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The Trainers' Daily Rates Survey

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  The survey was circulated by the European Trainers Federation representatives in member countries. Responses were received from the United Kingdom, Ireland, France, Germany, Austria, Norway and Belgium.        Results varied per country but indicated to be representative of those countries, with an even representation by Flat (41%), Jumps (15%) and Mixed (44%) trainers and feedback from small-scale (1-10 horses in training) to large scale (50+) yards. Trainers were asked to complete 28 questions relating to their current daily training rate charged to owners, the factors they feel contribute most to their daily rate, whether they make a profit, loss or break even, what factors would affect a potential increase in their rate, and what rate they feel they would ideally like to charge amongst other location-related questions.       The results indicated that average training daily rates are similar across the participating countries. The UK had the highest average at £45 (Euro equivalent at €49.95) with Ireland second at €45. France was concluded at €42 and neighbouring Germany at a lower average of €35. The lowest representation in Continental Europe was Austria at €26.       Overall, the number of horses in training varied with the highest representation (37%) training between 1-10 horses and 8.7% of respondents training 50< horses. Therefore, results represent the majority of trainers in Europe training between 1-50 horses.       Trainers were asked to rate various factors out of 10 that contribute most to the rate they charge. In the UK, Germany and Belgium, staff, feed and insurance were rated most highly, whilst in France and Austria, staff, rent/mortgage and business rates were considered the most influential factors. Norway considered staff, feed and rent/mortgage most highly. However, Ireland indicated a significant difference with yard maintenance, utilities, insurance most affecting their rate which may be indicative of the high proportion of owned versus rented yards: 60% own, 30% rent and the cost of maintaining their yards independently. Overall, 46% of all respondents own their yard and 54% rent their yard, therefore rent/mortgage factors equally rated highly.       The survey has concluded that it is primarily staff costs that directly affect trainers’ decisions to charge their rate as well as the potential increase of their rate. Across Euro countries, the range of pay was €10-15/hour apart from Germany, where the range was €8-13/hour and an average of €9/hour. The UK, meanwhile highlighted an average wage of £8.46/hour with a range of £7.50-£12. In most countries, there was uniform representation across all countries with one member of staff looking after three horses on average whilst in Germany, one staff member looked after four horses on average. In the UK, the yard staff to work rider ratio was 1:3 with an average of three part-time work riders and 48% of trainers employing a part-time member of office staff in addition to their one full time office staff member.       In terms of trainers’ opinion whether they feel their rate is sufficient, in the UK 65% did not feel their rate was sufficient, but 78% felt it covered their major costs. Overall, they would want to charge between £5-10 more/day or £40-50/day on average. In Germany, opinion was split with 50% satisfied with their rate and 50% unsatisfied, still looking to charge between €5-10 more/day, the same result as France except for 100% of trainers felt their rate was insufficient to support their business. In Ireland, trainers were looking to charge between €10-20 more/day with all trainers putting up their rates between 1-3 years ago by €5. 60% of Irish trainers, however, felt that their daily rate covered major costs. Overall, most trainers noted they excluded variable costs from their daily rate such as the vet, farrier, dentist, transport/raceday expenses, gallops, supplements, production of hay/haylage. It was recognised in France that 25% of trainers produce their own hay/straw compared to 45% in the UK, which was deemed a cost-effective decision by UK trainers. Some German trainers stated that those based at racetracks did not receive box rent and this was paid directly to the racetrack by owners.        When asked what stops them putting up their rates, the most common answer was losing owners in almost ⅔ of answers in all countries participating. Other contributing factors were competition, prize money, lack of profit, location and difficulty receiving current rate, whilst other trainers put up their rate regardless.        When asked how often they increase their daily rate and by how much - in the UK, 57% increase their rate by £2 annually, with 26% at £4 every two to three years on average, it was also interesting to note that 13% had not increased their rate in more than five years. This corresponded with Irish trainers, who on average increased their rate every two-three years by €5, whilst participating Austrian, Belgian and Norwegian trainers had not increased their rates within the last five years.        The biggest factors discussed which affect a potential increase in Belgium were daily costs, and more success, less horses and staff in Ireland. Austria highlighted the issue of no races therefore a potential lack of owners and staff whilst feed, more prize money and more owners affected an increase for German trainers. French trainers emphasised the assurance for the work riders and other people working for them if the rate increases, improvement of French prize money and a change in VAT. 45% of UK trainers stressed staff costs, whilst 20% highlighted business rates and staff, with feed and bedding cost increases also considered detrimental factors.       Responses to whether trainers make a profit on their daily rate was split between countries and also trainers within countries. In most cases, it depends on the yard success over a year and therefore yard maintenance can be improved and potentially new facilities installed. The rates revaluation was a topic highlighted within the study to which trainers in the UK, Ireland and Austria responded negatively. Some UK trainers have been dramatically affected, with 50% being affected ‘very badly’ with an additional 30% making a loss. They discussed pressure to get stables filled, an example of an increase from £350 per year to £11,000 per year, as well as a 50% increase. This made their businesses considerably worse off and meant that the tiny profit achieved was redundant and in cases of always breaking even, they were now making a loss. In Ireland, trainers who were always on top of payments were now behind as a result of their business rates revaluation and the Austrian response was that it had affected yards badly on a national scale.    The majority of participating UK trainers break even, a range of profit between £1-8/day was provided by some trainers, depending on overall turnover in a year. In Ireland, 70% break even and 30% make a loss, whilst in Germany, the profit range was €0-5 per day. France ranged from €0-3 profit per day, which reflects the 75% of trainers that said their rate does not cover their major costs. Trainers also stated whether or not they supplemented their income with a second job/other business income (43%) and/or partner income (24%), which was deemed commercially necessary if breaking even or making a loss.    Overall, the survey has highlighted the issues affecting countries individually as well as the current daily rates that trainers are charging across Europe. The pressures affecting daily rates are, in most cases, shared by all trainers with intent to run a commercial business whilst covering the costs, potential to improve facilities, class of horses and attracting owners simultaneously.
 

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The survey was circulated by the European Trainers Federation representatives in member countries. Responses were received from the United Kingdom, Ireland, France, Germany, Austria, Norway and Belgium.

Results varied per country but indicated to be representative of those countries, with an even representation by Flat (41%), Jumps (15%) and Mixed (44%) trainers and feedback from small-scale (1-10 horses in training) to large scale (50+) yards. Trainers were asked to complete 28 questions relating to their current daily training rate charged to owners, the factors they feel contribute most to their daily rate, whether they make a profit, loss or break even, what factors would affect a potential increase in their rate, and what rate they feel they would ideally like to charge amongst other location-related questions.

The results indicated that average training daily rates are similar across the participating countries. The UK had the highest average at £45 (Euro equivalent at €49.95) with Ireland second at €45. France was concluded at €42 and neighbouring Germany at a lower average of €35. The lowest representation in Continental Europe was Austria at €26.

Overall, the number of horses in training varied with the highest representation (37%) training between 1-10 horses and 8.7% of respondents training 50< horses. Therefore, results represent the majority of trainers in Europe training between 1-50 horses.

Trainers were asked to rate various factors out of 10 that contribute most to the rate they charge....

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