Henderson & Co Rue Staffing Crisis

Henderson & Co Rue Staffing Crisis

Like many, Champion Trainer Nicky Henderson has characterised himself as 'frightened to death', by the current staffing situation in British and Irish racing.

The sport has been struggling with a growing shortage of staff for a number of years now and the 68-year-old said he cannot see how fortunes are going to turn.

(Credit: Racing Post) Speaking on ITV’s Opening Show, Henderson said: "We want to be able to pay them as much as we can and remunerate them accordingly but this is a big concern that is already causing chaos and while I could say the crisis is a real threat.

"I think the threat has already become a reality," he finished.

Fellow trainer Dan Skelton matched Henderson's views and called upon the racing universe to come together, to come up with a valid solution to solve the personnel scarcity.

He agreed that the issues of acquiring and then holding onto staff are no longer a threat, but are now in fact a real reality.

(Credit: Racing Post) He said: “It’s not an approaching problem, it’s a problem now.

“We have to work out how to look after those working in the sport. Racing is very good at being quite insular and looking after its own, but there are various factors that make staffing difficult.

“Pay is relevant within any industry. The problem is if trainers have a downturn in prize-money the owners win less, so we have to put up our fees to pay people more – we aren’t being directly supported by our industry to pay more.

Meanwhile, Evan Williams has stressed that racing's worries must be put into context and has urged people to be positive about the matter.

(Credit: Racing Post) He said: "I'm not pretending it's not a problem but I don't think racing is alone in facing this type of thing.

"Look at the rural economy as a whole, it doesn't matter if you're milking cows, running a bed and breakfast or whatever – getting people to work in a rural environment is harder than it's ever been.

"But you have to work it out, that's what being a businessman is all about – if something's not going right you try to work a way round it," he finished.

ITV reported on Saturday - ahead of their cards at Sandown and Wincanton, that there are over 6,500 registered staff in Britain - 4,400 who are are full-time, with the estimated loss expected to be approximately 1,000 jobs.