Middleham racehorse trainer wins national award for yard

Team O'Keeffe with Yogi Breisner.

Racehorse trainer Jedd O’Keeffe’s Middleham yard has been crowned the Lycetts Team Champion 2019 winner, a prestigious industry award which celebrates Britain’s best managed racehorse training yards.

Jedd O’Keeffe Racing, was named winner of the fewer than 40 horses category at the awards ceremony at the Institute of Directors, Pall Mall, London on Thursday February 28.

ITV Racing presenter Sally Ann Grassick hosted the ceremony.

Jedd, who has two decades worth of racehorse training experience, beat off competition from training yards across the nation to clinch the £4,000 cash prize, which will go towards benefiting and supporting the team.

Speaking after the award-win, Jedd said: “We are absolutely thrilled to see our hard-working team recognised with the Lycetts Team Champion award.

“It was a tough category, as we were up against some fantastic teams, who are doing an excellent job around the country.

“It was a brilliant experience taking part and we are truly honoured that our team has been recognised in this way.”

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.

For the 2019 award, there were two categories – those with fewer than forty horses in training and those trainers with more than forty horses in training, with the judging criteria based on the bespoke industry standard The Winning Approach.

A judging panel, headed by world-class equine performance coach and industry stalwart Yogi Breisner, whittled the nominations down to a shortlist of eight yards and visited the remaining yards in January to make their final decision.

Alongside Jedd’s award win, Tom Dascombe’s Manor House Stables yard in Cheshire was named winner of the more than forty horses in training category.

Piers Plunket, divisional director at Lycetts, said: “I would like to offer my sincere congratulations to Jedd on his Lycetts Team Champion win.

“Racehorse trainers and their staff make a great contribution to the world of British horseracing and this award shines a spotlight on all the hard work that is carried out on these yards.

“Our mission is to instil a sense of achievement in the best managed yards and demonstrate the merits of teamwork.  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.”

Rupert Arnold, Chief Executive of the NTF, said: “Jedd is very worthy winner and we congratulate the winners, as well as all of the other applicants who achieved a star-rating from the judges, in recognition of the high standard of their employment practices.”