Media coverage and quotes over the exploitation of 'The Providors' all those who work at the sharp end to include the horses the key ingredient of the multi-billion pound British horseracing industry.
Steve Cauthen mourns the death of Affirmed as “ 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.”
Thomas Arnold that famous headmaster of Rugby School in the earlier part of the 19th century said “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 "ANY management that stands still is destined to fail”.
Lord Oaksey who helped establish the Stable Lads Association “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 “ 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 “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”.
Andy Cook head lad for Micky Hammond “When lads come into the sport there is no one really to advise them”.
The BHB 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.
The Marchioness of Tavistock Owner and Breeder “Staffing levels will need to increase substantially for there to be the proper infrastructure in the yards to ensure the standard of care that should exist, and also for the lads themselves to have a proper life”.
Channel 4 The Morning Line Saturday August 12th 2000
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 ”.
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 “We are running Formula 1 teams but paying the wages of a local mechanic, trainers are caught in the middle.”
Richard Fahey “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 “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”.
Jean Cadman “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 Aga Khan’s Call made at the Moyglare Dinner in Ireland on 8.12.2000 “Needed a fairer distribution of prize-money to help owners participating in smaller races”.
Owen Brennan Trainer “It’s daft how low prize-money is in Britain. It’s desperate compared to even some of the smaller courses in Ireland. Racecourses in my opinion, spend too much on the wrong improvements. They spend millions on new stands and hospitality suites without looking after their first priority, the owner, without whom there would be no racing”.
Pat Brennan Owner quote “It’s a joke for leading tracks to be rewarding owners with such abysmal amounts. Racecourse have improved facilities for racegoers, but are they doing it at the expense of owners ? Do they really need all those fancy bars ? ”. The trickle down effect that eventually should reach the heart of the racing teams is ZERO by that time. The whole system right across the board is defunct out of order and totally unbalanced.
Michael Jarvis “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 “Some lads leave their career in racing with a lump sum of £2.000 this is a disgrace”.
Andy Shaw travelling head lad to Sean Woods “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 “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 under funding in the industry. Until there is more money, racing will continue to operate on a shoestring”.
Tristram Ricketts the B.H.B’s executive “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 “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 “So a message to the almighty BHB, Just who were you elected to represent ?”
John Gosden “As long as racing is divided by factions, the future is bleak for improving its financial state”.
Mark Johnston Trainer “Must we resort to confrontation ?”
Mark Johnston Trainer “ 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 “ 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 “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 “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 “ 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 “We have been in the throws of an acute staffing crisis for many years now”.
The Marchioness of Tavistock Owner and Breeder “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 “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 !”.
(Neil this will also be current news, with a further update ‘TO FOLLOW’, but can also remain in quotes)
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.”