Our latest Racing Home podcast episode, featuring our first guest for Season Two Amy Bannister-Bell – a breeder, backer, producer of horses, instructor, coach and mother to a sibling group of three adopted children with her partner Alice. Thank you Amy and to our host Naomi Mellor for kicking off this series.
Find the episode wherever you get your podcasts or listen here
Women in Racing, with support from the Racing Foundation and Kindred Group (Unibet), is delighted to announce the receipt of further grants to continue the important work of Racing Home, a project whose chief aim is to improve the working lives of parents and carers in the horseracing industry.
The Racing Foundation has generously awarded an additional £64,240 for Phase Two of the Racing Home project, while Kindred Group has generously contributed an extra £20,000, extending their funding commitment until Spring 2024. These funds will be put to good use in bolstering support, education, and empowerment initiatives for all employers, employees, and self-employed workers within the racing industry.
The first phase of Racing Home facilitated, amongst other project streams, the development of the Racing Home Portal. The portal provides a clear, easy-to-navigate central online platform offering the horseracing community information, advice and support about rights and entitlements regarding pregnancy, maternity, paternity, adoption, shared parental leave, flexible working, self-employment and statutory pay. There has previously been no obvious signposting for working parents in the racing and breeding industries and Racing Home aims to provide as much information as possible in a digestible fashion. All resources currently available can be found at www.racinghome.org.uk.
Priorities for Phase Two of the Racing Home project include:
Further development of the online portal, with expansion and enhancement of the information available to users with more best practice footage and advice. Once again, input will be sought from stud and stable staff, the training community and the corporate side of the industry to ensure the information is relevant in order to enhance the user experience.
A further data study, using information from the work completed in Phase One will be undertaken by Dr Kate Clayton-Hathway of Oxford Brookes University. This will enrich our understanding of how existing structures are supporting women and families and will feed into the newly formed Industry People Board.
Education modules, developed in Phase One will soon be available to the entire Thoroughbred racing and breeding community to inform a younger generation. The modules will encourage open and informed communication on a range of women and family related topics.
The Post-Pregnancy Rehabilitation and Support Programme, in collaboration with Racing Welfare and the Injured Jockeys Fund, is a unique and innovative pilot programme of physiotherapy and rehabilitation. The Programme is aimed at returning mothers to riding and other physical work in racing post-pregnancy. This programme has been a strong success so far, offering mothers six sessions of physiotherapy, a tailored fitness plan, strength and conditioning support and gym work funded by Racing Welfare’s Workforce Wellbeing Programme. Phase Two of the project will broaden the programme enabling mothers from outside the racing hubs of Newmarket, Malton and Lambourn to now be included. Learn more.
Promotion of good practices will feature videos and further episodes of the Racing Home podcast series hosted by Naomi Mellor, which discusses pertinent issues around family and parenthood with trainers, jockeys, researchers, experts, and a host of the sport’s decision-makers. The latest episode released today is with Amy Bannister-Bell discussing breeding horses whilst raising three adopted children. Other guests so far, include Alice Plunkett of ITV and Leo Powell of the Irish Field, each candid about their experiences, helping to elucidate how a positive future for all families in horseracing can be shaped. All previous episodes can be found on Spotify or Apple Podcasts.
Lucy Gurney, Women in Racing Chair said:
“We are so proud to continue developing the Racing Home programme, it is unique in racing but also more widely in sport to have tailored support and guidance available for working parents and we feel it is leading a cultural change that will benefit both racing’s people and the sport long-term. We are grateful to the Racing Foundation, Kindred and the Unibet brand, the Women in Racing committee and of course the Simply Racing team who deliver the programme in partnership with WiR. We know from the feedback we receive how important this work is, and how much more potential it has to support people throughout parenthood.”
Tansy Challis, Chief Executive of the Racing Foundation said:
“Supporting and retaining working parents and carers is a vital component in ensuring a sustainable workforce for British racing. The Racing Foundation is proud to fund Phase Two of the Racing Home project and looks forward to seeing the impact it makes while building on the success of the initial phase.”
Ed Nicholson of Unibet Racing / Kindred Group said:
“We are delighted to continue our support of Women in Racing to a third year, with a further grant into 2024. At Kindred we know that Women in Racing has been instrumental in raising the awareness of diversity within the racing industry. The Racing Home portal specifically has enabled the sharing of experiences and brought about much needed discussions to ensure there is a comprehensive understanding of the decisions working parents face daily within racing.”
Nicholson went on to say: “Our funding of the project is yet another example of Kindred’s approach to a new, better form of sponsorship which helps communities. The real benefit of sponsorship to us is the link it creates between our business, the sport we sponsor – in this instance racing – and its community. We are proud and honoured to be associated with Women in Racing, and Racing Home”.
This survey will identify priorities for the industry and should take 10 minutes maximum to complete. Please complete this survey regardless of your parental or caring responsibilities – all information is important to shape the future of Racing Home.
Horseracing is a diverse sport attracting individuals from different backgrounds, skillsets and talents. It is important for us to collect information on the needs of the workforce to understand how they can best be supported.
In particular, we are interested in what can be done to help with work-life balance and family life, not least as many roles in the industry involve long hours, travel and/or hard physical work.
Findings will be presented anonymously and published in a report that will be made available via www.racinghome.org.uk.
On Wednesday 6 July Women in Racing hosted the Racing Home Launch event with Simply Racing to showcase the research and subsequent programme of work supporting racing’s employees and employers around parenthood. A panel, hosted by Dena Merson, Simply Racing’s Founder, featured Kindred Group’s Ed Nicholson, Gemma Ospedale from RWK Goodman, Dominique Tortice from NARS and Broadcaster Aly Vance.
The panel discussed personal experiences, the research findings, racing’s first motherhood/parenthood portal racinghome.org.uk, data collection, the return to riding programme and ongoing work to educate and empower all stakeholders.
In late 2021, key funding from the Racing Foundation and Kindred Group enabled Women in Racing to continue to work with stakeholders to implement a raft of measures to ensure that Horseracing can become a cultural leader in the sports world at supporting its participants in planning and raising a family. This measure is vital both for wellbeing and for the overall sustainability of the industry.
Balancing parenting with working in horseracing: know your rights & entitlements, and where to seek help & support
About Racing Home
The ’Racing Home’ project began with a symposium in November 2019 and was followed up by a series of successful workshops and webinars leading to a research-based project led by Dr. Kate Clayton-Hathway of the Centre for Diversity Policy Research and Practice, Oxford Brookes University. The discussions with participants from all aspects of horseracing were used as a basis to collate data around the experiences of motherhood and parenting and expanded to include the views of a wide range of stakeholders. Participants were asked to suggest any solutions they felt would contribute to mitigating both practical barriers for working mothers as well as less tangible ones within our sport. These findings were collated and developed into a series of recommended ‘next steps’ for the industry in discussion with key stakeholders. The findings formed the report ‘Racing Home, Working Mothers in the Horseracing Industry’ which was published late last year.
Don’t miss the Podcast
Search “Racing Home” on all major platforms
Hosted and produced by BHA Vet and Podcaster Naomi Mellor, the podcast has already welcomed Andrea O’Keeffe, Lizzie Kelly, Rose Grissell, Dominique Tortice, Amy Starkey and Claire Kubler, to name a few. Expect candid conversation, personal stories and an informative listen. Search “Racing Home” on all major podcast platforms or follow this link.