As everyone knows staffing levels have been drastically low in horse racing for a long time as trainers, studs, pre training and breaking yards all suffer from a lack of experienced, reliable staff. For long enough we seemed to skirt around the issue with long serving, experienced and utterly reliable staff, then came a bit of a crunch, in more ways than one.
We had an expanding yard with the staff to go with it until one owner danced off into the night owing us rather a lot of money. Of course this kind of behaviour isn’t new in racing but it is more common than it used to be and it is now more widely acknowledged by the BHA as the major problem it is.
One of several developments following this little shenanigans was that I had to make some lovely staff redundant and, as we rebuild the yard with a slightly different emphasis and a new ‘Modus Operandi’, we have had the same struggle as many other trainers have in trying to find good staff.
Luckily we are getting back on track and I even hope to find the time to devote to writing the blog again on a regular, if not daily basis. It is a big commitment and previously for many years I sat up most nights in the kitchen after evening stables, race planning, office work and cooking George’s tea composing something late into the night.
After the owner danced off into the night it took every ounce of energy to keep the show on the road and Hayley stepped in to help keep Duffield’s diaries freely flowing. Hayley of course is no longer with us although I gather she is doing really well. But, as things settle down and go in the direction we want them to go in, writing a blog is something I need, and want to do. The owners love it, I enjoy it (mostly) and besides, they keep dropping hints.