URGENT “TURFCALL ii ” RED ALERT
Save Our True Horsemen and Horsewomen Now
February 14th 2001
The first instalment of “Turfcall” dated June 23rd 2000 was posted to approx: 120 people. The mix of which were chosen from all areas that go to making up the complex world of the horseracing industry in England Scotland and Wales, and in particular to the proven horsemen and horsewomen at the top of this profession.
Turfcall’s aim and purpose is to bring “The Back Stage Performers” directly to centre stage here. To uphold all their rights and those of the beautiful creatures in their care.
TURFCALL points out the following serious problems in dire need of change:-
(a) Meagre levels of pay
TURFCALL’S highest priority to sort out the pay structures. See Appendix A Reform Brief Pay Suggestions.
Set-up Grades A and B as top professional recognised skill and experience levels to receive large increases in top up pay.
Grade A. Top professional recognition pay and reward for the skill and art of TOP horsemen and horsewomen.
Grade B. Top professional recognition pay and reward for the skill and art of ADVANCED horsemen and horsewomen.
Grade C. Those having completing the proposed 5 year University courses now working their way up. To earn a significant and good wage with further career opportunities of their choice, open to them.
Set out a separate level for Learners/students/apprentices. Set out a separate level for part timer’s, in two sections. ( i.) Thoroughbred handlers/riders as in Grades A.B.and C. ( ii.) Non thoroughbred handlers.
TURFCALL’S remuneration suggestion to establish the “Heart of
Horseracing Pool Licence”
At present these other sections of the industry are taking all the benefits and creaming off most of the profits which are not applicable to them alone in any way. Their attention is called to the plight that they are directly causing and placing these trainers teams of multi talented personnel in, where every player is urgently needed to play their part. The very heart of horseracing at this key grass roots level, they do not deserve to be neglected and forced into poverty this way.
To heighten awareness to understand fully an animal’s needs, care and welfare. Horseracing is the ideal medium to take the lead in this where horse and man compete as one at a high level on the racetrack through the competition in races. This is a highly skilled profession make no mistake about that. Not easy to learn at all, although when done well it looks so easy, this is deceptive. Joe Public appear to have great difficulty in understanding what this is all about, very difficult to get across to people … they do not understand. The vast majority of people out there do not grasp what this is all about at all in the main. This being part of the problem.
Total reform is needed to bring this neglected industry/sport to order. Its image on the racetracks may look all glamour / glitter, but behind the scenes far too many of its vital workforce necessities and needs are being overlooked and ignored causing hardship beyond all reason. The only people qualified to tackle this job and to set it to rights, are the proven professional top horsemen and horsewomen in it. NO ONE ELSE QUALIFIES AT THIS LEVEL TO “SET THIS ONE FAIR” FULL STOP.
To call together all Top Horsemen and Horsewomen proven at the top of this profession requesting their concentration thoughts and suggestions over the best way to tackle the present dire situation. That there be put in place at this top level a team of such personnel to uphold all rights at this key level. Due to the fact that this has not been the case and is not the case at present, it want’s to be made the case directly and pretty quick.
Here where Man and Beast compete as one. In all the preparation’s for the track, and in competition on the track. The wellbeing needs of both must be fairly upheld at all times. Monty Roberts, who was introduced to Britain by The Queen, has made fantastic strides world wide in addressing the true balance of understanding between horse and man to eradicate fear cruelty and ignorance. Providing a clear and wonderful insight through his books, his documentary films and his actual demonstrations. Showing how wonderful the true partnership between man and beast can and should always aim to be.
This unique partnership when equally shared is a fantastic work of art achievement at the highest level. Could this become the eighth wonder of the world during this new millennium ?. Many more documentary films of this sort are urgently needed in this country and throughout the world of horseracing to heighten awareness to others whose lives are touched by these beautiful creatures and indeed the rights of all living creatures.
Turfcall defines the two disciplines … Fettered and Unfettered.
If thoroughbred racehorses are to be able to reach their true potential they need to be nurtured and cared for by skilled personnel who know what they are doing as true horsemen or horsewomen then and only then are they spared from the abuse suffering and pain of ignorance that blight and waist their lives. Awareness at this level now needs to be structured to ensure that this is fully understood, realised and respected with incentive and recognition to uphold. A thorough 5 year training program from the outset, with further structured specialist tutorials/ courses thereafter.
TO GET PROFESSIONAL REMUNERATION MONEY … NOT PEANUTS … OPERATIONAL WITH PROPER SKILL GRADES SPECIFICALLY DEFINED AND UNDERSTOOD
To recruit all those possible that have had to leave their career in racing due to meagre pay and lack of recognition and give them a fair deal. Plus the chance to take specialist courses to better themselves in whatever areas that interest them most. To ensure that a clear objective of what is on offer can be realised, with pay structures to reflect and reward accordingly.
Professional status recognition and fair pay deal for Lads and Lasses
according to their status.
To put in place a sound structure to uphold all these rights at this key grass roots level, in respect of the trainers teams the professional multi talents envolved by all personnel that make up those teams, where every player is urgently needed to play their part. And to ensure for the future that throughout the many complexities in relation to the other parties involved in the world of horseracing that this balance be established and be kept to remain fair.
TO SET UP A NATIONWIDE WEB OF AREA UNIVERSITIES.
To tackle the suggested 5 year Learner/Student/Apprentice training program structure to follow on from where the two Racing Schools achievement’s have got to date, but to include full ongoing support and Weekly Area University Training Tutorials once placed with trainers. Full recognition as to their needs and guidance facility hot line. A fully structured learning program environment to provide the chance for these youngsters to grasp the skill and art that this profession so desperately calls out for. I have seen myself the radical difference between this on the one hand and the cruelty and ignorance which ruins and blights these beautiful creatures lives, as it does the kids.
To tackle and structure the suggested follow up further education specialist courses. Tutorials/demonstrations/ further training program/work experience abroad/ specialist courses/documentary film shows etc. Providing support and enabling environmental area learning facilities providing far larger opportunities for all those wishing to further their skills, or to learn new specialist skills.
To tackle and structure adult education courses for those who perhaps are members of syndicates and who would like to learn more.
Jockey’s to be charged a leg up fee to go directly to Lad or Lass who cares for runner to apply to all runners in all races. Not only for the direct purpose to establish and heighten awareness of the part played by same, but to recognise fully exactly what that vital part actually IS. To give them they’re fair share in decent professional recognition as their absolute right. There is no balance here in any way whatsoever is there, defies all belief. Note: Jump jockey’s fee = £93.15 plus vat if applicable per ride. Flat jockey’s fee = £68.15 plus vat if applicable per ride.
Racecourses: All races at all meetings to provide decent prizes to go to the Lad or Lass of both the winner and the placed horses, in each and every race.
Racecourses: Best turned out awards these further observations to be taken into account : Manners, personality, spirit, intelligence. Prizes First £500. Second £400. Third £300.00. Fourth £200.00. In proportion ratio to number of runners in each specific race that a prize of this sort is donated.
A points system in each stable yard to embrace riding ability on various specific counts.
To set up suitable condition races that are open for Lads and Lasses to ride in, to include a points system towards a full licence to ride. Ruling to be put in place that all owners and trainers be encouraged to comply to use this facility fully whenever possible.
On racehorse retirement rehabilitation. David Ashforth’s interview with Carrie Humble in Racing Post November 30th 2000. Plus to name just a few the work of Peter Humble Andrew Parker Bowles Julian Wilson Sir Peter O’Sullivan. John Purefoy from Winchester puts forward the suggestion to get funds in for this by charging a nominal levy to be imposed upon every horse declared at the 5 day stage of every race of perhaps 50p to £1. Plus a 5% of all racecourse daily takings in through the racegoer’s turnstiles. Plus a 5% from all bets placed. Plus a yearly sub from the government.
Monty Roberts books documentaries and exhibitions. Especially Monty’s Blushing E.T. documentary. We in England need to make more of these type of documentaries, especially to highlight and heighten awareness to the difference between Grade A personnel and Grade C personnel.
Recent Southampton University Southern Eye Documentary “The Flea.” Also Jenny Craddock’s B.B.C. program “Last Chance Saloon” Julian Wilson chairman of trustees of Moorcroft Racing Welfare Centre.
To show more documentary films to raise awareness to these matter’s on the daily televised programs, and sports programs. More feature films plus back up support in all relevant newspapers and magazines.
Sophie Mitchell, 28, daughter of trainer Richard Mitchell is one of only four professional female jump jockeys in this country, she has ridden 48 winners. Winning at Warwick on Balanak a horse who failed to run to win for R.Dunwoody … A.Maguire … or Mark Dwyer. Sophie says that yearly she earns around a tenth of what the top male riders achieve. Mainly because she gets far fewer opportunities perhaps 20% to the male dominance preferences 80%. The racing industry still treat a woman jockey as an oddity. Racecourses, Sophie says “They just don’t think women are as important” meagre facilities for their needs, in comparison to the male riders. Sophie says “ your performance as a jockey, not your gender is what matters, some of the girls find these attitudes intimidating.” Grossly unfair.
Sunday Racing through time thought and effort may well prove a resounding
What the Sunday Racing experiment … venture into the unknown … has turned up and exposed is something that has been let to fester and rot over decades, whilst a blind eye is turned and the ensuing neglect is now in a very real low and dangerous state. Talented personnel vital to this industry have been forced through circumstances beyond their control to move on, unable to live on a meagre wage without recognition for their talents . The “ pat on the back” and “dedication label” syndrome, have snuffed out far too many key grass root’s personnel. No money now can ever replace them. The gold has been chucked in the gutter unrecognised by the powers that be and the other parties that make their living through this complex industry for far to long. The B.H.B. Stable Staff Resources Group have a situation on their hands that cannot be addressed overnight.
Charlie Brooks book “Crossing the Line” in particular Chapter 11 pages 229 to 236 quote “ With people of that quality seeping out of the industry, who is going to look after the thoroughbred population in years to come ?” Charlie puts the whole ghastly scenario in a nutshell his quote “The B.H.B should be all powerful” Absolutely, so why is it that they are not ?
The issues at stake here are a contamination of rust and decay. Gross misunderstanding of the issues at stake which are putting the whole sport in danger of collapse and under a dreadful strain these people do not deserve to be treated any longer like this. This has got to stop and be sorted out and put to rights.
The cracks have been around for a very long time, so why is it that nothing has ever been done about them ? Why have the powers that be not seen the danger signals ? Or if they have, acted to get this matter sorted ? Why is it thought that a pat on the back be good enough ? Or a label of dedication given, in place of a sound wage for the professional and skilled work done. Why should the expertise of professional horsemen and horsewomen be overlooked as of small account ? Why are they being denied a good wage and a decent quality of life ? They certainly earn it so why is it for so long now they have not been getting it ? They do not deserve to be placed under the whitewash of a charity for their life contribution so generously given during their lifetimes to supply others with the many luxuries in life, for which they themselves are not allowed any at all !
“SUNDAY RACING IS IT WORKING ?”
Tuesday Aug: 8th 2000 Part 1 “We are running on empty” Insiders damning verdict on Sunday racing:
Wednesday Aug: 9th 2000 Part 2 “Something has just got to give” There has to come a time when you have to say ‘enough is enough’
Thursday Aug: 10th 2000. Part 3 “Jockeys are turning into zombies” Punch-drunk in a blur of action.
Friday August 11th 2000. Part 4 “A bad day at the office for layers.” We ask punters for their views.
Saturday August 12th 2000. Part 5 “ No knee-jerk reaction-BHB.” Problems so many problems.
Sunday August 13th 2000. Part 6 “They like it – but they don’t want to bet on it.” Punters views.
Saturday August 12th 2000 Channel 4 The Morning Line John Francome interviews Louise Stradling a Lass working with the team of trainer Roger Charlton at Beckhampton near Marlborough Wiltshire. Louise respectfully points out that part time workers with no understanding or skill of riding, handling and caring for thoroughbreds through no fault of their own, may well manage part time work of other sorts as perhaps for hotel’s etc with ease. But for part time with trainers teams this is a different ball game altogether ”.
Lord Oaksey who helped establish the Stable Lads Association quote “This is a very serious situation. I freely admit that not nearly enough has been done. Anyone that wants racing to flourish ought to see that this is a problem that needs to be resolved”.
Sir John Kemball chief executive of Racing Welfare quote “ fraught with inadequacies, leaving the government and charities to pick up the pieces of racing’s neglect”.
Maria McCabe Lass working with David Elsworth’s Team quote “The catastrophic burden placed on the minions upon whom the rusty old wheels of the racing industry turn. Who even pauses for the briefest of moments to consider just how stable staff, horse box drivers and yes, even jockeys are able to cope physically with the rigours of this phenomenal workload”.
Britain’s trainers cite deep- rooted financial problems facing the entire racing industry as the explanation behind the present dire situation. William Haggas Mark Johnston Sir Michael Stoute Mark Pitman Mick Channon Lester Piggott Richard Hannon have all spoken out recently upholding the rights of all personnel who make up their racing teams … the vital ingredient to their success. Ben Hanbury quote “We all rely on stable staff a huge amount.”
Luca Cumani quote “We are running Formula 1 teams but paying the wages of a local mechanic, trainers are caught in the middle.”
Richard Fahey quote “Lads work hard and need looking after. There has got to be every available incentive to keep them in the game”.
Warwick Smith head lad to Richard Fahey quote “Articles are written every few years about the poor down-trodden stable lads, and people think some good will come out of it. But nothing does”.
Thomas Arnold that famous headmaster of Rugby School in the earlier part of the 19th century, quote “There is nothing so unnatural and convulsive to society as the strain to keep things fixed when all the world is in eternal progress; and the cause of all the evils of the world may be traced to that most natural but most deadly error of human indolence and corruption that our business is to preserve and not improve”.
Sir Ian MacGregor quote “ANY management that stands still is destined to fail”.
Jean Cadman quote “The understanding and nurturing of thoroughbred’s is a professional job - that of the stable staff who live and care for their horses daily. The false assumption that the mucker out’s of stables is all that is required of them seen as unskilled casual labour / Butlers and chambermaid’s as servant’s slaves more like in racing should be recognised as professionals of job. As who else knows thy horse better than stable staff.” Jean says “ I did it 50 years ago and the status symbol still stinks to-day just the same as mucker out of horses with no professional recognition of job beyond menial tasks with few perks of job behind scenes. I just hope before I pop my clog’s stable staff will be recognised as professionals with full remuneration recognition . Excuses of their dedication to horses- as not recognised professionally is no longer acceptable. Servants to racing must be professionals.”
The Burnham report factors, as with The Media Rights seem out of focus unbalanced and way off the mark as to addressing fairly and reasonably the actual vital issues at stake here.
In the context of all parties that make up this industry. That golden goose sure needs reviving and given life saving treatment and convalescence care if it is ever going to lay any more eggs. AND pretty quick. And only by the people qualified to “Set it fair.”
The Aga Khan’s Call made at the Moyglare Dinner in Ireland on 8.12.2000
quote “Needed a fairer distribution of prize-money to help owners
participating in smaller races”.
Michael Jarvis quote “I wish we could come up with a brainwave but it’s a question of money. Most of us are finding things very tough at the moment”.
Andy Fox Henrietta Knights head lad quote “Some lads leave their career in racing with a lump sum of £2.000 this is a disgrace”.
Andy Cook head lad for Micky Hammond quote “When lads come into the sport there is no one really to advise them”.
Andy Shaw travelling head lad to Sean Woods quote “I think it would be a good idea if someone from the pensions industry went round the training centres to put lads in the picture”.
Steve Collier, travelling head lad for John Dunlop quote “I’ve been in the game for 29 years, and my pension slip shows a minus. According to them I owe them £21. Even if the figures are right and we come out with £2.000, that’s a derisory amount”.
Michael Harris, chief executive of the Racehorse Owners Association, said “I have every sympathy with stable staff and there is no question something better has to be worked out. It is an endemic problem in racing that can only be solved by curing the underfunding in the industry. Until there is more money, racing will continue to operate on a shoestring”.
Tristram Ricketts the B.H.B’s executive quote “It’s vital that racing has adequate numbers of well trained properly remunerated staff with the skills to do an essential job”.
Raye Wilkinson northern representative of the Stable Lads’ Welfare Trust has devised a “Lifetime In Racing” series. Race recognition for the true long-serving unsung heroes. Now to get some deserved recognition thanks to this novel idea and the whole hearted response from Yorkshire racecourses. Raye’s first race to be named after Donald “Ticker” Hoy to be at Pontefract on May 2nd. One at Thirsk for Charlie Greatorex and the other at Doncaster for Ernie Paterson. These three men have given a lifetime to the game. Please phone your nominations through to Raye on 01969 624123.
The Marchioness of Tavistock Owner and Breeder Quote “Without doubt the most urgent requirement is for better basic care of the horse, and to have that we need to have more attention paid to the welfare of stable staff, this whole issue must be tackled”.
Maria McCabe Lass working with David Elsworth’s Team Quote “So a message to the almighty BHB, Just who were you elected to represent ?”
John Gosden quote “As long as racing is divided by factions, the future is bleak for improving its financial state”.
Mark Johnston Trainer Quote “Must we resort to confrontation ?”
Mark Johnston Trainer “ Quote “ Why, oh why, are potential bidders having discussions with the RCA and excluding the BHB and all other interested parties ? It seems they have decided among themselves to take sole ownership of racing’s product and carve it up for their own gain”.
Mark Johnston Trainer Quote “ We have played the game for long enough. We democratically elected the BHB as the sole representative for the industry with regard to funding and the replacement of the levy. Yet, the RCA having stated that it was also backing the BHB, is still sailing under an independent flag”.
Mark Johnston Trainer Quote “Over the last few years, those opposed to the racing industries case for better funding have used political arguments against us. They have accused us of being a divided industry, unable to put our own house in order , and they have used this argument to excuse the daylight robbery by the Government and the big bookmakers, which has gone on for years and continues today.”
Mark Johnston Trainer Quote “It is time for us to present some ultimatums, gentle at first but forceful if necessary. Firstly, the RCA must be told, once and for all, that it does not have sole rights to, or control of, racing’s product, and that it must involve the BHB in all negotiations. The BHB must then complete its proposal for the future funding of racing, have it approved by Government and put it into practice. At the first sign of either of these approaches failing, we should simply calculate the minimum cost to owners of funding a full field in a race and we should refuse to turn up for any contest that offers less”.
Bill Adams Secretary General of the Stable Lads Association Quote “ We are the only ones left in the dark, now our voice is just beginning to be heard.”
Maria McCabe Lass working with David Elsworth’s Team Quote “We have been in the throws of an acute staffing crisis for many years now”.
The Marchioness of Tavistock Owner and Breeder quote “In my opinion, this whole issue is driven by greed-the greed of bookmakers and the government for revenue from racing. What has to happen is that we have to put much more into racing before we can take more out.”
Eddie Hide Retired Flat Jockey Quote “If I had to name one secret of whatever success I achieved
It would perhaps be that, because of my family and my upbringing, I was always a horseman first and a jockey second. In other words, my commitment was to all aspects of the job of getting horses to win races rather than to being spectacularly brilliant in the saddle. I never thought I was marvellous – I just marvelled at the opportunities that came my way !”.
The BHB through Peter Savill’s copyright action against William Hill started in March 1999 over its database rights. Now in the wake of its landmark High Court Victory The Times on Saturday February 10th 2001 report from Alan Lee Racing Correspondent “Racing has struck a significant early blow in what is destined to be a prolonged scrap with the bookmakers over the future funding of the sport. This is a result of incalculable importance to racing’s finances. I understand that all the leading bookmakers, not just the company defeated in court, may be found to owe the BHB almost two years in back payments for use of such information.” Peter Savill said “ It will also assist us in negotiating licences and payment from the many bookmakers who have so far refused to enter into licenses with BHB.”
A long look … into copyright factors on various other level’s not least of these being Stable Staff … the personnel who nurture and care for each horse daily the ones who do actually take all the risks, the very ones that can either make or break these beautiful young creatures lives.
The various other front’s within this sport to enable it to be recognised and properly appreciated with remuneration to match expertise.
We read of US Triple Crown winner Affirmed’s death in the Racing Post on Monday January 15th 2001 Dan Farley’s tribute with not a single word about or from the Lad who nurtured and cared for Affirmed daily, no photograph nothing only just a glimpse of a grey shirt.
Steve Cauthen mournes the death of quote “ the loss of a great friend, of somebody who made a big impact on my life and career something I respected every time I was around him. He was probably the most intelligent horse I was ever around. He had a lot of common sense, he loved to run and battle, and he was an easy horse to ride. I just appreciated his company-and I think everyone else around him did. The horse had such class and presence. I could always trust him to give me his best. I always knew he would run a big race. He was very, very special and everybody he touched was awed by him. He humbled a lot of people. He was such a gentleman, a strong horse-just very dignified. He knew he was the real deal.” No word about or from the Lad who’s daily work had nurtured and developed Affirmed’s life …
In the late 1960’s a Lass working with the Auriol Sinclair’s Team at Lewes was asked to take on a two year old colt by Sir Winston Churchill’s High Hat, bought as a yearling for £17,000.00. Sold as a two year old for £250.00 with the reputation of being savage in the box and unrideable. This colt incidentally had killed the Lad that “did him” and was quickly sold for a give away price. This Lass took over a copyright that was desperate … and exceedingly dangerous. The Lass cared for all that young animal’s needs daily she always rode him out, and in all his work. He was the only horse to win on the flat in the yard that year. Going on to win many good hurdles races and chases in the years that followed. Auriol Sinclair’s understanding of animals ensured that through that Lass that young animal’s broken life was renewed and pieced back to-gether gradually daily.
The twist in the tale comes in this true story due to the fact that before joining Auriol Sinclair’s team, this Lass had written to Fred Winter asking for a job with him. This letter received a prompt reply to say that … “ he did not employ girls”. Strangely as things turned out he was the very man who later purchased this animal so benefiting directly from all that this Lass had achieved with this horse through her patient renewal and character confidence rebuilding techniques which enabled this horse to re-find his feet and to get his life back. Copyright indeed, but only a girl’s …. a girl who had had the chance to benefit from a fantastic tutor over 7 years. Without that start she would never have been able to tackle such an undertaking. That Horses name was Cardinal’s Error.
The copyright of each animal placed in training under the supervision of the team captain “The Trainer” depends to the greater extent on the person who’s job it is to nurture and care for it’s daily needs this includes riding it out at exercise and in all it’s work and preparation for the track. >From a yearling onward the skill and art of that person is paramount to the youngsters future success, to its happiness and wellbeing. This job can never be done by a Learner a Student or an Apprentice. The skill and art required to carry out this highly skilled tutorial can only be achieved over a period of time by a top horseman or horsewoman and in company of same, as in Grade A and Grade B as specified in the Reform Brief Suggestions of Turfcall.
Where in the wide world can man find …
Nobility without pride,
Published by Alan Tabar Ltd by permission of David Higham Associates
This blueprint is the copyright of Margaret Clarke. Margaret and her late husband Eugene “Nobby” Clarke served the sport of horseracing between them for over 100 years from Zarathustra to Persian Bold.
Web: www.turfcall.co.uk E Mail: firstname.lastname@example.org