct. It would seem, taking a purely analytical approach in choosing a training base, that Cyprus is a dark horse, Italy can still tick many boxes, and France remains the more obvious choice, though the survey of French trainers would argue otherwise when it comes to actually earning a living as a trainer. But what can’t be measured by

TRAINERMAGAZINE.COM ISSUE 60

anyone other than the individual trainer is the support and resources from his or her own locality. Language barriers aside, having a knowledge of the local workforce and where they may stay, close to the yard, is essential. Local housing must be affordable in order to retain senior staff members, who may not always want to avail themselves of accommodation on offer in the yard itself. A central location to the main racecourses where you are most likely to have runners will alleviate transport costs and limit overnights. The suitability of local training facilities must be a priority and, in the end, utility bills or rental costs are probably the least of a new trainer’s concerns when sourcing a base. If the trainer is happy, and if the staff members are happy, then the horses will be happy, and this is surely one instance when the heart must be allowed to overrule the head.


| VETERINARY |

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| STRANGLES |

G ET T IN G TO G RI PS W I TH S TR AN G LE S: WORKING TOGETHER TO BREAK THE STRANGLES-HOLD Dr Andrew Waller BSc, PhD

Andrew Waller, Shutterstock

S

trangles, caused by a bacteria called Streptococcus equi, is one of the most frequently identified infectious diseases of horses worldwide. More than 600 outbreaks of strangles are diagnosed in the UK each year. Infected horses typically develop fever followed by abscesses in the lymph nodes of their head and neck. These abscesses are painful and the affected horses will often lose their appetites and become depressed. Some horses can be badly affected during an outbreak, and the disease kills around one in a hundred animals. The bacteria can spread quickly through yards via contaminated drinking water, food, tack, equipment, and people. Some outbreaks can involve all of the horses in a yard, and all outbreaks require movement restrictions that usually remain in force for over two months. Consequently, strangles is responsible for considerable economic and welfare cost. This article will provide an update on the progress being made towards eradicating strangles and highlight what we can each do to keep our horses safe.

An age-old problem:

Strangles was first described in 1251 by Jordanus Rufus, a knight of Emperor Fredrick II. The disease was seen as inevitable and that it was better for horses to fall ill sooner rather than later to get the disease over and done with. In 1811 Napoléon, Emperor of France, wrote a letter to request that the 543 horses being sent to his army should be “at least 60 months of age and should already have recovered from

Strangles” so that they would be less likely to get this disease on the battlefront. More than 200 years later, many people still believe that it is inevitable that their horse will suffer from strangles sooner or later. However, we understand so much more about the disease today and really can significantly reduce the risk of horses falling ill.

The secret to Strangles’ success:

Once Streptococcus equi is drunk or eaten by a horse, it sticks to the surface of the horse’s mouth or nose and then travels through to the lymph nodes in the head and neck, where it can be detected only two hours later. Although the immune response detects Streptococcus equi in the lymph node, the strangles bacteria is very resistant to attack from the immune system. Indeed, recent evidence shows how Streptococcus equi can exploit this unsuccessful immune response to turn the lymph node into an abscess, which effectively serves as a nutrient soup in which the bacteria thrives. The abscesses burst and enable Streptococcus equi to spread to other susceptible horses. However, the main trick up the sleeve of Streptococcus equi is its ability to hide away in the guttural pouches of horses after they have recovered from strangles. These ‘carrier’ horses look completely healthy, but intermittently shed Streptococcus equi, triggering new outbreaks. A carrier can shed millions of strangles bugs into a water trough just from having a quick sip. This number of bugs is sufficient, in theory, to infect and cause strangles in thousands of horses. Therefore, the identification and treatment of carrier horses is extremely important if new outbreaks are to be prevented.

Keeping strangles out:

Only the geographically-isolated population of 80,000 horses in Iceland remain free of strangles, a situation that has been maintained through a virtual absence of horse import for over 1,000 years. The absence of the disease in Iceland highlights a key problem faced by every other country: the national and international movement of horses. The horse is a global traveller, journeying throughout the world for competition, training, breeding, events, or sales. Although pre-movement and pre-export veterinary checks can prevent the transport of obviously ill horses, carrier horses look completely healthy and cannot be identified through this standard examination.

“Napoleon crossing the Alps”, from JacquesLouis David, 1801, oil on canvas (Château de Malmaison, France). Source is Wikipedia.

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| VETERINARY |

GUTTURAL POUCH RETROPHARYNGEAL LYMPH NODE CHONDROIDS NASOPHARYNGEAL, PALATINE & SOFT PALATE TONSIL

SUBMANDIBULAR LYMPH NODEE

ABOVE: The baacterium is taken up from the environment by a horse via the nose or mouth from which it spreads to the submandibular and retropharyngeeal lymph nodes. Here it uses a variety of mecchanisms, several of which remain unknown, to establish a site of infection leading to the formation of abscesses. Abscesses burst externally or into the guttural pouch where incomplete drainage of pus can lead to the establishment of persistent infection in some carrier horses. Shedding of Streptococcus equi from abscess material from acutely affected horses or from the guttural pouches of carriers into the environment completes the lifecycle.

An unwanted hitchhiker:

The way in which Streptococcus equi hitchhikes around the world in carrier horses has been highlighted in a recent study at the Animal Health Trust. In this study the DNA of 703 strains of Streptococcus equi from horses in 22 countries across the world was examined in great detail. The results showed that the same specific types of Streptococcus equi were recovered from horses in Europe and the USA; the USA, Europe, Japan and Israel; Europe and Australia; Australia, New Zealand, and the United Arab Emirates; and Argentina, Europe and the United Arab Emirates. Essentially, wherever horses were moved, then the strangles bacteria could travel with them. In particular, horses in the United Arab Emirates shared 14 different types of Streptococcus equi with countries from all around the world.

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not share drinking water or tack. Takiing teemperatures each day can ffllag l up horrses during the ffiirst i stages of disease so thaat veets can stop further spread of diseasee as quiick kly as possiible.

Dealing with an outbreak:

Breaking the chain:

Realising that current pre-export checks were insufficient, the United Arab Emirates have taken a proactive response and now insist on the mandatory screening of horses pre-export to identify strangles carriers. Initially, horses are screened using the strangles blood test to identify those that have been recently exposed. Positive horses are then examined more closely to see if they are actually still infected. If they aren’t, then the horse can be exported. If they are, then the carrier horse must be treated and cleared of Streptococcus equi before it is exported. Screening in this manner identified four new carriers of S. equi in 2016/2017 prior to export, which likely prevented the occurrence of several new outbreaks. In the future, this type of preexport or movement screen could also help to prevent outbreaks in the UK and elsewhere. Quarantining new arrivals for three-to-four weeks also helps to reduce the risk of strangles, and other diseases, getting in. New horses should be kept away from resident horses and

If a strangles outbreak does start, then the ‘traffic-light’ system of control is an effective way to minimise its impact. In this system, infected animals with clinical signs (‘red group’) are separated from healthy animals they had contact with (‘amber group’) and from horses (‘green group’) that have no clinical signs and that had no contact with horses in the red or amber groups. This method minimises the dose of Streptococcus equi that horses receive and will reduce the severity of disease and enable them to recover as quickly as possible. It is really important to minimise the spread of the strangles bacteria during outbreaks by washing hands between touching different horses and by using different equipment and tack for each horse, without mixing it up. Virkon and Safe4 disinfectants are known to kill Streptococcus equi and can be used to disinfect equipment and stables as required.

Giving Strangles the boot:

Around one horse in 10 that recovers from strangles becomes a carrier of Streptococcus equi, with the potential to trigger new outbreaks each year. So, around


| STRANGLES |

four weeks after they recover, horses can be checked using guttural pouch endoscopy, where a small camera is placed into the guttural pouch, to see if any Streptococcus equi remain hidden away. Carriers can then be treated by physically removing any lumps of bacteria and treating horses with a dose of antibiotics. Flushing the guttural pouches of horses immediately after they recover from strangles might help to minimise the number that become carriers and need treatment. Horses in the amber and green groups should be tested using the strangles blood test to see if any of them were exposed to Streptococcus equi during the outbreak. Horses that test positive can then be checked with guttural pouch endoscopy to see if they are carriers and if so, be treated as described above.

Preventing Strangles by vaccination:

Horses will always travel to events where they can potentially be exposed to Streptococcus equi. The risk of exposure can be reduced by taking separate tack and equipment to minimise contact with other horses and avoid them sharing drinking water. However, the use of vaccines could help to minimise the number of horses that develop strangles even if they are exposed to the bacteria. Several strangles vaccines are produced around the world. Cell-free vaccines such as Equivac S (Zoetis), Strepguard (MSD Animal Health) and Strepvax II (Boehringer Ingelheim) are available in Australia and the USA. These vaccines are based on surface extracts of S. equi cells, but little data on the protection they offer is available, and so these vaccines are not available for use in Europe. The Pinnacle IN live vaccine (Zoetis) is available in the USA, Canada, and New Zealand. The vaccine is sprayed into the nose of horses and provides protection against strangles. However, it was recently found that the vaccine strain was recovered from over 60% of the vaccinated horses that went on to suffer strangles, suggesting that the vaccine itself was responsible for some outbreaks. The only currently available strangles vaccine in Europe is Equilis StrepE (MSD Animal Health). This vaccine is based on a different live strain of S. equi that is injected into the upper lip of horses. The vaccine protects horses from strangles but has a short-lasting effect, and horses need to be vaccinated every three-to-six months. New results from Europe show that

ABOVE: A typical submandibular lymph node abscess, which is bursting out from under the jaw of the horse releasing billions of Streptococcus equi into the surrounding environment. RIGHT: Removing a dried ball of pus containing millions of Streptococcus equi from a carrier horse.

vaccination with Equilis StrepE interferes with the strangles blood test, so vaccinated horses would be likely to trigger further pre-export/-movement checks. The above vaccines were all developed many years ago, but the completion of the Streptococcus equi genome sequencing project launched new waves of research to make better vaccines against strangles. The progress towards the launch of one of these new vaccines was described at the recent Dorothy Havemeyer meeting on strangles in Montana, USA, during September 2017. The vaccine, called Strangvac, uses eight proteins from Streptococcus equi. Strangvac protected 95% of ponies from developing strangles when tested two weeks after giving a third vaccine dose. The vaccine did not interfere with the strangles blood test and was safe when given by intramuscular injection. However, protection decreased over a twomonth period and so it may be necessary to give horses a booster vaccination in the face of an outbreak or before they travel to high-risk events.

Improving vaccine protection:

New research at the Animal Health Trust, which is funded by the UK government’s Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC), is tasked with improving the level of protection that strangles vaccines provide. The project will modify a protein that normally

misdirects the immune response so that it instead strengthens the immune response following vaccination. This modified protein will be fused to vaccine proteins to help the vaccines trigger stronger immune responses and better levels of protection. The project has the potential to solve a significant problem in the development of safe and effective vaccines that protect against strangles. Furthermore, this technique, if successful, could also be used to help protect other animals including pigs, cattle, sheep, and humans. The new research to improve vaccines against strangles is finally reaching a point of delivering products that could enhance the health of our horses. We also know more about how the strangles bacteria spreads and causes disease, enabling horse owners to employ simple precautions to minimise the risk of their horse falling ill. Strangles is no longer inevitable, and we hope that the combination of better management, diagnostic tests, and vaccines will gradually enable us to reduce its number of outbreaks around the world. ISSUE 60 TRAINERMAGAZINE.COM

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| STAFF |

S TAF F FOCUS

Y O U A R E O N LY A S G O O D AS YOUR TEAM Lissa Oliver

A

major challenge facing trainers throughout Europe is the attraction and retention of skilled riders and grooms. Trainers are competing with many other industries, and fewer people favour the type of work offered in a racing yard, which means that trainers need to be more innovative and proactive when it comes to staff management, retention, and recruitment. Entries for the Lycetts Team Champion Award in Britain closed on 1st December, but for those who didn’t enter, and for trainers in the rest of Europe, it is not too late to examine the aim behind the inaugural award and use the judging criteria to establish a team of excellence in your own yard. The idea behind the Lycetts Team Champion Award is to reward the stables with good employment practices in place creating the best team ethos, and it is an initiative that will hopefully combat the long-term stable staff crisis affecting many yards. The award is judged on the methods trainers use to attract and retain staff, plus the safe working practices employed. The winning team receives an item of infrastructure or equipment that will improve working life within the yard. It is hoped that the stories emerging from the award will publicly celebrate the benefits of teamwork and demonstrate that racehorse trainers provide rewarding and well-supported jobs, and this is an ethos that can be easily extended beyond the award itself. Win or lose, every team that took part will move forward all the better for the experience, and it’s likely we may see the positive results on the racecourse and hopefully even in increased orders at the sales for the participating yards. Whether or not you intend to enter for the 2018 Lycetts award or similar awards elsewhere, there is a lot to be gained from considering the advice offered by the judging panel and putting this into practice in the coming year.

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Adopting The Winning Approach

Behind the concept of the Lycetts Team Champion Award is an original idea by the National Trainers Federation in Britain, which has created an industry standard for the best ways to engage and motivate staff and maximise retention. This standard is called “The Winning Approach.” By adopting The Winning Approach, trainers will find fewer employees leaving the industry and there will be positive evidence to show that for anyone who wants to work with horses, racehorse trainers provide the best, most rewarding, and best supported jobs anywhere in the equine sector. Many trainers already operate in a way that meets the desired outcomes. The Winning Approach allows trainers to recognise that many of their informal practices, regimes, and routines already go towards meeting those goals.

OUTCOMES

• The Winning Approach should be underpinned by the core values of: • Effective recruitment and induction systems • Ensuring a safe environment • Creating a positive working environment • Development and training • Reward and recognition

Tips from Lycetts Team Champion judges

The Lycetts Team Champion Award judges each have outstanding experience of the working environment in a trainer’s yard and firstclass expertise in human resources and team management, so we have asked for their advice in helping you to prepare a plan for 2018, or simply to put ideas in place to benefit and improve your yard.


| FEATURE NAME |

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| STAFF |

| LY C E T T S T E A M C H A M P I O N A W A R D |

Yogi Breisner

Yogi Breisner was a member of the Swedish International European and Olympic ThreeDay Event team, and he went on to be part of the British Horse Society’s Training and Education Committee and the Chef d’Equipe for the British Three-Day Event team, and he led British Eventing’s Elite Coach Programme. He is also well known in horseracing for his advisory roles at the British Racing School, development of UKCC for jockey coaches, and advising trainers on schooling jump horses and coaching of work riders. “Lycetts Team Champion Award gives the opportunity to trainers to examine what goes on in their yard, beyond what they usually do on a daily basis,” Yogi says. “It gives everyone something to aim for and leads the way for future personal development for staff members, encouraging good team work and unity.” Yogi acknowledges how hard it is to get good staff in the industry and he hopes this will inspire people to see horseracing as a good career choice and, more importantly, a career for life. “It’s an opportunity for staff to be recognised for the good work they’re doing,” he points out. “What I will be looking for is a good atmosphere and environment when I walk into a yard. I want to feel the good vibes and see a spring in the step and smiles on the faces of the team, to see their willingness and determination. It is important they feel they are in an environment that encourages that. “I’ll also be looking at the practical organisation of the yard, how it’s working and the respect shown for all those in the yard, whether they are work riders or someone called in to paint the boxes. Everyone has an important role to play. “Whenever anything new begins, like Lycetts Team Champion, there will be teething problems and it takes a while before it gets recognised, but then it becomes part of the industry and I hope it will be recognised beyond the racing industry in the future.”

I WANT TO FEEL THE GOOD VIBES AND SEE A SPRING IN THE STEP AND SMILES ON THE FACES OF THE TEAM, TO SEE THEIR WILLINGNESS AND DETERMINATION. IT IS IMPORTANT THEY FEEL THEY ARE IN AN ENVIRONMENT THAT ENCOURAGES THAT. 42

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I’LL BE INTERESTED IN ANY INNOVATIVE WAY THEY MAY HAVE FOUND TO RECRUIT, TRAIN, DEVELOP, AND RETAIN STAFF. I’M AWARE THAT SOME YARDS WILL BE FURTHER DOWN THE ROAD ALREADY, WHAT WE WANT TO SEE DEMONSTRATED IS THE INTENT TO IMPROVE. Olly Stevens

Olly Stevens, who works for Equine Health Centre, worked with trainers in Britain and the USA before taking out his own licence in Britain. His Robins Farm team enjoyed victories at all levels from Royal Ascot to Keeneland and St Moritz, but during that time key members of his staff also won the coveted Alex Scott Assistant Trainers Travel Scholarship and Godolphin Stud and Stable Staff Awards. Olly’s insight and first-hand experience prompts him to remind trainers and their teams to familiarise themselves with the entry conditions and criteria they must work toward. “There is a very clear set of judging criteria in place, very much evidence-based,” he tells us. “From my point of view, when I walk into a yard I don’t mind if it isn’t perfect, but I want to see that the team are trying to improve and make things better. “I’ll be interested in any innovative way they may have found to recruit, train, develop, and retain staff. I’m aware that some yards will be further down the road already, but that won’t act as any advantage; what we want to see demonstrated is the intent to improve. The award is designed to be inclusive and there is no advantage to be gained by a better budget or position.” The value of teamwork cannot be underestimated. “It’s wonderful to watch televised racing and see the winning trainer thank his team,” Stevens reminds us. “However hard you work as a trainer, you can’t ride every horse or set a bed in every box, you have to put together a team where everyone plays to their comparative strengths and the aim is that Lycetts Team Champion raises that awareness.”


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| STAFF |

| LY C E T T S T E A M C H A M P I O N A W A R D |

Kevin Parsons

Kevin Parsons has worked full-time in racing as an apprentice, conditional jockey, work rider, head lad, assistant trainer, and travelling head lad, working with the likes of Chris Wall, David Loder, Roger Varian, and Roger Charlton. In 2012 he became sports coordinator and Union Learn project manager for the National Association of Stable Staff, and he provides staff with education courses to help improve their qualifications and transferable skills. “Since leaving school I have worked in various yards and seen all trainers do things in different ways, having worked in various roles in small and big yards, flat and jumps,” he explains. “To acknowledge the good practice that has helped to create an excellent team is a fantastic idea. I am looking forward to heading into the yards of the shortlisted trainers and seeing first-hand what goes on and the good things they have in place to help create that great team atmosphere. “Longer term, the best trainers and employers that are rewarded and celebrated will hopefully become the benchmark for other trainers and employers to push to in the various areas they are being judged on. That can only be a good thing for helping to also raise standards across what is a fantastic industry to be involved in.”

TO ACKNOWLEDGE THE GOOD PRACTICE THAT HAS HELPED TO CREATE AN EXCELLENT TEAM IS A FANTASTIC IDEA.

Laura Whyte

Laura Whyte was human resources director for John Lewis, where she oversaw major change programmes. She is now a non-executive director on the British Horseracing Authority Board and is on the Defence People and Training Board for the Ministry of Defence. She tells us, “The most exciting thing I feel is

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THERE’S A HUGE AMOUNT OF GOODWILL OUT THERE WHICH WE’RE LOOKING TO HARNESS AND REWARD. Dana Mellor

Dana Mellor, who has a law degree, is a trainer’s daughter and was apprenticed to Jack Berry, so has gained valuable insight into the teamwork required to run a successful racing yard. She was a key player in establishing the Jockeys Employment Training Scheme (JETS) and has worked with jockeys returning to the workplace. She also restructured a retail business, where high quality staff recruitment and retention policies have been a major factor in success. “Trainers face huge opportunities and unexpected challenges when it comes to attracting and retaining staff,” she acknowledges, “and this is a chance to raise awareness of the good work they already do to promote a positive working culture. “Essentially, we’re looking at ‘how we do things around here’ and at what’s important to racing staff. Racing yards are competing against each other all the time and now we’re asking them to focus on what really counts towards job satisfaction, staff morale, and confidence. How well are team members working together? What’s motivating them? How is success celebrated? “The ups and downs of racing can throw up some serious challenges to staff motivation and it’s how trainers respond to the challenge in the long term which ultimately determines their success. A lot of preparation has already been done by yards in terms of applying for the award and there’s a huge amount of goodwill out there which we’re looking to harness and reward.”

that it is about building a great team working ethic, forging a team relationship, and ensuring safe places to work. Racing is about winning combinations, so anything that fosters that team spirit and engages the whole team will help to retain the top talent in the industry. “We want people to see that the racing industry is a great place to work and a racing yard can be a great place to be. For me, fostering team work has always been an important aspect of leadership. My advice to those who would like to get involved is to look at the criteria and think about how they might put that into action.”

LYCETTS TEAM CHAMPION AWARD: SHORTLISTED TRAINERS 40+ horses • Tom Dascombe • Warren Greatrex • Mark Johnston • Dan Skelton Fewer than 40 horses • Nick Alexander • Martin Keighley • Seamus Mullins • Suzy Smith Winners announced on February 22nd 2018 at the NTF AGM


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ISSUE 60 TRAINERMAGAZINE.COM

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| INDUSTRY |

H O RS E RA CI N G I N SOUTH KO REA : A GLOBAL VISION

Alex Cairns

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Alex Cairns

TRAINERMAGAZINE.COM ISSUE 60


| SOUTH KOREA |

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| INDUSTRY |

O

n the evening of 19th January 2017, something special happened in Dubai. To the casual spectator it might have seemed like any other horse race, but to viewers in Korea, the 1200m District One Handicap at Meydan was a watershed moment in their nation’s sporting history. Because the winner of this race was Main Stay, a fouryear-old colt trained by Kim Young Kwan and the first Korean-trained horse to win at a significant international meeting since thoroughbred horse racing was established in South Korea almost 100 years ago. What is more, the winner carried the (KOR) suffix in the racecard, underlining the fact that the country is now capable of producing internationally competitive thoroughbreds. Yet as Main Stay crossed the line on that fateful night, even switched-on racing enthusiasts and professionals with a broad international perspective may have asked, “So they race in Korea?” Indeed, this otherwise significant nation’s racing industry remains relatively unknown across the globe. Recent developments have brought Korean racing into the spotlight however, and notable domestic and international expansion projects put in place by the Korea Racing Authority (KRA) could soon see it established as an influential player on the global racing scene.

CONTEXT

In sporting terms, Korea would most commonly be associated with taekwondo, baseball, soccer, or even figure skating. Yet horseracing is in fact the country’s second most popular spectator sport after baseball, with annual attendance of over 15 million. What is more, betting turnover stands at around US$6.5 billion per annum, the seventh-highest in the world, meaning that horseracing in Korea already boasts figures that some of the most celebrated racing nations can only dream of. Despite massive obstacles such as Japanese occupation (1910-1945), partition (1945), the Korean War (195053), and an ongoing state of tension with the North, horseracing in Korea has succeeded in following the same upward trajectory taken by Korean society as a whole through the second half of the 20th Century. Admittedly, it remains relatively underdeveloped compared to other jurisdictions in certain respects, such as horsemanship and welfare, but has come a long way in a short period and continues to develop at a rapid rate. With formalised racing having first begun in Korea in 1922, it was only in the 1980s that races were limited to thoroughbreds and subject to regulation of an international standard. Today, Korean racing runs like a well-oiled machine, with a highly developed administration harnessing advanced infrastructure so as to offer an attractive sporting product. There are serious challenges facing the sport in Korea, too, although difficulties overcome so far suggest that these in turn will be surmounted given time.

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HORSERACING IS IN FACT THE COUNTRY’S SECOND MOST POPULAR SPECTATOR SPORT AFTER BASEBALL.


| SOUTH KOREA |

CURRENT STATE

Only Flat racing takes place in the country and there are three racecourses: one in the Seoul suburb of Gwacheon, another in the southern city of Busan, and a final i track based on the volcanic island of Jeju, some 50 miles to the southwest of the Korean peninsula. Racing takes place year-round, wi with i regular fixtures i at Seoul on Saturdays and Sundays, Busan on Fridays and Sundays, and Jeju on Fridays and Saturdays. Races in Jeju are limited to an indigenous breed of pony. These stocky beasts may cause some amusement when urged to a full gallop by their seemingly over-sized riders, but pony racing in Jeju is no joke, wi with i serious betting turnover registered and an important specialised breeding sector supporting the on-track action. The thoroughbreds race at Seoul and Busan and are stabled and trained at the tracks, which are both sandbased ovals. Horses are limited to racing at their home track, except when it comes to some of the season’s most signiffiicant races, and there is a healthy rivalry between the two cities’ racing people. The number of horses in training currently stands with i 112 registered jockeys and 86 at around 3,000, wi trainerss. Trainers apply for boxes w wiiith the KRA, and 18 is a standard initial allocation. Success is rewarded wiitth more boxes, while trainers who strrugglee or fall foul of regulations can see their licence stripped. With the KRA holdin ng a monopoly over Korean horseracing and all licenced trainers havi ving to comply wi vin with strict rules, training fees must fall wit

wiithin w i a bracket set by the governing authority ty. y This ranges from around $1,000 per month to around $2,000, w wiith i trainers left ft to fix i their own wn rate w wiithin i this bracket based on their own wn business model. Korean racing in fact off ffers f the world’s third-highest prize money per race. With an average of over $77,000 up for grabs in each contest, only the UAE and Hong Kong are more generous. Like many racing nations, Korea has its own ‘Triple Crown’ series, consisting of the KRA Cup Mile (1600m, Busan, April), the Korean Derby (1800m, Seoul, May), and the Minister’s Cup (2000m, Seoul, July). The most prestigious race of the Korean calendar has historically been December’s 2300m Grand Prix at Seoul, though the establishment of richly endowed international races could see this change in coming years.

INTERNATIONAL DEVELOPMENT

One of the most signifficant i recent developments in Korean racing has been the advent of international races. Since 2013, a select number of races have been opened up ffiirst i to Japanese, then Singaporean, and subsequently international entries. In 2016, the first i Korea Autumn Racing Carnival was held at Seoul Racecourse, featuring he $1 million Keeneland Korea Cup (1800m) and the th $700,000 Keeneland Korea Sprint (1200m). Thesse flagship contests, which have Grade 1 status in Korea, fla fl carry increasing weight due to the country’s 2016 promotion by the International Federation of Horseracing Authorities to Part II of the global pattern. The Sprint is

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| SOUTH KOREA |

KOREAN RACING IN FACT OFFERS THE WORLD’S THIRD HIGHEST PRIZE MONEY PER RACE, ONLY THE UAE AND HONG KONG ARE MORE GENEROUS.

As Korea has sought to expand and enhance its racing industry, increasing numbers of foreign professionals have come to play a role in the sport in the country. Farriers, vets, jockey coaches, handicappers, stewards, commentators, trainers, and jockeys from around the world now contribute their skills and expertise to the betterment of the sport in Korea. Trainers and jockeys from diverse nations including the UK, France, Italy, Australia, New Zealand, Germany, Sweden, Brazil, Serbia, and more have plied their trade in Korea in recent years. Standard protocol is to apply for an initial short-term licence, which will be awarded or denied based on past performance. This can then be renewed or extended depending on KRA approval.

now one of six Korean races recognised with black type in international catalogues. Four of these races are open to foreign-bred horses. Horses from seven foreign nations took part in 2016’s inaugural Korea Autumn Racing Carnival, including runners from France, Hong Kong, Ireland, Japan, the UAE, the UK, and Singapore. In 2017, a new quarantine protocol allowed US-trained runners to compete in Korea for the first time. Linda Rice’s Papa Shot lined up in the 2017 Korea Cup and the Kenny McPeek-trained The Truth or Else took his chance in the Korea Sprint. Neither could match the efforts of the Japanese contenders in the end, with the Sprint falling to Graceful Leap and Yutaka Take and the Cup to London Town and Yasunari Iwata, but both ran with credit and will hopefully encourage further American participation in future.

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BREEDING & SALES

TOP: The parade ring at Seoul Race Park.

Having previously relied heavily on the importation of racehorses, the KRA set up its own breeding programme in the early ’90s with the aim of producing Korean-bred stock of sufficient quality and quantity to reduce the requirement for imports. It was also hoped that a vibrant domestic market could be established to increase the sport’s contribution to the economy as a whole, while also generating employment. Significant progress has since been made, particularly in the past decade, and Koreanbred horses now represent approximately 80% of the racehorses in Korea. In an effort to protect the Korean bloodstock industry, there is a $50,000 limit on the price that can be paid for an individual colt or gelding imported into Korea. This does not apply to fillies however, with the hope being that better quality females can be raced in Korea and then go on to


EQUESTRIAN

European Road to the Kentucky Derby CURRENT STANDINGS Rank Horse

Points

Rank Horse

1.

Saxon Warrior-JPN

20

8.

The Pentagon-IRE

Points 2

2.

Roaring Lion

14

9.

Mildenberger-GB

2

3.

f-Happily-IRE

10

10.

Warm The Voice-IRE

2

4.

Olmedo-FR

4

11.

Verbal Dexterity-IRE

1

5.

Nelson-IRE

4

12.

Kew Gardens-IRE

1

6.

Delano Roosevelt-IRE

4

13.

Woodmax-GER

1

7.

Masar-IRE

2

14.

Petrus-IRE

1

Earn points for a spot in the Churchill Downs starting gate on the first Saturday in May by competing in these races: March 1.................... Road to the Kentucky Derby Stakes Kempton • Points: 20-8-4-2 March 2.................... Patton Stakes Dundalk • Points: 20-8-4-2 March 30.................. Burradon Stakes Newcastle • Points: 30-12-6-3 For more information, contact Mike Ziegler, Executive Director of Racing mike.ziegler@kyderby.com | +001 502.394.1137

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Tel: 01902 605566 www.monarch-equestrian.co.uk Est. 1964

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| INDUSTRY |

contribute to the standard of Korean stock as broodmares. There is also no limit on the price that can be paid for stallions and broodmares imported into Korea. When it comes to domestic horse sales, private trading between individuals has historically been the most common practice in Korea. Auctions for thoroughbred horses commenced in 1998 and there are now five twoyear-old sales (including two breeze-ups) and two sales for yearlings, two-year-olds, and three-year-old held annually. The vast majority of racehorses in Korea that are purchased abroad will be signed for by the Owners’ Association of either Seoul or Busan racecourse. They will subsequently be resold at auction in Korea, often for a much higher price than that originally paid. Thoroughbred breeding in Korea centres around the previously mentioned island of Jeju, where flatter terrain and a less extreme climate allow for better pasture than on the mainland. Of the 205 breeding farms in the country, 155 are located on Jeju Island. There are 110 active stallions in Korea and the KRA has, since 2004, been importing proven stallions of international calibre, often from the US. Grade 1 winners such as 2011 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile winner Hansen and 1999 Haskell Invitational victor Menifee are two names of international repute that have made a strong impact on Korean breeding. Menifee has in fact been the leading sire in Korea for the past six seasons. As was demonstrated by Main Stay in Dubai, Koreanbred horses are now capable of competing at international level and, with continued investment being made in stock, infrastructure, and educational programmes aimed at improving standards of horsemanship, we can only imagine that the (KOR) suffix will soon be less of

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ABOVE: Jockeys often sport their own colours in Korea as owners often shy away from demonstrating ownership

a curiosity in international racecards. There has even been a Korean-bred yearling, sired by the imported US Grade 1 winner Rock Hard Ten, sell at the prestigious Fasig-Tipton Saratoga Sale in New York. That filly, Rock Sapphire, is a winner at three in the US this season.

CHALLENGES

From the outside looking in, the entire population of South Korea appears to be under constant threat of catastrophe due to their belligerent northern neighbour. Horseracing is of course not immune to these geopolitical circumstances, and such an ominous presence cannot but affect the KRA’s attempts at both domestic and international expansion. Thankfully, no cataclysm has yet occurred and South Koreans always assure foreigners that, even when the rhetoric is flying, life tends to go on as normal in Korea. Let’s hope this continues to be the case. A more pressing concern for those at the KRA is the public perception of horseracing in Korea. One of the peculiarities of Korean racing is that many owners choose not to take their own colours. This is due to an image problem that racing in Korea (and other countries, particularly in Asia) has suffered from. In fact, horseracing, gambling, and therefore racehorse ownership are seen as degenerate by a significant section of the Korean population, meaning that a substantial number of owners do not wish to be too clearly associated with goings-on at the track. This reluctance does seem to be changing due to careful image curation and positive PR


| SOUTH KOREA |

FROM HUMBLE ORIGINS AND THROUGH GREAT ADVERSITY, KOREAN RACING NOW STANDS ON THE THRESHOLD OF A BRIGHT NEW DAWN. from the KRA, but the majority of horses still run with jockeys sporting their own signature colours. One means of combatting this negative image is the international racing that has become such an integral part of KRA strategy. Koreans are a proud people, and the success of their athletes abroad generally has a strong impact at home. Yuna Kim, 2010 Olympic figure skating gold medallist, and Son Heung-Min, a regular starter for English Premier League club Tottenham Hotspur, are heroes in their homeland and admired by a majority of the domestic population for their achievements. Via international racing and the promotion of horseracing as a sport rather than solely a betting medium, the KRA hope to improve racing’s image and therefore reach a larger and more diverse public. Only time will tell if this shift in perception can be achieved, but current policy appears to be moving in a positive direction. On a much more practical level, before international racing can truly take off in Korea it will be necessary to install a grass track at Seoul to replace the current sand surface, which can be a challenge for overseas competitors

not accustomed to its unique characteristics. Just such a plan was announced in 2016 and, despite concerns over how a grass track will fare in Korea’s extreme climate (very hot in summer, very cold in winter, not much in between), it is hoped that it will be completed in 2019. The laying down of a turf track will entail its own set of issues, such as the need to breed and import turf-bred horses, as well as questions over how and where to train horses for the turf, but the KRA is nothing if not ambitious and previously defied the doubters when first announcing the planned establishment of international races.

LOOKING FORWARD

Korea will host the 37th Asian Racing Conference (ARC) in Seoul in May 2018, welcoming thousands of delegates from across Asia and the globe. Aimed at enhancing the sport through international cooperation and the exchange of knowledge and skills, the ARC will find a most appropriate setting in Seoul, where such endeavours have become a constant concern. From humble origins and through great adversity, Korean racing now stands on the threshold of a bright new dawn. With proper management and the hard work that seemingly comes easily to the Korean people, the remaining challenges to its efforts to establish itself as a racing nation of international significance can surely be overcome. It was little more than 30 years ago that horseracing in Korea was brought up to international standards of administration and regulation. Imagine where it might be 30 years from now… ISSUE 60 TRAINERMAGAZINE.COM

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SOCIAL MEDIA HORSE SENSE

PART I: TH E TH O R O U GH B R ED TRAINER IN THE DIGITA L AGE By Peter J. Sacopulos

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Alamy Stock Photos

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| SOCIAL MEDIA |

T

his is the first article in a two-part series on social media for thoroughbred trainers. It examines social media usage and issues faced by trainers who wish to promote their business online. Part II will focus on broader industry issues and how trainers may use social media to affect positive change and ensure the future of the sport. In less than 15 years, social media has changed the way we meet, work, shop, communicate, consume news and entertainment, find romance, and more. Few aspects of our lives have been left untouched by this remarkable phenomenon. Social media has made a limited group of people incredibly wealthy, empowered others to create new businesses or expand existing ones, and made various individuals famous or infamous. Simply defined, social media consists of online networks that allow users to connect, create, communicate, and share in virtual communities. And we cannot seem to get enough. • 73% of Europeans use some type of social media. • 41.7% of Europeans use Facebook, the most popular social media platform. • Many Europeans, including three-quarters of Facebook users, log onto social media sites as part of their daily routine. • Most European social media users utilize more than one social media platform. • The growth of social media is likely to remain steady for years to come. As a trainer, you may be one of the hundreds of millions of Europeans who is familiar with the ins and outs of social media. You may be an occasional, routine, or even heavy user. Alternatively, you may be a hold-out who is too busy or privacy-oriented. Regardless of your personal opinion of social media, it is worthwhile to step back and examine how social media may assist in expanding your training business, or, alternatively, present potential risks including both civil liability and criminal violations. As a trainer, unless you have a full roster of owners, it is wise to have a social media presence to promote your business. Consider the many positives:

41.7%

OF EUROPEANS USE FACEBOOK, THE MOST POPULAR SOCIAL MEDIA PLATFORM. Free media

From a marketing perspective, social media offers the ability to spread the word about your training business without the expense of traditional advertising. Paying for radio, television, newspaper, and other traditional media in order to reach the vast audiences found on social media would require the marketing budget of a large corporation. The fact that savvy trainers may spread their messages far and wide has opened up a world of new opportunities. As a trainer, you have the advantage of seeking a highly specific audience for your services. You will save time, money, and aggravation by targeting your message—focusing your social media efforts on sites, groups, and entities related to the thoroughbred community.

Covering the fundamentals

A website is something many owners expect and review when evaluating potential trainers. Though not, strictly speaking, a form of social media, a solid business website is an ideal way to make a strong first impression. Your website should present basic information about your business, including contact information and examples of recent success for clients together with appropriate photographs and videos. You may also blog on your site, and update it with relevant news about your business. You should, at the very least, create a Facebook page for your business. This is easy to do and costs nothing. Like your website, a Facebook business page allows you to provide basic information, post photos and videos, add updates, share news, and respond to comments. You may also create a profile on LinkedIn, a business-oriented network designed to connect professionals. It offers features similar to Facebook’s.

Getting found

Traditionally, personal recommendations and referrals have been the method that owners use to learn about and connect with trainers. There is little doubt that such face-to-face conversations with those in the industry play a role in connecting owners with trainers. However, in the internet age, most Europeans rely on the online search as their primary method of seeking out and learning about services. A professionally designed and presentable online presence will likely pay dividends in the form of new owners seeking training services.

Spreading the word

The ability of owners to post opinions and reviews of training services online means that word of mouth has gone digital. It is no exaggeration that online comments and stories about a professional training business are capable of spreading across the country or around the globe in a matter of minutes. Having a social media presence gives you the ability to monitor what is being said about your training business, address issues, and respond to criticisms.

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Stepping up

Once you have dealt with the basics, it is a matter of how much time you have and effort you wish to make. You may post photographs on Instagram and Snapchat and videos on YouTube. You may share items on a Pinterest digital bulletin board. You can respond to questions posted by owners or fans on horse-related and industry-related websites, or write pieces for those sites. You may use Twitter to tweet about your business and promote events you are involved in.

Learn from a winner

Joseph O’Brien offers an excellent example of effective social media marketing. Despite being one of the most successful young trainers in the sport, O’Brien is not resting on his impressive laurels and waiting for the phone to ring. In addition to his website, Joseph O’Brien has a Facebook page promoting his training operation. He tweets regularly and currently has over 37,500 Twitter followers. O’Brien understands the power of visuals, and routinely posts photos and videos on multiple platforms. (Google his name to discover and review his site and social media posts.) But along with the positive aspects, social media presents hazards for the trainer as well. Avoiding social media pitfalls is essential to succeeding in the digital age. Here are some key points to remember:

Social media is (extremely) public speech

You may be alone in your living room when you post something online, but that message is being received by potentially thousands, or even millions, of people. Tone and manner must remain civil, rational, and professional. There are no exceptions to this rule. The damage caused by an uncivil or belligerent post may well go beyond turning off potential clients to creating a legal cause of action for defamation. Inaccurate, misleading, or false information or defamatory remarks all create legal basis for civil litigation. “Blowing off steam” may also result in violations of criminal code provisions if threatening or coercive.

BUT ALONG WITH THE POSITIVE ASPECTS, SOCIAL MEDIA PRESENTS HAZARDS FOR THE TRAINER AS WELL. 56

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Humour is in the eye of the beholder

There is nothing wrong with posting a joke or mak king a humorous comment on social media. But be very careful. A joke told in person often contains a number of social cues (vocal tone, hand gestures, facial expressions)). Such cues are typically not seen on social media. Additio onally, people who know us well are unlikely to misinterp pret the meaning or motivation behind a remark. Many peersons reading a post will not know you. You should not expect them to react as if they do. Posting racist, sexist, religious, ethnic, and otherr demeaning or sexually oriented “jokes” is never acceptable. That comment you made about the sizze of a well-endowed stud may have gone over big with your co-workers in the barn. However, it has no place online. It is best to avoid political humour as well, as it caan put off potential clients and draw you into needless, tim meconsuming controversy and conflict.


| SOCIAL MEDIA |

The internet is forever

Once you post something online, its lifespan and ability to spread are out of your control. Because people can share your material on many social media platforms in many different ways, or forward it via emails, texts, and messaging services, removing material from the internet may prove literally impossible. After much time and effort, the post may be “scrubbed” only to have someone else who saved it offline repost it. This is further reason, as a trainer, to employ a consistently professional approach to social media.

Social media takes time

Social media is a tool to promote yourself as a trainer, not an end in itself. Before you begin using social media as a marketing tool, take a serious look at your schedule and decide how much time you can realistically devote to it. If you have the budget to pay someone to help you with social media, great. If not, it is best to start small and build your presence.

Falling behind can hurt

It pays to keep your social media eff fforts f current. People who ask you questions or bring up issues online expect a reply in a reasonably timely manner. If you start blogging or tweeting, you should be prepared to keep doing so on a regular basis. Stopping for long periods of time creates the impression that you are no longer in business. As in horseracing, stayi yiing out in front delivers advantages. Again, determining how much time you can realistically devote to social media before you start is key.

A hard sell can mean no sale

Your social media efforts should promote your training skills, your experience, and your results. But your approach should engage people in ways that “pull” them toward your business. Attracting owners/clients with content and getting them to share it with others is the goal of every smart marketer and it should be yours as well. Hammering away with a constant hard sell that pushes owners to retain your training services is likely to have the opposite result. Instead, focus on your experiences. Frame and present wins and successes as your owner’s/client’s wins. Win pictures, statements of satisfied owners, and endorsements from those respected in the equine field are all beneficial.

73%

OF EUROPEANS USE SOME TYPE OF SOCIAL MEDIA Get approval

Posting photographs and videos is a great marketing tool. However, there are a couple of caveats. Do not post a photograph of a person without that person’s written permission. Also, never post a photograph of a child or children without the parents’ written permission. It is wise to obtain an owner’s written permission before posting a photograph of a horse, as well. In fact, you should work with the owner and other team members to set a social media policy regarding what is to be posted. You do not want to let something slip online that could affect the odds of a race or give a competitor an advantage. The issue of copyright/ownership also comes into play online, though many users foolishly ignore it. If you do not have permission to use a copyrighted work, do not. Going online and grabbing pretty images of horses in paddocks to use on your site, for instance, could land you in hot water with the copyright owner. If you wish to use such images, there are many online sources that offer stock photography for very reasonable costs.

The race is on

The potential benefits of marketing your business online far outweigh the risks. And most of the pitfalls are easy to avoid. Should you use social media to promote your business? Absolutely. After all, if you can train Thoroughbred horses, you can certainly train yourself to make the most of the tremendous opportunities social media creates. ISSUE 60 TRAINERMAGAZINE.COM

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T HE O N G O I N G E F F O RT T O M I NI M I SE T HE R AT E A N D I M PAC T OF F R A C T U RE S Professor Celia M Marr

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Sarah Powell, Alastair Foote, Pieter Ramzan


| FRACTURES |

ABOVE L-R: The arrow in this bone scan identifies a ‘hot spot’ indicating a humeral fracture towards the lower end of the bone, just above the elbow. The arrow in this bone scan identifies increased radionucleotide uptake indicating a radial stress fracture. Oblique view of the ilium of the pelvis showing a linear pattern of increased bone activity consistent with stress fracture pathology. Arrow indicates a marked focus of increased radionucleotide uptake in the upper tibia, associated with a tibial stress fracture. LEFT: Example of a bone scan pattern indicative of pelvic stress fracture pathology shown this time from above to readily compare both sides of the pelvis.

I

n thoroughbred racing, musculoskeletal injury is a major safety concern and is the leading reason for days lost to training. Musculoskeletal injury is the greatest reason for horse turnover in racing stables, with financial implications for the owner and the racing industry. Injuries, particularly on race-day, have an impact on public perception of racing. Upper limb and pelvis fractures are less common than lower limb fractures, but they can lead to fatalities. Reducing the overall prevalence of fractures is critical and, at the very least, improving the rate of detection of fractures in their early stages so the horse can be withdrawn from racing with a recoverable injury, will be a big step forwards in racehorse welfare. Currently, we lack information on the outcomes following fracture, and an article recently published in EVJ from the veterinary team at Hong Kong Jockey Club addressed this important knowledge gap.

Hong Kong Fracture Outcome Study The Hong Kong Jockey Club veterinary team is in a unique position to carry out this work because their centralised and computerised database of clinical records, together with racing and retirement records allows them to document followup which is all but impossible elsewhere

in the world. Dr Leah McGlinchey, working with vets in Hong Kong and researchers from the Royal Veterinary College, London, reviewed clinical records from 2003 to 2014 to identify racehorses that suffered a fracture or fractures to the bones of the upper limb or the pelvis during training or racing, confirmed by nuclear scintigraphy, radiography, ultrasonography or autopsy. During these 11 racing seasons there were an average of 1468 horses in training each year amounting to 102,785 starts over 8147 races; 11% on dirt tracks, the others on turf. Dr McGlinchey found records of 108 racehorses, that sustained 129 upper limb or pelvic fracture, during 119 injury events. The most commonly fractured bone was the humerus at 50%, followed by the tibia at 30%. Nine horses sustained fractures that led to their immediate demise, five involving the scapula and four involving the humerus. The majority (65%) of fractures occurred in training. The overall incidence of upper limb and pelvic fractures in Hong Kong was 3 per 10,000 starts and there were very similar incidences comparing both turf and dirt surfaces. The fatality rate due to upper limb and pelvic fracture was 0.8 per 10,000 starts. Over comparable time periods, race-day upper limb and pelvic

fracture rates were 4 per 10,000 starts in the UK, while race-day fatalities were 1.8 and per 10,000 starts in the UK and 1.9 per 10,000 in California thus rates of upper limb and pelvic fracture and fatality were lower in Hong Kong than in other racing jurisdictions. Differences in training and racing regimens, racehorse surveillance and veterinary care will vary across these racing centres, leading to different risk profiles for horses racing in these different locations. All horses presented with lameness but importantly, the lameness grade was not necessarily very high, indeed 6.7% of the horses were Grade 1 of 5 lame, and 30.3% were Grade 2 of 5 lame, highlighting how important it is to rest and investigate mild new lameness. Typically stress fractures cause acute lameness following fast work that soon eases in severity, and incipient fracture of the upper limb and pelvis can present as mild lameness with a subtle onset, which is all too easy to overlook. The degree of lameness associated with stress fracture is typically greatest when the scapula is involved and progressively less severe with the tibia, humerus or radius. The diagnosis is all-too-obvious once severe, complete fracture has occurred. In many cases, however, a diagnosis cannot be immediately made. Nuclear scintigraphy (also known as bone ISSUE 60 TRAINERMAGAZINE.COM

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scanning) is the most sensitive method to detect stress fractures of the long bones and pelvis although radiography and ultrasonography may also be useful. Following fracture, all the Hong Kong horses had a period of box rest followed by hand walking only. Three quarters of these horses returned to racing a median of 169 days after sustaining the fracture. Horses that did race again had numerous starts and 45 won. In total, 59 horses had retired from training of these 23 horses retired without returning to racing and in 13 horses, retirement was directly attributable to the upper limb fracture. Dr McGlinchey’s study highlighted some important differences compared to studies from elsewhere in the world. In the Hong Kong study, scapular fractures only occurred during racing, and of the six scapular fractures, five were catastrophic. In contrast, in a US study, 55% of scapular fractures occurred during training. Additionally, in the Hong Kong study all scapular fractures occurred on the right front limb. In the US, catastrophic scapular fractures had a right forelimb predilection and horses run to the left or in an anti-clockwise direction leading, to the suggestion that the scapular fractures were the result of horses relying more on support from the right limb, as the left limb was the lead, with the banking of the track also potentially playing a role. However, horses race and train in Hong Kong in a clockwise direction and the track is not banked, yet still the right

| FRACTURES |

fore appeared to be at increased risk. It is important not to over-interpret this observation, the number of scapular stress fractures in the Hong Kong study was small in comparison to the US study.

Can musculoskeletal injury be prevented?

Although the Hong Kong study highlighted the low rate of mortality associated with upper limb and pelvic fractures and the high rate of return to successful racing of horses following a stress fracture of the upper limb, it did not shed any light on risk factors nor identify why some individuals developed fractures and others did not. Expanding the Hong Kong work to follow cohorts of horses entering training and following these through to see which horses do sustain fractures and others do not, might lead to the identification of specific risk factors. Prospective studies like this are the gold standard in epidemiological research. With retrospective review of clinical records, cause and effect are difficult to differentiate. Nevertheless, retrospective review can give clues about possible causative factors. In the case of stress fractures, previous studies’ nuclear scintigraphy records have suggested that the surfaces over which horses are training and racing may have a substantial influence on the prevalence of stress fractures. A recent report published in Equine Veterinary Journal, has moved this

In the case of stress fractures, previous studies’ nuclear scintigraphy records have suggested that the surfaces over which horses are training and racing may have a substantial influence on the prevalence of stress fractures

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ABOVE L-R: Scapular fractures are particularly catastrophic. This CT image, made during an autopsy shows a comminuted fracture with multiple bone fragments. This autopsy specimen shows a comminuted scapular fracture. A close up shows how the scapular fracture extends into shoulder joint.

research question out of the clinic and into the hands of computer scientists. This research focused on the fetlock rather than upper limb recognizing that there is extensive research which links fetlock injury in bone, ligament and tendon to the degree of dropping of the fetlock, known as dorsiflexion, during weight-bearing phases of the stride. The accumulation of tissue damage that can end in catastrophic injury is affected by loading, particularly training frequency and intensity. Reductions in load frequency can reduce the accumulation of damage due to strain because training breaks can allow tissues to repair. An additional approach to reducing the incidence of injury is to find optimal surfaces to reduce the loads applied to the limbs during each gallop stride. Joint loads and motion are related to both internal musculoskeletal structure mechanics and the external loads applied to the limb, such as ground reaction forces relating to the surface the horse is galloping on. Surface mechanics are influenced factors by its composition, its temperature and moisture content, and procedures in place to maintain it. However, surface mechanics are complex and change in one aspect is likely to induce changes in others, and this can have unintended consequences. For instance, synthetic surfaces intended to damp vertical hoof concussion can also increase shear strength.


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| VETERINARY |

| FRACTURES |

More compliant surfaces diminish the efficiency of the gallop, as well as safety mechanisms within the limb. While extreme fetlock dorsiflexion causes injury, some flexion is needed to damp vibrations created by hoof impact. Flexion is also essential for the spring-like action of the tendons and ligaments. The virtual racehorse

There is little doubt we need better research tools to study optimal surfaces for injury prevention and performance enhancement. Waiting to find out whether injury rates rise or fall after the installation of a new training or racing surface is installed is an expensive and unsatisfactory way to try to improve racehorse welfare. Computational models are increasingly used across science and are an economical tool to determine the effect of individual factors that may be difficult to evaluate experimentally. Dr Jennifer Symons and her colleagues from University of California-Davis, have developed a virtual racehorse limb and surface computer model which predicts how lower limb motion can be modified, and in particular focuses on the degree of fetlock dorsiflexion during gallop stance. Dr Symons’ recent EVJ report demonstrated how the model could determine how changes in surface parameters influence lower limb motion. Surfaces are compacted each time they are struck by a hoof and harrowing reduces this compaction. Therefore, Dr Symons set up the virtual model to reproduce the mechanics of harrowed and consolidated, dirt and synthetic race surfaces and look at how these alter the fetlock motion in the leading forelimb during gallop. Both natural and artificial racetracks are constructed in layers. The cushion, i.e. upper layer, is often harrowed to decrease consolidation and reduces peak ground reaction forces. Dirt surfaces have deep, less stiff cushion layers compared to synthetic surfaces. The mechanics of lower layers are determined by their composition rather than harrowing. Dr Symons modelled 25 combinations of cushion stiffness and depth over four different lower layers representing harrowed and consolidated, dirt and synthetic surfaces. Because the musculoskeletal tissues of individual horses differ in their strength and flexibility, and there are differences in how horses move, the researchers

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also tested various tendon and ligament stiffness and heel strike positions. Interestingly, in Dr Symon’s virtual horse and surfaces model, fetlock dorsiflexion during gallop stance was influenced less by horse limb parameters than the surface. The depth of cushion had greatest impact in fetlock motion, with less depth leading to more fetlock dorsiflexion and fetlock motion was lower on virtual surfaces with deeper, upper layers. These differences were substantial and maximum fetlock dorsiflexion differed by more than 10° across cushion stiffnesses and depths. Overall, the changes in fetlock motion due to cushion stiffness and depth were similar across harrowed and consolidated, dirt and synthetic virtual lower layers, although the relationships were complex. More compliant surfaces diminish the efficiency of the gallop, as well as safety mechanisms within the limb. While extreme fetlock dorsiflexion causes injury, some flexion is needed to damp vibrations created by hoof impact. Flexion is also essential for the spring-like action of the tendons and ligaments. Therefore, too much flexion is harmful, too little is not energy efficient and there is an optimal middle ground for fetlock flexion. The model was able to look at how surface depth and stiffness interacted and predict the optimal zone for safety and performance. Although Dr Symon’s current simulations explored the effect of differences in tendon and ligament mechanics, anatomical features such as pastern length and hoof conformation were not taken into account in this study. Nevertheless, this virtual horse and surface model is an exciting new tool that has great promise for research on optimal surfaces to prevent musculoskeletal injuries and optimise performance.

The bottom line

A key take-home message from the Hong Kong study on upper limb and pelvic fractures was that subtle lameness warrants

ABOVE: These plots show the complex relationships between depth and stiffness of the cushion when the virtual horse gallops on surfaces laid over harrowed dirt (A), consolidated dirt (B), harrowed synthetic (C), and consolidated synthetic (D). The red zones illustrate degrees of fetlock motion in the leading forelimb that place the horse at risk of injury. Very compliant surfaces (blue zones) require the horse to exert more energy to gallop as well as reducing damping within the limbs, propagate vibrations and damage bone. Reproduced, with permission, Equine Veterinary Journal Volume 49, Issue 5, pages 681-687, 2017 DOI: 10.1111/evj.12672.

investigation. Nuclear scintigraphy is highly accurate for finding stress fractures and, if upper limb fracture is detected early, a successful return to racing is the norm. There is still a lot to learn in designing the optimal surfaces for training and racing thoroughbreds, but innovative and economical computer simulations are beginning to tease out the complex interactions between depth, composition and surface maintenance and the horse’s strength and flexibility with the goal of understanding surfaces that both reduce injury and optimise performance.


Newmarket Farrier crowned winner of the Kings Plate Competition Edward O’Shaughnessy, partner in Newmarket based O’Shaughnessy Farriery, has won a trip to the 2018 International Hoofcare Summit in Cincinnati, Ohio, as a result of his hoofcare services, and the success of, John Gosden’s Clarehaven Stables. The well-documented wins of Persuasive in the QEII and Enable’s multiple Group 1’s, in addition to the yard’s consistent strike rate, has resulted in Edward gaining the most points throughout the 2017 turf flat season for winners that were shod with Kerckhaert Kings Plates. The O’Shaughnessy Farriery team has provided farrier services to John Gosden since 2006. Heading up the farriery team at Clarehaven Stables, Ed acknowledges that we are “very fortunate to be working in an amazing racing yard, surrounded by lovely knowledgeable people. We are so proud to be responsible for the foot care of some of the best bred and talented horses in the world. I would like to thank my fantastic team of highly skilled farriers who work for O’Shaughnessy Farriery with me at Clarehaven.

The Kerckhaert Extra Sound Plates offer adequate support to the feet, with coarse nail holes, which in turn, keeps our feet strong and healthy.” Ed continued “I would like to congratulate Stromsholm for always continuing to improve their racing products which help to maintain soundness and make farriery easier.” Stromsholm is the exclusive distributor of the Royal Kerckhaert Racing Plates in the UK and they run the competition each year. Managing Director, Carl Bettison, is delighted for the O’Shaughnessy Team and wishes them continued success. “It is incredibly exciting to witness these horses performing so well. The Kings Plate is an excellent shoe, and combined with great farriery, can only help to achieve this. Our congratulations to Ed and his team”.

Stromsholm Race Division Opens in Newmarket Stromsholm is the UK’s leading supplier of horseshoes and has recently opened ‘Newmarket Race Division’, a brand new Hoofcare & Soundness store supplying the leading brands available to farriers including Kerckhaert race plates, the new Liberty Hybrid Cu nails, Diamond Tools and much more. The new flagship store follows the success of Lambourn Race Division and offers this impressive showcase of products for convenience and to better serve the local area. Incorporating ‘special offers’ and a discount structure on large orders the Stromsholm Race Division provides the best products to support and enable the challenging role of the racehorse farrier. Steaming mugs of tea or coffee await, visit before 10am on a Tuesday and Thursday and a bacon sandwich will be waiting!

Newmarket Race Division is easily found in Unit 1 Enterprise, Court, Studlands Park Avenue, Newmarket. It is open Monday to Friday from 8.00am to 4.00pm. For those in a hurry please feel free to call ahead of your visit on 01638 665895 or email: newmarket@stromsholm.co.uk.


| TRAINING |

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| DRESSAGE |

B A C K TO SCHOOL DRESSAGE AS A TRAINING TOOL Olly Stevens

Emily Graham, Caroline Norris,

Shutterstock, Eclipse Sportswire

T

o those not familiar with the idea, or indeed not familiar with the intricacies of managing the mind and body of the young thoroughbred, it might seem peculiar to take an animal bred for generations and engineered over centuries to display nothing short of super equine speeds, gargantuan leaps, and feats of middle-distance endurance, and to then turn it to the steadiest, most controlled, poised equestrian discipline. As mad a thing to do as this might seem at the end of such a horse’s career, to delve into it a day or so each week, or perhaps to go for an out-of-season dressage “staycation,” could seem just plain bizarre. So why are we hearing more and more about the speedy souls that inhabit the world of horseracing sneaking out of the realms of the snaffle bit, flat saddle, jeans, and Cuban heel to indulge jodhpurs, curb chains, extremely high cantles, and Spanish topped-boots? Well, it might not be as bizarre as it sounds. Three generations ago it was hard to find a trainer who hadn’t enjoyed some formal equitation training, most likely through the armed forces, but that was also an age where there was still some form of reliance upon the horse for anything as fundamental as travel, so there was simply a greater and more widespread understanding of the horse across the board. Many would have also known how to drive as well as ride simply from necessity. Later we will speak to one of the very few young trainers to have actively pursued driving, itself now a sport with an element of dressage. Fewer and fewer trainers with each passing generation have a formal education in the fundamentals of classical riding, and it is perhaps only natural that in the face of such a decline there will be those that look to find an advantage in redressing this balance. Of course, there are always trainers who come to horseracing from more conventionally classical disciplines, many of them hugely

successful regardless of code, country, or surface, and these exceptions prove as interesting as those who seek the help of specialist dressage instructors or riders to enhance the complex set of skills that have led to their success. Think back half a century and one might have expected to see a lot more of the training ranks having acted as officers in cavalry regiments, a noted school of equitation in itself. The evergreen Big Orange is nurtured by such an officer, Michael Bell, also an accomplished amateur rider. Major Dick Hern left the army to train as a riding instructor at the fabled Porlock Vale Equitation School before training the gold medal-winning British Olympic Equestrian Team of 1952, ultimately starting his stellar training career in 1958. This multidisciplinary approach is nothing new. There are numerous examples of riders crossing over from eventing or show jumping to train racehorses with great success: Harvey Smith, Henrietta Knight, Michael Matz, Jessica Harrington, and Noel Williams come to mind, and Mark Todd even made the move for a while. The successes of another discipline certainly sets them apart in terms of outside perception, yet we can, as is ever the case in this sport of exceptions, find as many if not more trainers of note who do not hail from a successful standpoint in another discipline. Indeed, some greats did not come into training through a classical or competitive riding background in the slightest. In human sport words like “cross training,” “core strength” and “yogalates” are so often used for the least expected sports. Cricketers lifting weights, prop forwards taking to the yoga mat, and Olympic sailors even taking instruction in dancing have all been reported, and it is well understood that, while not seeking excellence in these supplementary disciplines, there is a benefit from occasionally spending a session or two performing drills outside the mainstay of what is directly required on Saturday afternoon. In the same respect, a horse is unlikely to lose significant fitness by being schooled once a week. The use of different muscle groups offers a strength beyond that which is ISSUE 60 TRAINERMAGAZINE.COM

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ABOVE: Grade 1 winning “Collected” used dressage training to switch off

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normally tested, a change of routine perhaps beneficial for the psyche. However, Yogi Breisner, former worldclass performance manager to the British Eventing team, is at pains to point out that “in general the standard of horsemanship among trainers in the British Isles is very good. Most horses benefit from routine and have a very good introduction to the saddle with a good education starting in between long reins, and it is important to remember that all conditioning and strength work be carried out specifically with the end purpose in mind, working on the muscle groups most important for competition.” Emily Graham has a unique viewpoint being a trained McTimoney animal therapist, former assistant trainer to the hugely successful Henry Candy, and dressage rider who has spent time as an exercise rider for Andrew Balding. Graham now treats a range of horses and offers some valuable and educated input. “The most common problem I encounter is lower neck pain -- predominantly thoracic and cervical trapezius muscular pain and lower back pain/lumbosacral pain, which can ultimately affect performance.” This isn’t merely limited to the lower neck, though: “These signs, when they become chronic, can be an early warning that lower back pain is the prelude to a potential career-halting injury. Concluding that lameness caused by repetitive strain can originate from back pain! “This can be caused by the horses not using their back muscles or engaging their hindquarters correctly whilst being exercised. In other equestrian disciplines this would be called a poor self-carriage resulting in a horse that is on the forehand and not using their body to the optimum.” “I think any horse could benefit from adding some dressage to their programme and by dressage, I mean the widest sense: The art of riding and training a horse in a manner that develops obedience, flexibility, and balance. Even simple stretches after exercise to help reduce the

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build-up of lactic acid in the muscles; for example, carrot stretches would also really help.” Graham states that the aim of this is to help change the way a horse carries itself, not drastically but “working the horse a little differently, with the emphasis being on suppleness through the back and flexibility through the neck and a better-engaged hind quarter, transferring more weight to the horse’s hindquarters to take the pressure off the forehand!” The British Racing School, with the support of the British Horseracing Authority, have engaged in a programme to help trainers educate even experienced riders by visiting yards as, Yogi Breisner explains. “The first step is to develop an independent seat. This allows the horse to move without hindrance. The rider’s centre of balance will be above the stirrups, hands neutral. Once this has been achieved we look to build upon this so that the rider can use their body weight, legs, and hands to influence the horse and help them overcome the shortcomings of the horse.” In a similar vein, Godolphin’s pre-training programme in Newmarket has recently engaged Malcolm Holthausen, a dressage rider of international renown, to assist in the second phase of developing young horses who have recently been broken in. Pre-training manager Kate Grimwade is excited by this new development, saying, “Hopefully it will help the horses and the riders. It’s a different style of riding and we’re trying to teach the horses to be soft in their mouths, stretch through their backs, and learn to have leg on their sides as opposed to riders having their stirrups pulled up. “ This is easier said than done, as riders in a racing yard need three very different seats in the course of their work: riding long while warming up, carrying out roadwork and riding to/from the gallops; short while cantering


or breezing, using the knees to keep the body still; and a lower position off the bridle when a rider can push at the final stages of a piece of work or race. However, each position is taught, on the same principles of riding with an independent seat. While Breisner is not an out-and-out protagonist for all horses being schooled by a dressage rider regularly, he says that “it might marginally help one or two horses in a large stable and is certainly worth considering for individual horses, especially when returning to fitness after a break.” Breisner suggests that a good rider, trotting at a sensible pace with the horse encouraged to a positive position, offers a good means to the end of a horse being schooled to be “rideable,” responsive to aids, and, importantly, to work on its straightness. “A young horse, even before it has been influenced by riders, will naturally tend to be skewed one way or another….when trotting too fast, a horse will take on a flat action and concave shape, the opposite to a canter which is a rounded action and outline. Trotting too fast is not something positive.” Training aids and devices will always divide opinion and are a subject matter in themselves, but we have seen a growth in the use of devices like draw reins, the market harborough martingale, de Gogue, German martingale, chambon, etc. Whether one is pro, con, or ambivalent, the increasing growth in use of these suggests an awakening among our horsemen to help horses to carry out at least some of their training in a manner that is more focused on carriage and balance than building speed or stamina. Particularly at the trot, it is evident that the intention is to help develop a more productive carriage and encourage muscles to build into a more developed topline. This is certainly more aesthetically pleasing and it is no surprise that numerous leading consignors at the sales take a similar approach when preparing yearlings. As far as whether it is faster, the debate will rage on with little conclusive evidence and, as is often the case, for every proponent there will be a polar opposite opinion. So what about using some form of schooling or cross training as a change, break, or just something other than the track? This is certainly something that Pat Owens (see European Trainer, Issue 59, October-December 2017, for more information) has carried out, having transformed the very headstrong 2013 Windsor Castle Stakes winner Extortionist as he rose from two to three years old, while NZ event rider Tim Rusbridge forms an important cog in the machinations of Qatar Racing’s operations, where his particular skillset is valued.

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A YOUNG HORSE, EVEN BEFORE IT HAS BEEN INFLUENCED BY RIDERS, WILL NATURALLY TEND TO BE SKEWED ONE WAY OR ANOTHER. ISSUE 60 TRAINERMAGAZINE.COM

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BELOW: Emily Graham demonstrates simple stretches to reduce the build-up of lactic acid

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A continent away last year in the US, the Bob Bafferttrained Collected shocked the racing world when taking the scalp of stablemate Arrogate in the Grade 1 Pacific Classic before running a gallant second to the exceptional Gun Runner in the Breeders’ Cup Classic at Del Mar. Marette Farrell, a key member of Collected’s owner Speedway Stables’ buying and management team, explains: “Collected came from a really good consignor at the two-year-old sales. Despite an excellent preparation he was overtraining with Bob, who called us after the Preakness Stakes and raised the concern that he was just doing too much, too aggressive, he couldn’t even stand still. “We sent him down to Mal McGuire in Kentucky who has always done a lot of work for me. After giving him a complete break due to some slight bone bruising, Mal set to work with him. Some aspects of this were more conventional than others, such as desensitising him with a flag, coupling him to a donkey, and then one day, ridden in a western saddle. I went to see him doing half passes in the arena, engaging his rear end in a way I hadn’t previously seen. “He went back to Bob a different horse, which was evident in his results.” When asked if she will now send Collected back for a tune-up or recap, Farrell has no doubts. “Definitely. I think this will add to longevity on the track. They’re always just turning left, this redresses the balance. In an age where a lot of people are only focussed on the end product and getting there as quickly as possible, a lot of this has become a lost art.” Longevity is also something that Graham feels could be assisted by adding even a little dressage into the mix. “If even a small amount of extra attention was given to ridden exercises whilst warming the horses up and cooling

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| DRESSAGE |

down, this could add to the strength and conditioning of the equine athlete and further improve performance and strength in the muscles. Most importantly, risk of injury could be reduced.” This sentiment is also mirrored by Kate Grimwade, who states that “being more balanced should help with injury prevention if they are picking up their feet properly.” Joking (and donkeys) aside, this might just sum the whole thing up, and if all racehorses had the occasion to be a little more “collected” through educating riders, receiving some cross training, and embracing lessons from other disciplines while still keeping our feet on the ground, we might just start to make a change for the better. The resounding intention, whoever we spoke with, is that welfare could only be the beneficiary of improving riders and offering a variety of exercise, either frequently or as a break, for horses.


+*#'!-%.' %$ +",%$' ),!&'!( &8441$;04 -$4 /85 :$9= =0$54 #009 $3 3-0 /850/5893 8/ 06"<90 853-87$01<2 4"5.05= $91 1<$.9843<2 <998!$3<89) <92;"1<9. 28:7"301 38:8.5$7-= ,'%+ $44<4301 4"5.05=) $53-584287<2 fixation and standing fracture repair.

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ISSUE 60 TRAINERMAGAZINE.COM

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LICENSING AND INTEGRITY THE SUBJECT OF L AT E S T E M H F S E M I N A R N E WS FR OM T HE E M H F

T

he word ‘integrity’ must be one of the most commonly used in the output of Racing Authorities and, in our world, it carries a very particular meaning. Sure, it encompasses the normal definition of ‘adherence to moral and ethical principles’ but, with us, what we’re mostly talking about is the ‘straightness’ of how our sport is run and of those involved. The latest in the EMHF’s Seminar Programme, hosted and delivered by the British Horseracing Authority and Newbury Racecourse, took integrity as its subject, and majored on the processes and criteria by which trainers, jockeys and others are licensed in Britain, and the structures in place to combat race-fixing and unfair betting practices on horseraces.

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The BHA was an appropriate host, since delegates could benefit from the conclusions reached following a major integrity review that British racing’s governing body had undertaken, aimed at improving ‘confidence amongst participants and the racing and betting public’. The review confirmed that measures to combat race-fixing and doping remained of paramount importance. Within the BHA’s remit, integrity is certainly given high priority. The very first item under ‘Things we do’ in its latest annual report reads: ‘Keeping racing fair and clean: We aim to maintain the integrity of British racing by supporting participants to comply with the rules and dealing appropriately and effectively with rule breaches’. The sheer scale and cost of the infrastructure which is committed to this aim, in a major racing nation such as Britain, may surprise readers. The staff complement


| EMHF |

KEY

■ ■ ■ ■ ■

No limit 10+ 5-9 2-4 None allowed

ALLOWABLE WHIP STRIKES BY COUNTRY

In Italy, there must be no more than 7 hits in the last 200 metres; in Portugal, there is a limit of 3 hits per lap; in Britain and Ireland the numbers are guidelines only, and prompt the stewards to look more closely into the specific circumstances of the ride; in Slovakia, there must be no more than 4 hits in the last 400 metres; in Poland, no more than 6 in the home stretch; in Denmark, the whip must not be used on 2yo’s; in the Channel islands (not shown on the map) the same approach is adopted as in Britain.

Norway Sweden

Great Britain

Denmark

Lithuania

Holland

Ireland

Poland

Germany

Ukraine

Czech Rep. France

Switzerland

Austria

Slovakia Hungary

Italy Spain

Portugal

Azerbaijan Turkey

Greece

Cyprus

Lebanon

Morocco

of the BHA’s Integrity and Regulatory Departments numbers over 100. Within this total, the 40 or so who make up the field force teams of Clerks of the Scales, Starters, Judges and Inspectors of Courses are outnumbered by those covering areas such as Intelligence (collection, assessment, development), Racing & Betting Analysis, Investigations, Licensing & Registration, Stable Inspections, Anti-Doping and Equine Welfare Integrity. Sampling and Research alone account for some “3.8M of the BHA’s annual €36M budget. Delegates from Belgium, the Channel Islands, Hungary, Morocco, Slovakia and Turkey attended the two-day course. The first day was spent at the BHA’s headquarters on High Holborn, London, for a series of presentations and discussions. The group then travelled down to their hotel base near Newbury, where, following dinner, they were treated to a talk from Tarik Shamel, the Football Association’s Head of On-Field Regulation, for some insights into another sport’s approach to integrity. The following morning they visited Group-winning trainer Joe Tuite’s Felstead Court Stables in Lambourn, before attending the races at Newbury, to witness the pre-race liaison and intelligence-exchange on the forthcoming afternoon’s racing. Jonathan Perree, Secretary of the Channel Islands racing authority, felt that “The day out at Newbury, to see the practical application of measures taken, was very insightful.”

The seminar in general was well received. “I left with so many ideas to help the company’s business”, remarked Sara Mansoor, Head of Licensing at SOREC, the Moroccan racing authority. “I attended the seminar because we plan to update our rules, and the matters of licencing and integrity are very important”, explained Jan Valtyni, acting Director of the Slovakian authority. Our thanks, indeed, to the BHA.

HIGH-TECH AND THE WHIP

In the last issue, this column mused on what a map of Europe would look like, if it reflected different countries’ limits to the number of times the whip may be used in a race. Well, this is the result. The darkest red represents those countries where there is no such limit; orange is where the number is 10 or more; countries which apply a limit of between five and nine are shown in green; the darker blue is where between one and four strikes are allowed – through to the light blue of Norway, where the whip must not be used. I have interpreted the rules literally and, in the process, no doubt done a disservice to several Racing Authorities, so I have attempted to make up for this by adding foot-notes on some of the nuances of implementation. You will surely agree, the inverse correlation between latitude and laxity, whilst not perfect, is indeed striking. ISSUE 60 TRAINERMAGAZINE.COM

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WHIPCHIP ANALYSIS OF THE STRENGTH OF STRIKES ADMINISTERED 01.04.2017 – 16.10.2017 APPLIED ENERGY PER RACE (JOULE)

250.03

204.31 179.24 154.82

159.56

159.80

160.53

163.97

O.YILDIRM

M.KAYA

G.KOCAKAYA

AHMET CELIK

U.POLAT

145.72

98.20

H. KARATAS

A. SOZEN

There is clearly wide diversity as to the whip usage which is seen to be acceptable. But this is an area of the Rules Book which, more than any other, many countries have seen fit to change – sometimes more than once. And, in every case where the Rule has changed, the number of strikes has been reduced – never increased: the shading on this map would have been far darker a decade ago. So, it would appear that across Europe and the Mediterranean, we are on a journey - and we share the direction of travel. In setting the Rules surrounding whip use, Racing Authorities are reacting to the very different societal expectations which exist in their respective countries. And, as an option to assist them in this endeavour, a fascinating new tool is now available to them, which has emerged from the world of high technology, bearing the name of WhipChip. ESIT Electronic Ltd is a Turkish multi-national, more used to utilising sensors to enable the weighing of trucks passing at high-speed. Development of the WhipChip began as a hobby interest of ESIT’s President and founder, Ferhat Tigrel. While at the races at Turkey’s flagship racecourse, Veliefendi, in 2015, he witnessed a particularly distressing race in which the rider aboard a tired and struggling horse chose to continue to beat it fast and ferociously all the way down the home straight until it collapsed, exhausted, by the winning post. Tigrel set about designing technology which would enable objective analysis of how a whip is used. This ingenious technology is now a reality – and has been used in all races at Veliefendi this season. All riders must use purpose-built whips, which look and feel very similar to ‘normal’ whips. These have, inbuilt into their handles, three electronic movement sensors. One of these sensors measures acceleration;

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F. YUKSEL

H.CIZIK

A.KURSUN

another, rotational movement; and the third is an ‘electronic compass’. Together, they are able to send sufficient information to a microprocessor, also in the whip, for it to distil the data into the number and strength of the hits which the rider has applied. Whips are available with three different degrees of flexibility, to cater to riders’ tastes. It matters not that some riders are using more inflexible crops – whatever their choice, the actual energy transfer at point of contact will be measured by WhipChip. At Weigh-Out, the rider places his whip – which is linked to him on the Turkish Jockey Club’s computer system - into a housing, which confirms that he is declared to ride in the upcoming race. Only at the appointed off-time of the race is the microchip activated. In this way, only hits administered during the race are recorded – should a rider have cause to slap a horse down the neck in order to encourage it to enter the stalls, for example, this will not count against his tally of 10 allowable strikes in the race. On Weigh-In, data is taken from the whip memory in each rider’s whip and transferred to the stewards’ computers. A threshold level has been determined for the acceptable strength of a strike, based on data of actual whip use over a number of races. The Veliefendi stewards can call up on their screens the number of hits administered by each jockey, the strength of those hits and the number, if any, which exceeded that threshold of severity. This data can be aggregated across time, so that a picture is built up of such things as the overall propensity for specific riders to use their whip and the average force with which they do so. The result? An overall reduction in whip use. And the stand-out finding? Of all the regular riders in Turkey, one


| EMHF |

was clearly the lowest, both in terms of the number of times he hit his mounts on average in a race and of the strength with which he hit them. Did his results suffer as a consequence? On the contrary: the rider was none other than Halis Karatas – Turkey’s Champion Jockey. The Turkish Jockey Club is delighted with the Veliefendi trial, and there are prospects of it being rolled out to all the Turkish racecourses (soon to number ten with the addition of the new track at Antalya). Burak Konuk, Assistant General Manager and closely involved in the initiative, explains: “We trialled the WhipChip for six months, with success. We didn’t have any problems - the jockeys were happy, the officials were happy. For the International Meeting in September it was mandatory, too, but the guest jockeys were also very happy with it. We liked it because it was efficient and friendly to the horse at the same time”. Determining whether a rider has breached the number of hits rule is normally a time-consuming process, involving the scrutiny of the race footage, perhaps from more than one angle, and doing a mental count. In these post-race minutes, time is at a premium, and this technology frees officials up to use their time to better effect. Small wonder, then, that the Veliefendi stewards have embraced WhipChip. The potential advantages for racing authorities are equally striking. For the first time, critics can be presented with hard, objective data which supports the contention that animal welfare is being protected and that the effect on the horse is being measured and controlled. It will be fascinating to see whether high-tech whips will soon become as accepted a part of the racing landscape as the photo-finish or electronic scales.

EMHF SETS UP NEW RULES COMMITTEE

The EMHF’s new Rules Committee, (this column in the last issue gave background information), duly held its first meeting in Dusseldorf on December 1st. Fortuitous timing, as an important landmark in rules harmonisation had been reached only weeks earlier, on the long-running and vexed question of the different ways in which cases of interference are handled around the world. The International Federation of Horseracing Authorities (IFHA) has announced that its International Agreement on Breeding, Racing and Wagering will, for the first time, address this issue, through the introduction of a Model Rule which will set out best practice on the approach raceday Stewards should take when tackling objections on grounds of interference. The racing world is currently split into two broad camps, and essentially it boils down to how you treat a winner which interfered with another horse whose finishing position was affected, but which would not have beaten the winner but for that interference. If you would let the winner keep the race, you would be in what has become known as Category 1 – a group of countries that includes Britain, Ireland, Asia and Australasia. If, on the other hand, you would demote the winner behind the horse it disadvantaged, you fall into Category 2 – which, hitherto, has included France, Germany and the Americas. The result is that, in different countries, there can be markedly different results following a broadly similar set of circumstances. We can all think of recent examples. All instances of differences of approach, in whatever aspect of racing administration, are viewed negatively by those who hanker after a universal Rules Book for horseracing, and point, in exasperation, to golf, tennis and other sports as exemplars. (The IFHA ISSUE 60 TRAINERMAGAZINE.COM

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has no powers of enforcement, and its International Agreement is but a best-practice document, to which member racing authorities are encouraged to sign up). But this particular example of inconsistency has wider repercussions. Horseracing, as a global endeavour, is not awash with opportunities to boost its future prosperity – and much hope is being placed on accelerated growth in international betting, fostered by simulcasting and the commingling of betting pools. And much is made of punters’ reluctance to bet on racing in exotic lands if the way in which the stewards may potentially alter the result is unfamiliar and counter-intuitive to them. Globally consistent interference rules have been seen by some almost as a Holy Grail, and the decision taken in Paris to come down on the side of ‘Category 1’ was indeed remarkable. The most recent major racing nation to switch approaches was Japan, and the Japan Racing Association has reported several benefits since joining Category 1. Many countries in our region – including France and Germany – have signalled their intention to move to the Category 1 approach. The education task that should happen in preparation for the change is likely to be widespread, initially involving the stewards themselves, before including trainers, jockeys and other stakeholders as well as the media and wider betting public. The EMHF has recognised that we have a role in assisting the ‘smaller’ racing nations in our region who choose to make the leap. The Irish Turf Club has stepped up in a most generous way – by offering two seminars early in the New Year, one in Ireland and one in Scandinavia, to which member countries may send their senior decision-makers in this area. Beyond this, all Rules Committee representatives agreed to make themselves available for member

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TRAINERMAGAZINE.COM ISSUE 60

| EMHF |

countries to submit to them, for comment and guidance, race footage of examples from their own countries where the decision was a close call, particularly where it might have been different if applying the Category 1 philosophy, rather than Category 2. I believe this can do nothing but improve the consistency of decision-making across our region, something that we all - regulators, trainers, owners and public alike – want to see. The EMHF Rules Committee is made of the following: Rudiger Schmanns, Director of Racing at the Direktorium (Chair), Denis Egan, Chief Executive, Irish Turf Club, Helena Gartner, Chief Administrative Officer at the Swedish Horseracing Authority, Dr. Paull Khan, Secretary-General, EMHF, Dr. Martina Krejci, SecretaryGeneral of the Jockey Club of the Czech Republic, Henri Pouret, Director of Racecourse Regulation at FranceGalop and Jamie Stier, Chief Regulatory Officer of the British Horseracing Authority.

GLOBALLY CONSISTENT INTERFERENCE RULES HAVE BEEN SEEN AS THE HOLY GRAIL AND THE DECISION TAKEN IN PARIS WAS INDEED REMARKABLE.


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ISSUE 60 TRAINERMAGAZINE.COM

75


LEFT: The Arc de Triomphe BELOW: Are Hyldmo with Heidi Tandberg BOTTOM ROW L–R: Criquette HeadMaarek; Hélène Hatchiguian and Criquette Head-Maarek receive flowers for all their behind the scenes work with the ETF; Yvona Töröková and Dalibor Török

IN ASSOCIATION WITH

TRAINERS GATHER IN PARIS FOR THE 20th ANNIVERSARY MEETING OF THE EUROPEAN TRAINERS’ FEDERATION


20

years ago, Belgian horseracing was in crisis, as more and more trainers were racing abroad. Faced with this new reality, it soon became clear that once outside country borders, the regulations and rules for each country were partially or completely different. At that point, the chairman of the Belgian Trainers Federation, Max Hennau, recognized the need to create a European Trainers Federation where all trainers associations could exchange information about their rules and work together in order to harmonize them. After contacting the various foreign trainer federations, Hennau was able to organise an initial meeting in Brussels to set about the formation of the European Trainers’ Federation. For this meeting, Max Hennau welcomed Bruno Schutz (Germany), Grant Harris (UK) Willie Mullins (Ireland), Lennart Reuterskihöld (Sweden), Guy Bonnaventure (France) and Valfredo Valiani (Italy). Following this first meeting, a second one was planned on October 20th, 1997 in Deauville where the ETF was born. Meetings have been held annually since and the chairmanship position has been held by Guy Bonnaventure (1 year), Peter Cundell (3 years), Willie Mullins (4 years), Max Hennau (5 years), Criquette Head-Maarek (6 years) and Guy Heymans for the last year. This year (2017), representatives from Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Germany, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Netherlands, Norway and the UK joined their French hosts for a weekend of conversation and collaboration.

LEFT: Jackie and Willie Mullins BELOW L–R: Willie Mullins shares moments from his time as the Chairman of the ETF; Happy Birthday! The founding members of the ETF get to blow out the candles on the birthday cake; Guy Bonnaventure talks to Max Hennau (right) and Guy Heymans (left)

IN ASSOCIATION WITH

THE QUARTERLY MAGAZINE FOR THE TRAINING AND DEVELOPMENT OF THE THOROUGHBRED


LEFT TO RIGHT: Agostino Affe; Erika Mäder and Geert van Kempen; Giles Anderson BELOW: Sveva and Valfredo Valiani

THE 2017 AGM WAS HELD ON DECEMBER 16TH. POINTS DISCUSSED DURING THE AGM INCLUDED: The ETF website – is old and has to be changed, in order

to become a real tool with information for trainers who come racing abroad. Each country can place information directly on the website and include links to its national Jockey Club. The new website will be integrated within the frame of the Trainer Magazine website. ETF help – one of the aims of the ETF is to help countries who have problems with their government about the racing industry, or trainers with their JockeyClub. Italy needs help from the ETF to show their government how important the racing industry is. The ETF, with the European Horse Network will contact Italian representatives in Brussels in order to help and convince them to consider the situation in Italy. European Horse Network – the European Horse Network represents all the equine industry in Europe and the ETF is proud to be part of the network. Dr. Paull Khan, from the European and Mediterranean Horseracing Federation, represents the horseracing industry at the EHN. Our main contact at the EHN, Mrs. Florence Gras, who follows all information about the equine industry and discuss with the European Parliament. The EHN is an essential partner for the ETF to work with and discuss very important subjects like VAT, horse welfare and transport. Guy Heymans told AGM delegates about the work which the ETF has been undertaking with the EHT over the past year. PMU – Mr Benoît Cornu, from the PMU, made a

presentation during the AGM. The PMU is the leading European Pari-Mutuel platform with approximately Ð1 billion of bets processed each year. The French State takes 10% of this amount. 75% is given back to the gamblers. The 15% remaining goes to PMU for infrastructure costs and to the racecourses. The PMU is making big progress to widen the interest amongst young people in horseracing as well as helping the fight against gambling addiction. Horse welfare – a growing problem is the perception

of horseracing to those who have little or no interest in the sport. The ETF feels that it is very important that racing industry attends different meetings about horse welfare, in order to show how well racehorses are

ABOVE L–R: Christian von der Recke and Claudia Lüddecke; Max and Greta Hennau BELOW L–R: Richard Crepon; Peter Cundell


cared for and treated. The life of the horses after their racing career is something very important for trainers and owners. Structures are now developed in several countries to take former horses for retraining and the ETF wishes to extend its work with such organisations. VAT – it is a major problem for both owners and

trainers. This subject has been discussed at the European Parliament, with the European Horse Network. In early 2018, a proposition of law will be proposed at European level, with the possibility for each country to choose its own VAT rate. Whilst welcoming such a move, the ETF feels that it is important for each country to recognise how VAT can be reclaimed easily for owners and trainers to make the process across Europe much simpler to manage. Trainer Magazine – is the membership magazine for

the ETF. Over the past six months the design of the magazine has been improved and the changes have been welcomed by the ETF. The magazine always develops subjects that are really helpful for trainers (cost of a horse in training in different countries, veterinary surgery, etc.). Each country can contact Mr. Giles Anderson in order to propose an interesting subject for the magazine. AGM 2018 – the next AGM will be held in Newmarket

(UK) at a date to be confirmed in December.

FAR LEFT: Michael Grassick ABOVE LEFT: Borut Bernik and Ziva Prunk LEFT: Two Guys! Bonnaventure right and Heymans left BELOW L–R: Jim and Marguerite Kavanagh; Fiona and Rupert Arnold


O

ne year ago Tommy Stack saddled the last runner of his 30 years as a trainer from the beautiful Thomastown Castle in the heart of Tipperary’s Golden Vale. The Kerryman, immortalised as Red Rum’s jockey for his third Grand National triumph, progressed from an accomplished career in the saddle to a successful one as a trainer. During his three decades as a trainer Stack nurtured the careers of countless top-class horses who brought further glory to this most distinguished of careers in Europe and America. The Classicplaced and Grade One Garden City Stakes heroine Ale lexander Tango, Group One Prix Morny win inner Myboycharlie, Royal Ascot win inner Lolly For Dolly, and the Cartier Million wi winner Corwy win wyn Bay right wyn at the start of his career all added lustre to Stack’s already polished name. However, it is two special fi fillies the fil legendary horseman mentions as the standout successes from his years as a trainer. “Winning the English 1000 Guineas wit ith Las Meninas and the Irish 1000 wit ith Tarascon were both very special achievements for us because we bred both fillies,” he smiles. fil fi Las Meninas won a battle wit ith subsequent Oaks and Irish Derby heroine Balanchine on the Rowley Mile in 1994 while four years later, Tarascon was adding Classic magic to her juvenile Group One triumph in the Moyglare Stud Stakes at the Curragh and provid iding a teenage Jamie Spencer wiitth the fi first of his fir many Group One vi victories. vic Twic ice champion jockey in England, Stack has seen racing transform for good during his half-century of involvement in the sport, but the biggest change during

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TRAINERMAGAZINE.COM ISSUE 60

TOMMY S TA C K Aisling Crowe

Caroline Norris

that time came towards the end of his training career, and it is not a positive one. “ The prize money in England has gone down an awf wful lot in the last 10 years wfu and it is now very low compared wi with wit anyw ywhere else. A lot of trainers in England ywh must be struggling to survi vive because of viv how poor prize money is, and for smaller trainers it is especially tough,” he remarks. Stack has a proposal that he feels would help allevia iate some of the pressure on trainers in the UK wiitth smaller strings. “A good idea would be for the BHA to put on more of the lesser class races so that smaller trainers can compete wiitth those lesser class horses, and at least they would have a chance of wi winning win something then.

Liz, Tommy and Fozzy Stack

“ There is no comparison between now and 10 or even 20 years ago. It was much easier for trainers to surviv ive in the industry than it is now.” Unsurprisingly, it is this issue which Stack would tackle immediately if he were given the reins of racing administration. “If I could make one change straight away it would be to increase the level of prize money in England,” he states. “As it is, trainers could send a horse to Ayr from Newmarket for a race and end up losing money because it costs more to run the horse than the horse can earn for wi winning. win That is not good for the sport. Improved prize money would make the situation better for everybody and better for the health of the sport in England.”


REKINDLING the

RED MILLS record

6 OF THE BEST

MELBOURNE CUP WINNERS FED ON RED MILLS

CONGRATULATIONS

Year

Winner

Jockey

Trainer

2017

Rekindling

Corey Brown

Joseph O'Brien

Lloyd Williams

2014

Protectionist

Ryan Moore

Andreas Wöhler

Christoph Berglar

2011

Dunaden

Christophe Lemaire

Mikel Delzangles

Pearl Bloodstock Ltd.

1. REKINDLING Trainer: Joseph O’Brien Jockey: Corey Brown

2010

Americain

Gérald Mossé

Alain de Royer-Dupré

G. Ryan, K. C Bamford

2. JOHANNES VERMEER Trainer: Aidan O’Brien Jockey: Ben Melham

2002

Media Puzzle

Damien Oliver

Dermot K. Weld

Dr M. W. Smurfit

3. MAX DYNAMITE Trainer: Willie Mullins Jockey: Zac Purton

1993

Vintage Crop

Michael Kinane

Dermot K. Weld

Dr M. W. Smurfit

to Joseph O’Brien and all involved in the Irish horses placed 1st, 2nd and 3rd in the Emirates Melbourne Cup 2017:

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Trainer Magazine: European Edition, issue 60 - January - March 2018  
Trainer Magazine: European Edition, issue 60 - January - March 2018