Welcome to the website of The Horserace Writers and Photographers Association.

We hope that members will find the site useful whether you are looking for dates and links to help with Festival accreditation, keeping up to date with issues that affect your working day around the racecourses, or maybe just checking on your tipping competition scores. Please check the site regularly, as updates will be placed here long before you receive a newsletter! Any racecourses or members with information or announcements regarding media issues that they think would be of benefit to the HWPA's membership should contact a committee member. Non-members can apply to join the association by downloading a form from within the site. Thank you.


Posted by HWPA on September 21, 2017  |   No Comments »

Entries are now officially being invited for the media categories at the 2017 HWPA annual awards sponsored by the Qatar Racing & Equestrian Club.

Once again there will be two awards for journalists and two awards for photographers which will be presented at the HWPA’s awards lunch at the Royal Lancaster Hotel in London on Monday 4 December.

However, the HWPA committee have decided that this year there will be a slight change to the journalist awards. Entrants will only be able to enter one category – either Reporter of the Year or Racing Writer of the Year.

It is hoped this will encourage more entries by giving as many journalists as possible the opportunity to be considered for an award.

Entries for all categories MUST be received by Saturday 7 October. Entry to the awards is restricted to members of the HWPA. Entries can be both print and online published material.



Entrants need to submit three pieces of work written under deadline since last year’s awards (December 5, 2016). This could include news stories & live reporting & live race reports.


More considered material including features, colour writing or comment pieces.

Entrants should supply three pieces of work. Entries should be sent clearly stating which category is being entered and with the entrant clearly identified.

Entries with either PDFs attached or including links to relevant online material should be emailed to: hwpacontacts@gmail.com


Pictures taken between the 2016 Prix de L’Arc de Triomphe and 2017 race are eligible.


A portfolio of six pictures, no bigger than A4 size produced using normal dark room techniques only.


One Image of identical dimensions produced using normal dark room techniques.

ENTRIES (clearly identifying the photographer) should be posted to:

Dan Abraham
28 Eagle Gardens
MK41 7FE


Posted by HWPA on August 21, 2017  |   No Comments »


The questionaire sent out to members a few weeks ago concerning RCA plans to change the system of accreditation for racing media in 2018 produced some valuable contributions and also raised some pertinent questions.
What it did not do, however, was demonstrate a feeling from members of the organisation that they were completely opposed to the change and wanted the HWPA to resist the move.
Final proposals are currently being drawn up by the RCA which they have said will be presented to the HWPA later this month.
The RCA say the change will bring racing media acceditation in line with other sports and offer ‘increased security, reduced levels of abuse and easier identification’.
There are still some significant details to finalise but, as we stand, it seems probable that the Metal Badge system will be replaced by a picture lanyard system.
This change will inevitably make for some confusion during this year’s accreditation process. The RCA insist they are prepared for this but I remain sceptical.
Members should be aware of what is happening and be ready when the 2018 accreditation process gets under way.
Even in the unlikely event of the lanyard system being delayed, all applications this year will have to be accompanied by a photograph of the applicant.


HWPA members who attended this year’s meeting will be aware that the Press facilities are now somewhat less than glorious.
There were issues with area supposedly reserved for Press/Race reader viewing being taken over by both spectators and Qatari TV, car parking was a problem for many and the dungeon Press Room has what can at best be described as issues. The accreditation system also seems chaotic.
I had initial talks with the track’s new head of media during the meeting and Goodwood have been made aware of the problems.
That, of course, is different to doing something about it but I intend to make formal contact with the track and hopefully arrange a meeting to try to see if we can make improvements to Press facilities at the track, especially for it main meeting.


It has become clear that the HWPA mailing list is not comprehensive. Most members have been receiving newsletters and information but not all. This seems largely down to people changing their email addresses. The database has been updated but if you change your email please let us know.

James Willoughby swings to victory at Goodwood as HWPA champion golfer of the year

Jordan Spieth’s performance to win his first Open at Royal Birkdale may go down as one of the sporting highlights of the summer but the HWPA golfing crown now sits on the head of Racing UK pundit and analyst James Willoughby.
James outscored his fellow HWPA members at the Qatar-sponsored competion staged at Goodwood on the eve of the track’s Festival meeting.
James is pictured above receiving his prestigious trophy from HWPA membership secretary and tournament organiser Dan Abraham in an image which highlights the standard of athleticism that the Press Room currrently boasts.
Overall winner of the tournament was a closely-run affair with three players achieving a top score of 41 points – Alan Davies, Matt Ross and Tom Haslem. It was Alan who pronounced winner on count back.
The team event also came down to a count back with Betfair squad getting the better of Sandown’s team on 92 points with the BHA in third.
After a shotgun start, the first shot of the day at the short par three 12th earned Steve Meehan the nearest-the-pin prize, Longest drive on the 18th was a mighty thwack from Matt Ross.
While the Wooden Spoon (or pair of pants) went to Burt Ward, who managed just 5 points!!!!!!!!
A massive thanks to Qatar Racing for sponsoring. Without their support this hugely popular event would not take place.
Also to the Goodwood Golf team who manage to out do themselves year after year.
One last thing we would like apologize to the sheep to the left of the 15th fairway for bombarding them all day………

HWPA Golfer of the year: James Willoughby
Team Competition: 1st Betfair (Martin Fisher,Tom Haslem,Jonathon Louden, Mathew Hopper); 2nd Sandown (Richard Jaques, Will Petit, Alan Davies, Rupert Bell); 3rd BHA (Rob Mounsey, Nigel Roddis, James Oldring, Jody Mogford)
Individual competition: 1st Alan Davies (41pts won on count back); 2nd Matt Ross (41pts); 3rd Tom Haslem (41 pts).
Nearest pin: Steve Meehan
Longest Drive Matt Ross


Winner of the Leg 4 over Glorious Goodwood was Daragh O Conchuir (Profit of £25.41) with Nigel Spencer (+ £13.50) with Martin Kelly
(+ £11.24) third.

Both Daragh and Martin are now well placed in the overall yearly competition with four of the seven legs completed.

But the clear leader remains Darrell Williams, who is setting a furious pace. So far Darrell has tipped a total of 28 winners, including four successful naps. Can he keep it up?

The next leg is the four-day Doncaster St Leger Festival so there is still time to eat into Darrell’s lead and the fight for the first three places looks like being very tight.


Darrell Williams. +£60.37
Daragh O Conchuir. +£27.86
Martin Kelly. +£27.05
Arthur Jones. +£24.18
Richard Williams. +£16.71
Frank Keogh. +£15.97
Jack Millan. +£15.22
Nigel Spencer. +£11.00
Paul Wheeler. +£ 7.87
David Cleary. +£ 7.09
Michael Shinners. +£ 0.17
Matt Bisogno. -£ 6.79
Marcus Townend. -£ 6.80
Mark Openshaw. -£ 7.50
Chris Wright. -£ 7.63
Tom Peacock. -£ 8.90
Andrew Mount. -£11.17
Kel Mansfield. -£16.42
Bill Selwyn. -£19.22
John Henwood -£23.11
Julian Armfield. -£25.82
Sue Montgomery. -£26.70
Ben Hutton. -£32.04
Jason Heavey. -£33.20
Johnno Spence. -£33.45
Ed Prosser. -£40.67
Neil Clark. -£43.08
Matt Brocklebank. -£47.50

2017 HWPA Tipping competition sponsored by RaceBets – latest July 7

Posted by HWPA on July 7, 2017  |   No Comments »

HWPA Tipping competition sponsored by RaceBets

After round two at Royal Ascot, which was won by ARTHUR JONES (+£47) from DARRELL WILLIAMS (+ £30) & DAVID CLEARY (£29.44), the standings are as follows:-

Arthur Jones. + £45.00
David Cleary. +£28.24
Richard Williams. +£22.63
Chris Wright. +£18.00
Darrell Williams. +£16.00
Frank Keogh. +£13.78
Martin Kelly. +£7.00
Daragh O Conchuir. +£4.52
Paul Wheeler. +£4.11
Andrew Mount. +£4.08
Julian Armfield. +£0.60
Kel Mansfield. +£0.50
Jack Millan. -£0.62
Michael Shinners. -£1.08
Marcus Townend. -£6.05
Jason Heavey. -£9.63
Sue Montgomery. -£10.42
Craig/Nigel Spencer. -£11.00
Ben Hutton. -£14.50
Mark Openshaw. -£16.50
Tom Peacock. -£16.50
Matt Brocklebank. -£18.38
John Henwood. -£22.35
Matt Bisogno. -£23.00
Bill Selwyn. -£24.05
Ed Prosser. -£32.00
Neil Clark. -£37.68
Donn McClean. -£38.50
Johnno Spence. -£40.38

Contestants are reminded that Round Three runs over the three days of the Newmarket July Meeting which starts on Thursday next week (July 13, 2017). A reminder will be emailed out on Wednesday, July 12, 2017.


Posted by HWPA on July 7, 2017  |   No Comments »

from Marcus Townend, HWPA President:-

Changes are being proposed by the Racecourse Association to the system of accreditation for racing media and it is important to gain feedback from members of the HWPA.

In a move which was initiated by the RCA last year, the initiative would see the end to the metal badge system with it being replaced by some sort of photo ID system similar to that which exists at major meetings like Cheltenham and Royal Ascot.

The RCA say that the old metal badge system is outdated and that a picture ID would bring racing in line with accreditation systems used by other sports.

They claim the benefits would also include increased security, easier identification and lost IDs would be easier (and less expensive) to replace.

They also argue that such a lanyard system would be subject to less abuse.

Car parking would remain the same and there would be different coloured lanyards for different levels of access.

I think it is fair to say that the HWPA committee is split on this proposal. Some accept or find it hard to argue against a modernisation of the system.

Others believe that the changes will not have the desifred effect the RCA are seeking.

The RCA have not yet supplied any specific numbers on fraud in the system, although we know that it takes place.

Currently, there is no suggestion that there will be changes to any of the other badges that allow access to a racecourse (ie RCA, Trainer, Jockey).

While it is a weak argument against a change that people ‘don’t fancy wearing a lanyard’, one of the main cases put up against change is that entry systems at many racecourses are so lax and badly manned that any change to a badge system is futile when trying to combat fraudulent entry.

No matter what system is in place for 2018, it is likely that applications for accreditation this autumn will have to be accompanied by a photograph of the applicant.

While discussions continue with the RCA, it would be good to get feedback from HWPA members on concerns or queries. Any comments should be forwarded to

Goodwood Golf – HWPA/Al Shaqab Competition – on Monday, July 31, 2017

Posted by HWPA on June 27, 2017  |   No Comments »

The traditional HWPA Goodwood Golf competition will take place this year on Monday, July 31 on The Downs course.

It will once again be sponsored by Al Shaqab, will be free to enter and Goodwood will be pulling out all the stops to make this one of the best ever tournaments.

Starting at 11.30am for coffee and Goodwood’s gourmet bacon baps, with a Shotgun start at 12.30pm.

There will be a team and individual even,t plus HWPA members champ.

Following the battle on the course, there will be Goodwood’s five star Al fresco BBQ and prize ceremony.

To confirm your place, please contact Dan Abraham at dan.pix@btinternet.com or 07973 431119.

Second leg of HWPA Tipping Competition begins at Royal Ascot on Tuesday

Posted by HWPA on June 16, 2017  |   No Comments »

The winner of the first round of the HWPA tipping competition, supported by RaceBets, and staged over the two-day Epsom Derby meeting  was Andy Mount with a profit  of £21.63.

Andy wins the first prize of £400 and takes an early lead in the annual competition.

Second place was taken by Paul Wheeler (+£7.68) and third by Michael Shinners (+£7.05). They win £150 and £50 respectively.

Competitors are reminded that the second leg of the HWPA Tipping competition begins at Royal Ascot on Tuesday and runs over the five days of the meeting.

 Entries should be submitted daily to Will Lefebve (willlefebve@yahoo.co.uk) before the first race each day.


Posted by HWPA on May 27, 2017  |   No Comments »

HWPA TIPPING COMPETITION 2017 – register now, deadline approaching

Posted by HWPA on May 24, 2017  |   No Comments »


The 2017 Tipping Competition, once again generously backed by RaceBets, will get under way at the two-day Investec Derby Meeting (June 2 & 3) at Epsom Downs.

Joseph Burke, international spokesman for RaceBets, said: “RaceBets are delighted to continue our association with such a prestigious and popular competition for another year and look forward to another strong entry from the HWPA members.

“You can also check out the new RaceBets Blog for horse racing news, views and previews.”

This year’s competition will consist of SEVEN legs and ALL legs will count to the final profit/loss total. Entry is £100 and that entry fee MUST be paid up front before the competition begins.

Any entries who have not paid after the first leg will be discarded.

Final prizes will be calculated when we know how many entrants we have but a minimum prize for the overall winner of £1,000 is guaranteed with each individual leg winner guaranteed a minimum £250.

Hopefully, these sums will rise considerably.

The winning cheque will be presented at the HWPA Annual Lunch on Monday 4 December.

Will Lefebve has kindly agreed to administrate this year’s competition.


The seven legs are:

Investec Derby Meeting (2 days) – June 2 & 3

Royal Ascot (5 days) – June 20-24

Newmarket July (3 days) – July 13-15

Glorious Goodwood (5 days) – August 1-5

Doncaster St Leger (4 days) – September 13-16

Ascot Champions day (1 day) – October 21

Cheltenham Open Meeting (3 days) – November 17-19



Tipsters can pay for the tipping competition by cheque for £100 to Horserace Writers Association, Parr Green Cottage, Shocklach, Malpas, Cheshire, SY14 7BJ

But preferably pay by internet banking to the HWPA account number; 80078751 and sort code; 20-59-14



1 Entries should be emailed to: willlefebve@yahoo.co.uk each day before the first race of each leg. Late entries will be counted as losers.

2 All legs count to final total

3 In the event of a selection being a Non-Runner, your selection will revert to the SP favourite. In the case of Joint-Favs, the selection will be the horse whose name starts with the earliest letter in the alphabet.

4 Failure to enter will result in selections being counted as losers.

5 You will receive an email reminder 24 hours before each competition.

6 In the event of a dispute, the HWPA Committee’s decision is final

Summer Membership Offer launched by HWPA on May 18, 2017

Posted by HWPA on May 18, 2017  |   No Comments »
Summer Membership Offer launched today by HWPA
Do you work in horserace media?
If so, you are encouraged to strengthen the membership base of the Horserace Writers’ & Photographers’ Association, via our Festivals Meeting offer, launched today (May 18), which will ensure we have a thoroughly robust membership to represent our views.
Throughout the Summer Festival period, from May to September 2017, applications from new members are offered at the special price of £20, covering the period to January 31, 2018.  The relevant application form is below.
Any existing members are reminded that annual subscriptions of £25, covering the full year, were due back in February 2017!
Retired members have their own subscription rate of £10 per annum.
As media coverage of horseracing continues to evolve, in response to ongoing advances in technology and the explosion of social media, it remains a priority to be confident that the interests of individuals working in the sector have a strong Association to provide central representation.
The Association’s President Marcus Townend said: “We need to ensure those benefitting from the work of the Association have an opportunity to join our ranks. Membership provides a forum for views to be taken forward within the sector and contribute towards enhancing facilities for everyone working in horserace media.”
The HWPA was formed back in April, 1927 and was refreshed in 1967. The Association is managed by a committee of 12, who are drawn from the current membership and their election forms part of the Annual General Meeting held every year at Aintree Racecourse on Grand National Day.
Principally, the HWPA acts as the liaison between the Racecourse Association (RCA) and the horseracing media to provide the best possible media centres at all UK racecourses for bona-fide members of the media.
There is an annual awards lunch every December (Monday, December 4, 2017), hosted by the HWPA; a must-attend gig to celebrate best practice within our field.
Eligibility for the media awards is restricted to paid up members of the HWPA.
Additional details of activities undertaken by the Association are available on the website, please check out: www.hwpa.org.
Horserace Writers & Photographers Association
Valid until September 30, 2017
Business:                                                      Home:
Signed: …………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….
Please enrol me as a new member of the HWPA until February 1, 2018 (fractional year membership)
As we are media people, used to working electronically, the preferred payment method is on-line:
Account Name: Horserace Writers
Sort code:  20-59-14
Account No:  80078751
Please reference your £20 payment with:  Subs then your own name
Why not set up a bankers order for £25 from February 1, 2018?
The completed membership form, if paying on line, can be e-mailed to:  dan.pix@btinternet.com
Alternatively post a cheque for £20 payable to HWPA, together with the completed membership form to:
Dan Abraham, HWPA Membership, 28 Eagle Gardens, Bedford, MK41 7FE

HWPA NEWSLETTER new President’s first

Posted by HWPA on May 9, 2017  |   No Comments »

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