COVID-19: Return to racing planning

We are approaching the time when hopefully it looks like there should be some movement towards the sport getting back under way in some form.

It is the HWPA’s intention to keep you as informed as possible with what we understand is happening within our section of the racing world.

The HWPA has had initial discussions with the BHA and it is now possible to get a better idea of what is being planned. At the same time, things are not yet set in stone and are changing all the time.

What seems increasingly certain, however, is that in the early stages of racing returning behind closed doors under strict biosecurity measures access is going to be extremely limited.

Hopefully, this will open up a little as the sport shows it can operate to the satisfaction of Public Health England in the ensuing weeks but it is not yet possible to give a clear time line on how this will develop.

But as long as racing takes place behind closed doors the blunt reality of the situation is that not everyone who wants to go to the racecourse is going to be able to go.

The only way forward while this particularly tight situation exists looks like being a Pool System of Photographers and Journalists where we work together and share opportunities.

Those who have access to the racecourse will have to supply those who are not able to have access with the same pictures and copy they use.

How this will work is still being worked out and any questions should be submitted to the HWPA ( or passed on to Committee member.

Some of representatives will be contacting members to work out the best way forward in the situation we find ourselves.

It is unlikely that any more information will emerge until early next week after the Government has revealed its plans to eased the lockdown.

It is, however, clear that media given access will be subject to the same biosecurity tests before attending a racecourse as participants and officials.

This is likely to include a screening test system which will be co-ordinated by the BHA and health questionnaires as well as temperature testing at the track.

Testing of people who visit multiple tracks will be continuous to ensure they are clear of COVID-19.

Anyone who has underlying health conditions or who lives with a family member or friend who is potentially vulnerable may have to consider whether it is wise to put themselves at risk.

The HWPA understands that there will be many members who are worried about the current situation and how it is going to unfold. This situation is not going to be easy.

But we intend to work as hard as we can to get as many media on track as possible.

We also pledge to keep you all informed of developments.    ; \�lV���Q

HWPA: Racing Welfare support for members

HWPA members are part of the racing community and eligible for help from Racing Welfare.

The charity has reiterated that they are there to try to offer support where they can. Clearly, for many HWPA members, especially freelancers and the self-employed, this will relate to financial hardship specifically.

But Racing Welfare also can offer advice and guidance services.

Listed below is the information we have been given by Racing Welfare with contact details.

If you need to access them, please explain you are a member of the Horserace Writers & Photographers Association.

• Please advise anyone who contacts the HWPA suffering with financial hardship that Racing Welfare is here and ready provide advice and support, including helping them to access statutory benefits. We will assess each person’s need for a hardship grant on an individual basis and guide them through this process
• People can call us on Racing’s Support Line 0800 6300 443 24hrs a day where our team will take their details and have a member of our welfare team call them back. Please do bear with as we work to help everyone during this incredibly busy time.
• If phoning during office hours (9-5, Mon-Fri), they can get through to a member of their local welfare team on the numbers below (anyone outside of these areas should call the Racing’s Support Line and a local roving officer will call them back):
o Malton: 01653 696 869
o Middleham: 01969 624 123
o Lambourn: 01488 670 034
o Newmarket: 01638 560 763
• Alternatively go to the and click on the live chat link to speak to an advisor who will follow the same process as for a call to the Support Line.
• Text number is 07860 079 043.

HWPA – Here to try to help you during COVID-19 crisis

Dear HWPA Member,

At this time of unprecedented uncertainty for all involved in horse racing, the HWPA is looking to provide help for members in as many ways as we possibly can, within our resources.

This includes practical help where possible and (remote) social activity, particularly for those self-isolating or confined to home.

We aim to make sure that the financial plight of those in the racing media, especially freelancers, are made clear to those in authority, within racing and beyond, and that they are aware of the vital role that the media plays in promoting the sport in this country.

With regard to practical help, if there are any issues or concerns that members have, for example, if they are unable to go out and haven’t anyone in their area that can get shopping/medicines etc, we would aim to put them in touch with a local member who could help them in this way.

If members just need to talk, we can listen.

We have had discussions with Racing Welfare to see what possible help the charity can offer to members.

An email will follow shortly after this first communication which includes some useful numbers.

Also, if members have any other ways that they think the HWPA can help, please get in touch.

David Carr (, David Cleary ( and Graham Dench ( are coordinating the HWPA response and would be happy to hear from you.

If any members have any work – images, video, writing – they would like showcasing on the HWPA Twitter or Instagram accounts, or links to websites and social media pages etc., then please contact Fran Altoft ( and she will put those up.

As for social activities, one plan is to have a weekly online quiz, which the two Davids are coordinating. Further details will follow, though the first one is intended to be early one evening next week.

If you have any other good ideas, again suggestions would be welcome.

(Supported by

I am delighted to announce that have agreed to support the 2020 HWPA Tipping Competition.
Their generous support means we will once again be able to run a competition with some attractive prizes and I would like to thank on behalf of the HWPA.
The annual tipping competition provides members with an opportunity to test their tipping skills and also win some hard cash.

The 2020 competition will have up to eight legs, taking in some of the biggest Flat and Jumps meetings and starting with next month’s Cheltenham Festival.

We also have two ‘Grand Slams’ – one for Jumps which rewards the best selections in the Champion Hurdle, Champion Chase, Stayers’ Hurdle, Cheltenham Gold Cup and Grand National – while the Flat Grand Slam takes in the five Classics.

The entry fee is £100 with all entry fees plus our sponsor’s contribution distributed as prizes.
To confirm your entry, please transfer £100 to the HWPA Account, referencing your payment TIPPING

Entry fees must be paid before the competition starts.

The HWPA Account details are:
Horserace Writers Association
A/C No: 80078751
Sort Code: 20-59-14

February Newsletter 2020

HWPA NEWSLETTER – February 2020


The HWPA has been approached by All Media Insurance who believe they can offer competitive quotes on a wide range of products for members.

Geoff Derham is the racecourse face of All Media Insurance that some HWPA members will be familiar with and, being the brother-in-law of champion trainer Paul Nicholls, he has a good idea of what we do.

Geoff has already had a brief chat with some of the HWPA Photographers about their insurance needs and All Media Insurance offers specialist cover for people who work within the media industry.

They already work with a number of sports’ bodies and their related media.

Their products include, personal and commercial car insurance, home insurance, van insurance, equipment insurance and business liability.

All Media Insurance says it prides itself on being ‘your broker who can offer a solution to all your insurance needs’.

Further information on All Media Insurance or a personal quote can obtained by following the link here where youy can also request one of their team will be in touch

This is potentially a symbiotic relationship. If All Media Insurance obtain business from HWPA members, they have said they will look to reciprocate and consider ways to support the HWPA in return.


Thanks to all those who have already paid their annual subs but a reminder they are due.

Pay online by transferring £25 to:

Horserace Writers Association
A/C No: 80078751
Sort Code: 20-59-14

Or better still set up an annual Direct Debit!!!

Don’t forget we also have PayPal on the website


Thanks to all who supported and attended last year’s Derby Awards and to all those who helped in some way to make sure the event went (relatively) smoothly.

Special mention should go to Francesca Altoft who has taken over responsibility for the HWPA’s Social Media presence and that went through the roof on awards day.

That is hugely important for us and our supporters.

The good news is that the Derby Awards as an event resulted in a small surplus which will be donated to our charity this year – the Children’s Air Ambulance.

Final details are close to being worked out but the sum will be added the sum donated by one of our supporters – Ladbrokes Coral – arising from the competition to guess the combined winning distance of the Ladbrokes King George VI Chase and Coral Welsh National.

The following seven charities have benefited.

£1,687.50 : Childrens Air Ambulance UK
£187.50 : Bowel Cancer UK
£187.50 : Yorkshire Air Ambulance
£187.50 : Together 4 Short Lives
£187.50 : Racing To School
£187.50 : Cancer Research
£375 : Injured Jockey Fund

The new Derby Award categories of Specialist Writer and Emerging Talent appeared to be well received and it was good to see some of the Emerging Talent Nominees taking part in a special edition of Sky Sports Racing Debate.

Any feedback is always worth hearing so if you have any ideas or thoughts please email them in to:

HWPA DERBY AWARDS – the 2019 winners

Lee Mottershead has been named Racing Writer of the Year for the second time at the annual Horserace Writers & Photographers Derby Awards in London.

Mottershead, Senior Writer at the Racing Post, first lifted the main prize at the Derby Awards in 2011.

Mottershead received his award at the 53rd Annual Derby Awards which were supported for the first time by the Hong Kong Jockey Club, Corals, Ladbrokes and Vertem Asset Management.

The awards were compered by BBC 5 Live’s Cornelius Lysaght and staged at the Royal Lancaster Hotel in the West End of London in front of an audience of 620 guests including many of the biggest names in British & Irish racing.

The success of 44-year-old Mottershead, who was also a nomination for the Racing Reporter of the Year award, crowned a successful day for the Racing Post.

Their chief photographer Edward Whitaker was named Photographer of the Year for the second year running and the ninth time in total.

His Ireland-based colleague Patrick McCann won the Picture of the Year award for the third time, his winning image being the moment jockey Luke Dempsey was jumped over by a loose horse at Galway during a moment of high drama.

The Racing Post were also responsible for the first winner of the Emerging Talent Award which was given to 23-year-old Jonathan Harding.

He was the first winner of the Alan Lee Trophy, which commemorates the late Racing Correspondent of The Times, and is open to entrants under 30 years of age.

The award was handed over by Alan Lee’s children, James and Vicky.

The second new media award for Specialist Writer went to freelance Kevin Blake, whose incisive writing can be found on a number of platforms including, and Thoroughbred Daily News.

The Peter O’Sullevan Trophy for the Broadcaster of the Year was won for the first time by Racing TV’s Lydia Hislop while Reporter of the Year went to Marcus Townend (Daily Mail), who also landed the award in 2016.

History was made as Bryony Frost became the first female jockey to lift a Derby Award.

The rider, who also became the first female jockey to land a G1 race over obstacles at the Cheltenham Festival when successful on Frodon in the Ryanair Chase, was named Jump Jockey of the Year with her boss and Frodon’s trainer Paul Nicholls named Jump Trainer of the Year for the sixth time.

A total of 19 G1 wins during 2019, a career-best haul, were enough to earn Frankie Dettori the Flat Jockey of the Year award for the seventh time while his boss, trainer John Gosden, was named both Flat trainer of the Year and International Trainer of the Year.

Owner of the Year went to Andrew Gemmell, who crowned a remarkable four days following the comeback win of his champion staying hurdler Paisley Park in the Long Distance Hurdle at Newbury last Friday and the win of De Rasher Counter, which he part owns, 24 hours later in the Ladbrokes Trophy Chase.

It could get even better for sports and racing-mad Gemmell, who intently follows his passion despite being blind from birth, as he is also a part owner of Willie Mullins-trained True Self who is due to run in Sunday’s G1 Hong Kong Longines Hong Kong Vase.

Lisa Hancock, whose career in racing has seen her be a successful amateur jockey and first female clerk of the course at Newmarket, was awarded the George Ennor Trophy for Outstanding Achievement.

The award was particular recognition for Hancock’s work as chief executive of the Injured Jockeys Fund which this year completed and opened its new rehabilitation centre, Sir Peter O’Sullevan House, in Newmarket.

The President’s Award went to Ruby Walsh, the 12-time Irish champion jockey and most successful jockey in Cheltenham Festival history who retired in May.

Trainer James Owen received the Arabian Racing Achievement Award after a season in which he enjoyed his first overseas success, his first Pattern race win and his third trainer’s title.


SEVEN-time winner Nick Luck is among the four nominations for the Broadcaster of the Year at the 2019 HWPA Derby Awards.

Luck is nominated alongside Racing TV colleague Lydia Hislop. ITV duo Ed Chamberlin and Francesca Cumani complete the nominations.

Nominations for Flat Jockey of the Year include newly-crowned champion Oisin Murphy, six-time winner Frankie Dettori, Hollie Doyle, who is closing in on a century of winners in a year for the first time, and Danny Tudhope.

Champion jockey Richard Johnson, Grand National winner Davy Russell are in the running for Jump Jockey of the Year along with Harry Cobden and Bryony Frost.

Charlie Appleby, Andrew Balding, John Gosden and Mark Johnston are the nominees for Flat Trainer of the Year while Gordon Elliott, Paul Nicholls, Dan Skelton and Willie Mullins are up for the Jumps Trainer Award.

The Derby Awards, which are supported by the Hong Kong Jockey Club, Coral, Ladbrokes and Vertem Asset Management take place at the Royal Lancaster Hotel in London on Monday 2 December.

Broadcaster of the Year

Ed Chamberlin

Francesca Cumani

Lydia Hislop

Nick Luck

Flat Jockey of the Year

Frankie Dettori

Holly Doyle

Oisin Murphy

Danny Tudhope

Flat Trainer of the Year

Charlie Appleby

Andrew Balding

John Gosden

Mark Johnston

Jump Jockey of the Year

Harry Cobden

Bryony Frost

Richard Johnson

Davy Russell

Jump Trainer of the Year

Gordon Elliott

Willie Mullins

Paul Nicholls

Dan Skelton

Owner of the Year

Khaled Abdullah

Andrew Gemmell

King Power Racing

Bjorn Nielsen



HWPA members entitled to support from Racing Welfare services

You may not know this but as a member of the HWPA you are entitled to seek support from Racing Welfare should you need it.

This is a fantastic news that support is out there should you need it.

Racing Welfare is the only charity that supports everyone working in racing and as a member of the HWPA, you are fully eligible to access help from the charity.

Racing Welfare provides a wide range of advice and guidance services, all of which are completely confidential and non-judgmental.  Support is available for a wide range of life’s challenges, including physical and mental health, bereavement, careers advice, housing, money advice, illness, addiction, relationships and retirement.

The charity understands that journalists often work in a fast-paced, highly pressured working environment and as such, all of Racing Welfare’s services are accessible 24hrs a day via Racing’s Support Line, or online at

Furthermore, the charity’s team of front line welfare officers cover the whole of the country, with offices in all of the main racing centres and roving officers in Scotland, Wales, Epsom and the South West of England.

Racing Welfare administers Racing’s Occupational Health Service, enabling access to occupational health professions and paying for treatment where it is needed; and the Careers Advice and Training Service (CATS), which supports professional development and provides training opportunities for people working in racing.  It also facilitates free access to a range of specialist services including counselling (face-to-face, telephone and online) and addiction support.

The charity owns 155 units of accommodation across the UK, with a focus on providing housing for young people working in racing and those who have retired from the industry which are managed by its housing arm, Racing Homes.

For more information on Racing Welfare visit the website at

Racing’s Support Line: 0800 6300 443

Online self-help resources:


Tickets for this year’s glittering HWPA awards lunch on Monday 2 December are aready on sale and selling fast.


Tickets this year are priced at £105 each for what is traditionally one of the most popular annual awards lunches of the racing year where excellence is recognised both on the track and within the media that covers it.


This year’s awards will again be staged at the Royal Lancaster Hotel in London’s West End and we hope to make the event as memorable as it has been in the past.


The HWPA is delighted to confirm that this year’s Derby Awards will be supported for the first time by the Hong Kong Jockey Club, Vertem Asset Management and Ladbrokes Coral.


Table for 10 (£1,050), 12 (£1,260), 14 £1,470) and 16 (£1,680) guests can be booked.


As a previous attendee at the Derby Awards, we hope that you will join us again.


Bookings can be made by emailing your ticket request to


Please include the number of tickets you require, your contact details and an address for a payment invoice.


Payments should be made to the HWPA Bank A/C


Horserace Writers

Sort Code: 20-59-14

Account No: 80078751



We look forward to hearing from you


Marcus Townend


Horserace Writers & Photographers Association




Entries for the 2019 HWPA Derby awards have opened and you only have until Wednesday 9 October to submit your entries.

This year there will be THREE writing awards and TWO photography awards.

The HWPA have also introduced an EMERGING TALENT AWARD. This will be open to candidates under 30 years of age and covers the full range of media platforms – written (Print & Online), Photography, Social Media and Broadcasting.


Entries, which must be submitted by Wednesday 9 October, should contain three pieces of work which should have been produced/published since October 8, 2018.

Entries for Writer Awards and the Emerging Talent Award should be sent to

Please mark your entries clearly with your name, contract telephone number and which category you are entering.

Awards are open to HWPA MEMBERS. If you are not a member you must pay our annual subscription of £25 to have your entries considered.

Horserace Writers Association

Account number: 80078751
Sort Code: 20-59-14

(make sure your payment reference incudes your name)


Entries can include features, comment and considered material over the range of the sport.

REPORTER OF THE YEAR (John Oaksey Trophy)
Emphasis in this category will be news stories, reflecting a candidate’s news-finding ability but also includes any piece written to a live daily deadline including race reports.

Analytical writing on racing. This could also include tipping columns and writing on the bloodstock industry.

This will seek to identity a younger member of the racing media (Under 30) who has made a significant contribution. This could be written (Print, Online, Social Media, Blogs), Photography or Broadcasting.




The HWPA would like to thank Alan Crowhurst, a previous winner of the Photographer of the Year Award, who will be administrating this year’s competitions.

Alan will not be involved with the judging but will recruit a panel of experienced professional sports photographers to judge the entries. Rules for the 2019 Photography Awards are.

Entries will be electronic and not print version.

Entries will consist of SIX images for the Photographer of the Year award.

Entries will consist of ONE image for Picture of the Year award.

Standard darkroom techniques only to be applied to images.

Images must have been taken between October 8 2018 & October 6 2019 inclusive.

No images shot on video and then made into a still image can be entered.

Please size the images to 3000 pixels on the longest side, and saved at 10 in Photoshop.

Image file names can be anything as they will be changed when received.

If you would like them viewed in a particular order then please number them 1-6 within the file name.

All images are to be sent via ‘We Transfer’ to

‘We Transfer’ will send an email to Alan when images have be sent. It will also send an email to the sender when the images have been downloaded by Alan.