The Annual General Meeting of the National Trainers Federation, held at London’s Institute of Directors yesterday couldn’t have been on a worse day. As storm "Doris" battered Britain trainers from all over the country travelled to the capital but several failed to make it home on the same day. I was fortunate, the 7.15am train to London made several announcements about impending delays and bad weather conditions but it still managed to reach Kings Cross in time, while trainers from other parts of the country were hours late. The journey home was not so easy. I had managed to jump on the 3.30 despite the train being so full there was almost no standing room to be seen. Luckily for me a nicely carpeted floor area in first class became my home for much of the next five hours. The atmosphere in the carriage was jovial and a couple of ladies were great, letting me charge my phone and ipad and swapping around so we eventually shared seats.
My train out of London was the last one allowed to leave so the capital was rammed with thousands of commuters with nowhere to go. Jimmy Moffatt was one trainer forced to find a bed at a premium, he reckoned he “doesn’t mind getting his dose of bad luck now, as long as he gets some good luck when his horse runs in the Grand National”. Typical trainer answer and oh so full of optimism, I will be shouting for him when the time comes.
The NTF are the unsung heroes, the team led by Rupert Arnold work incredibly hard on our behalf, in fact it is only by understanding the work they undertake for us, that it becomes clear just how many challenges and difficulties trainers face running a business like ours. The training of the horses, is by far the easy bit.
In the NTF’s rules it states their objectives are …………………
“To represent and protect trainers’ interests and to be a reliable and respected source of information, advice and support.” In 2016 we identified the Federations six key strategic objectives: 1. Assisting racehorse trainers to run a long-term, sustainable business 2. Enabling trainers to employ a sufficient number of skilled stable staff 3. Ensuring the right balance of racing opportunities for the horse population 4. Protecting the welfare of all thoroughbreds in training 5. Ensuring racehorse trainers are regulated fairly 6. Communicating timely and accurate information and advice to support racehorse trainers
It might interest some of you to know a bit more so I asked if I could divulge some information, Rupert kindly greed to let me share the Annual report, please follow the link here.