The winners of the Lycetts Leadership and Team Champions Awards 2021 which celebrate the most exemplary racehorse training yards in Britain, have been announced.
And Gloucestershire’s Richard Phillips Racing and Warwickshire’s Dan Skelton Racing beat off competition from trainers and racing yards across the nation to be named winners of the top prizes at the Lycetts Leadership and Team Champions Awards.
Richard Phillips Racing, based in Moreton-in-Marsh, was awarded the Lycetts Team Champions Award, an employee-led award that praises the best teams behind the UK’s racehorse training yards, whilst Dan Skelton, based in Alcester, was awarded the inaugural Lycetts Leadership Award, which showcases trainers with the most exceptional leadership qualities.
The trainers and their teams were presented with their trophies, alongside a £4,000 cash prize for each yard, at a special presentation ceremony that took place during Breeders Day at Sandown Park Racecourse.
Richard said: “We are all delighted that Team Adlestrop are this year’s winners of the Lycetts Team Champions Award.
“I am so pleased that all their hard work, dedication, professionalism and ambition have been recognised with this wonderful accolade. Our thanks go to all those involved in this coveted award.”
Dan Skelton, who also took home a Lycetts Excellence Award for Ensuring a Safe Working Environment, said he and his team were extremely proud.
“Receiving this award recognises the whole team at Lodge Hill and the leadership style and positive working environment throughout,” he said. “Inclusivity and development of staff is of the utmost importance to us and we always try to promote from within, where possible.
“We pride ourselves on providing a safe working environment for the staff, so it is great to be recognised in this area in particular.”
Oxfordshire’s Eve Johnson Houghton clinched the Farm & Stable Award for Innovation and Wellbeing, which celebrates the best trainers and their teams who demonstrate how innovative approaches to management and wellbeing benefits business.
She was presented with a trophy and £2,000 worth of products from the range at Farm & Stable.
Eve, who is based at Woodway stables, Blewbury, Didcot, said: “I am delighted to be winning this award and very proud of the team that work so hard throughout the year with me to make it all happen.”
The National Trainers Federation (NTF) and Lycetts Insurance Brokers created the Lycetts Leadership and Team Champions Awards to celebrate the British racehorse training yards with the highest standards of employee management, who demonstrate outstanding leadership qualities and implement innovative working practices.
Piers Plunket, divisional director at Lycetts, said: “Lycetts is delighted to be supporting these awards once again and we offer our sincere congratulations to all of the winners.
“Given the challenging and eventful year for the industry, it is greatly encouraging to see yards not only upholding but exceeding high industry standards. A yard is only as good as its people and we wanted to shine a light on the dedication and continued commitment of these teams in helping the business – and the industry – thrive.”
Alongside the main prizes, several trainers and yards were recognised for their performance in specific management areas with the Excellence Awards.
Whilst Dan Skelton clinched the Ensuring a Safe Working Environment Award, Berkshire’s Andrew Balding topped the Inclusive Recruitment & Effective Induction Systems category, Berkshire’s Dan and Claire Kubler were named winners of the Development and Training award.
Rupert Arnold, Chief Executive of the National Trainers Federation, said: “It is clear from this year’s entries how staff are nurtured and developed, how diverse skill sets are encouraged, and how yards are managed with the safety of staff and horses at the forefront. The Lycetts Awards accredited and winning yards are inspiring and progressive businesses that our industry can be proud of.”