Careers in the Horse Racing Industry
Posted: Aug 29, 2021
We can’t all be Frankie Dettori or Rachael Blackmore, but there are many different roles in the racing industry including becoming a jockey, of course, that could be a realistic goal and end up in a thoroughly gratifying and inspiring career.
Why horse racing?
The horse racing industry supports over 85,000 jobs in the UK and is the nation’s 2nd largest spectator sport after football, but the nation’s largest sporting employer. It also attracts 5 million people to the country’s many racecourses each year. There are a wide variety of roles associated with the industry across a huge array of organisations and the industry is vibrant, diverse, exciting and fast-paced, providing employment opportunities galore. Whether you would like to get involved in events management, training, veterinary care, looking after racehorses, jockeying or behind the scenes work the industry can provide wonderful career opportunities.
A variety of organisations offer apprenticeships, including the National Horseracing College, The National Stud and The British Racing School. Details of the latter are given as an example below.
The British Racing School delivers an excellent apprenticeship in Racehorse Care nationwide. The Foundation Apprenticeship is free and guarantees successful candidates a job in racing. It is compulsory for anyone under the age of 19 seeking to enter the racing industry. The course includes:
- A residential Foundation Course
- A work placement in a racing yard
- Key skills development
In terms of duration it is 9-12 weeks and on successful completion of studies the apprenticeship itself takes around 1 year to achieve, during which you will be placed in a yard and assessed on your work.
Careersinracing.com is managed by the British Horseracing Authority and is a superb place for information on careers in the racing industry. There are recruitment initiatives and marketing campaigns promoting careers in racing as well as advertised pathways for those seeking to get into a career in racing. They also have a ‘jobs board’ which processes in excess of 1000 hobs every year!
Specific careers in racing
The racing world is such that there are a huge range of potential careers that are associated with the sport including but not limited to:
- Event Managing
Obviously, the route into some of these (like marketing, journalism and event management) might see you come from an institution not affiliated with the racing industry. Some of these careers, however, have paths unique to the sport. Let’s look at a couple of notable examples.
This role involves looking after the horses, including feeding, exercising and liaising with vets and farriers. You will be involved in attending to mares and foals during and after foaling and maintaining stud records, to name but a few of your many duties.
This role involves exercising and schooling racehorses to get them to race fitness. The skill level here is high and the role involves gauging a horse’s fitness and agility levels as well as their preferred ground. Pay depends on experience and it is a very satisfying role to get involved in.
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