Rise to the top with an apprenticeship in horse racing

Rise to the top with an apprenticeship in horse racing

Photo of Ana Rodriguez Marray, a 23 year old apprentice Stud Hand, based at Newsells Park Stud in Hertfordshire

As both Apprenticeship Week and the famous race meeting, the Cheltenham Festival, are launched this week (14th March), young people throughout the country are being encouraged to consider an apprenticeship in the horse racing industry.

Careers in Racing - the marketing campaign run by the British Horseracing Authority (BHA) to promote training and career opportunities in the horseracing industry - is highlighting how apprentices can progress to the top of the career ladder.

Zoe Elliott, Careers Marketing and Recruitment Manager said: “An apprenticeship is the perfect way to start off in the exciting world of horseracing. It can lead to a rewarding career and is the perfect way to ‘rise to the top’.

“As it is Apprenticeship Week, we are taking this opportunity to highlight the wide breadth of careers available within the horseracing world.

“As the second largest spectator sport in the UK we are a major, growing industry and we have a lot to offer including a commitment to welfare, supporting staff and competitive pay and conditions.

“Many people are unaware of the sheer number of opportunities available, either working directly with horses or in the events and hospitality sector.

“There are some skill gaps in the sector. In particular, we have identified a shortage of people working directly with horses - we are addressing this by recruiting apprentices on racehorse care courses, by raising the profile of the sector and by demonstrating the career paths available.”

“The job market is strong at the moment and demand for qualified, experienced and committed staff is high. Taking an apprenticeship can be the perfect first rung on the ladder.”

The promotion of apprenticeships is being supported by Seamus Mullins, Racehorse Trainer and President of the National Trainers Federation.

Seamus said: “As a racehorse trainer in Wiltshire with 50 horses in training, I have 20 staff working for me and many of them that have studied racehorse care via the apprenticeship route. I fully support apprenticeship training as a great way to enter the world of racing.

“There are numerous examples of people who have progressed rapidly in racing following their apprenticeship and I would encourage anyone keen to work outdoors and with horses to look at the training and career opportunities available in horseracing”.

For young people under 19 working in a racing yard, an apprenticeship is an essential part of any career in horseracing, as employers must offer this route.

Specialist training providers across the UK offer horseracing apprenticeship opportunities at a variety of levels – training is free for young people aged 22 or below and open to beginners.

The Northern Racing College and British Racing School offer a work based programme with a period of initial training in their specialist facilities, where young people can learn to care and ride racehorses first hand, Haddon Training offer a work based programme and for those who wish to follow a non-riding route there are non-riding options available - including working on the breeding side of the industry via training at The National Stud.

Zoe Elliott at the BHA continued: “Our message is simple. An apprenticeship in the horseracing world is a highly respected, valued route into the industry and can take you anywhere – you can truly rise to the top.”