The RCA, in consultation with NASS, has conducted a survey of Stable Staff accommodation and canteen facilities available at racecourses in Great Britain to update results of a similar questionnaire carried out in 2005.
In considering the results of the survey, the RCA and NASS wanted to draw particular attention to the following:
41 racecourses provide subsidised food for stable staff (5 more than in 2005). Of these7 racecourses provide free food for stable staff at all meetings, 4 provide free food for stable staff at specified fixtures and 3 provide free food at specified times.
52 racecourses provide complimentary tea and coffee for stable staff (20 more than in 2005). Of the 7 racecourses that do not provide free tea and coffee 2 require the first cup to be purchased and then provide free refills.
37 of the 49 racecourses who provide on-course accommodation for stable staff provide accommodation for 4 or fewer people in each room of their hostel/hotel (11 more than in 2005). Of these 5 provide single rooms only and 10 provide twin rooms only whilst 9 provide rooms with en-suite facilities.
8 racecourses have recently made improvements to their facilities for stable staff or were doing so; 4 had plans to make improvements in 2009 and 4 had plans to make improvements for stable staff within the next 5 years.
Both Caroline Davies, RCA, and Jim Cornelius, NASS, welcomed the fact that in the sensitive area of food costs the average price of breakfast, lunch and supper at racecourses was under half the cost of that provided by Little Chef and drinks were a third of their cost.
Caroline Davies said: "Racecourses value the contribution made by stable staff to the smooth running of racedays and their concerted efforts to improve the standard of facilities and provision of refreshments is clearly evident from the results of our recent survey."
Jim Cornelius said: "The extent of the improvements made in the past 4 years reflects the growing expectations of stable staff similar to other sections of society as part of their working conditions and the public in their leisure activities. There is still a long way to go to meet the demands contained within the NASS Charter for Stable Staff which calls for free food and beverages at all racecourses and a maximum of 2 persons per room in hostel/hotel facilities."