Berkshire trainers race ahead of the competition to win prestigious Lycetts Team Champion award
15 June 2020 – A Berkshire racing yard has been crowned the Lycetts Team Champion 2020 winner, a prestigious industry award which celebrates the most exemplary racehorse training yards in Britain.
Upper Lambourn-based Kübler Racing, run by Daniel and Claire Kübler, beat off competition from racing yards across the nation to be named winner of the fewer than 40 horses category on Thursday June 11.
Due to the coronavirus restrictions, award organisers had to forgo the lavish ceremony in the Institute of Directors this year, and Daniel, Claire and their Sarsen Farm team were informed of their win and congratulated by the judges via Zoom.
After being shortlisted for the award in 2019, Kübler Racing pipped the other entries to the post to clinch the 2020 Lycetts trophy and the £4,000 cash prize, which will go towards benefitting and supporting the team.
Speaking after the win, Daniel lauded the efforts and dedication of his employees.
“We have been on a journey together to improve our systems so we could keep progressing in the award,” he said. “This success is down to their hard work – they are fully on board with what we are trying to achieve.”
The National Trainers Federation (NTF) and Lycetts Insurance Brokers created the Lycetts Team Champion Award to deliver praise and a sense of achievement for the racehorse training yards with the highest standards of employee management, and to recognise and reward race horse training yards with strong team ethos.
There are two main categories – those with fewer than 40 horses in training and those trainers with more than 40 horses in training, with the judging criteria based on the bespoke industry standard The Winning Approach.
Alongside Daniel and Claire’s award win, Jonjo O’Neill Racing, in Cheltenham, was named winner of the 40 or more horses in training category.
Piers Plunket, divisional director at Lycetts, said: “I would like to offer my sincere congratulations to Daniel, Claire and their team on their Lycetts Team Champion win. When we launched the Lycetts Team Champion award, our aim was to give much-deserved recognition to the training yards that strive every day to achieve the highest of industry standards. We know that these teams form the backbone of every yard and we wanted to shine a light on their dedication and continued commitment to helping the business – and the industry – thrive. In addition, we see the award as the perfect way of raising awareness of safe working practices to help reduce the risk of workplace injuries. The quality of entries continues to surpass our expectations, and we are delighted to see the progress made with each passing year.”
Yogi Breisner, a world-class equine performance coach and industry stalwart, headed up the 2020 judging panel. He said: “The winning yards demonstrated an excellent balance of a strong management structure and the ethos of a solid team spirit where the strength of the team came to the fore whilst at the same time there was a genuine consideration for each individual. This year’s nominations have been outstanding. Trainers are clearly sharing best practice and taking the industry forward.”
To reflect the outstanding quality of the 2020 nominations, special awards for excellence were introduced this year, recognising achievements in areas such as recruitment, diversity, leadership, training and development, and pastoral care.
As well as the top prize, Daniel, Claire and the team also received an award for Training and Development.
This year also saw the launch of the Farm and Stable Innovation and Wellbeing award, with inaugural prize going to Yorkshire trainer Jo Foster.
Rupert Arnold, Chief Executive of the NTF, said: “Nominating yards have set a hugely impressive standard in 2020. It’s clear trainers are working harder than ever to develop and nurture high performing teams – the average score went up by over 13%. This is especially remarkable given the difficult circumstances under which the teams were finalising their nominations.”
All the shortlisted yards were awarded Gold accreditation, as were two out of three 2020 nominations overall.
For a full list of accredited yards visit https://racehorsetrainers.org/industry/teamchampion.asp.
Caption: L-R Shaun Johnson, Billie Portwin, Lauren Webb, Ilse Belien, Alice Roberts, James Pulley, Claire Kübler and Daniel Kübler.