Judging panel announced for Lycetts Team Champion Award

November 13th 2017

The National Trainers Federation (NTF) is delighted to announce the judges for the inaugural Lycetts Team Champion Award.

Lycetts Team Champion Award celebrates the racehorse training yards that have a strong team ethos and showcases the positive results of developing a team that works well together using the highest standard of staff management practices.

The judging panel comprises people with outstanding experience of the working environment in a racehorse trainer’s yard and first class expertise in human resources and team management.

The judges are:

Yogi Breisner, former World Class Performance Manager and Chef d’Equipe for the British Three-Day Event Team.

Dana Mellor, a key figure in establishing the Jockeys Employment Training Scheme.

Kevin Parsons, a highly experienced member of stable staff in some of the most successful yards in British racing.

Olly Stevens, former Group 1 winning international trainer.

Laura Whyte, former head of Human Resources for John Lewis .

Fuller biographies appear below.

The NTF would like to thank the judges for their support of the Lycetts Team Champion Award and their time and effort in assessing the nominations.

Lycetts Team Champion Award has two categories according to the number of horses in training in the nominated yard (40+ and fewer than 40.) Each category winner will receive £4000 to be used in a way that benefits and supports the team. The closing date for nominations is Friday 1st December and the winners will be presented with their awards at the NTF Annual General Meeting on Thursday 22nd February 2018 at the Institute of Directors in London.

Yogi Breisner, “I think this is a great initiative. There are common ingredients to successful teams and I look forward to playing a part in an award that promotes the team ethos.”

Expressing his enthusiasm for Lycetts Team Champion Award, Olly Stevens said “I am really excited to be involved. When I was training, we aimed to develop staff members to be part of a team and it was great to see how they blossomed as a result.”

Laura Whyte commented, “In my experience, teamwork is the foundation for a successful organisation and I am delighted to be involved in an industry award which rewards the businesses that manage their people to the highest standards.”

The Racing Foundation has contributed to the funding of the Lycetts Team Champion Award, the development of The Winning Approach and management training modules to support trainers to implement the standard.

 Judge profiles

 Yogi Breisner

Yogi Breisner has had an outstanding career in the world of Three-Day Eventing both as a rider and a coach. He was a member of the Swedish International Three-Day Event Team at European Championship and Olympic level. From 1994 to 2000 Yogi was a member of British Horse Society’s Training and Education Committee and until 2016 was World Class Performance Manager and Chef d’Equipe for the British Three-Day Event Team.  Other roles include leading British Eventing’s Elite Coach Programme.

Yogi Breisner is also well known in horseracing for his advisory roles at the British Racing School; development of UKCC for jockey coaches; and advising trainers on schooling jump horses and coaching of work riders.

Dana Mellor 

As a trainer’s daughter in Berkshire and an apprentice to trainer Jack Berry, Dana gained valuable insight into the teamwork required to run a successful racing yard.

With a law degree to back her up, Dana became a key player in establishing the Jockeys Employment Training Scheme (JETS). More recently, Dana has worked with parents returning to the workplace. She has also restructured a local retail business where high quality staff recruitment and retention policies have been a major factor in success and the whole team has been rewarded by the sense of achievement which follows good management.

Kevin Parsons

Kevin Parsons has been in racing for 17 years full time as an Apprentice, Conditional jockey, Work Rider, Head Lad, Assistant Trainer and Travelling Head Lad. He has worked for some excellent trainers including Chris Wall, David Loder, Roger Varian and Roger Charlton. In November 2012 he took on the role of Sports Coordinator and Union Learn Project Manager for the National Association of Stable Staff and thoroughly enjoys providing staff with education courses to help improve their qualifications and transferable skills.

Olly Stevens

Olly Stevens worked with trainers in Britain and the USA before taking out a trainer’s licence in Britain.  His Robins Farm team not only enjoyed victories at tracks as diverse as Royal Ascot, Keeneland and St Moritz but also saw key staff win the coveted Alex Scott Assistant Trainers Travel Scholarship and Godolphin Stud and Stable Staff Awards. Having worked in most core roles in a yard Olly’s insight and first-hand experience at all levels will prove invaluable to the judging team.

Now more involved in supplying trainers through his work at Equine Health Centre, Olly is also a Non-Executive Director of Kempton Park and regular contributor to European Trainer magazine.

Laura Whyte

Laura Whyte was Human Resources Director for John Lewis where she oversaw major change programmes. Laura is now a Non-Executive Director on the British Horseracing Authority Board and is on the Defence People and Training Board for the Ministry of Defence.


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