The horse racing industry is worth billions of dollars worldwide. Most people associate careers in racing with the image of jockeys and racehorse trainers but there are many other roles in lots of different spheres. It’s a glamorous world with the opportunity for travel and a full-time job is pretty much a given once you’ve qualified.
So what else is there, if you don’t fancy being a jockey or a groom on a racehorse training yard? Well, the road to glory begins on the stud farm where potential superstar equines are bred. Here you could work in a hands-on role caring for pregnant mares, foals and stallions or specialise in the management side of things. Bloodstock in itself is a separate industry and many owners employ agents to find them the next wonder horse at the sale ring. At the racecourse groundsmen are required as are supervisors for the many on-course staff employed on race days and of course the invaluable stalls handlers required at flat race meetings.
If you want to work in a more office-based role, there are plenty of opportunities at racecourses which are really a business in themselves. Most have conference facilities, host weddings and parties and even hold pop concerts as well as the main business of putting on race meetings and all require administrative and management staff.
The good news for those who are interested in a career in horse racing is that there is now a Foundation Degree in the Horseracing Industry course available. This is predominantly a distance learning course with a number of on-site practical elements, depending upon which route you opt for.
The four study paths are; the Racehorse, Breeding, Business and General Studies.
Route 1 – The Racehorse. This option is essential for those wishing to be trainers or grooms.
Route 2 – Breeding. This area provides a good grounding for those those interested in a career in stud management or bloodstock.
Route 3 – Business. This option covers the skills required to manage a professional business, whether it be a commercial training yard, a racecourse or something completely different and not associated with racing at all.
Route 4 – General. This option has a bit of everything and allows students to devise a bespoke element to their program.
Horse racing is an immense worldwide industry with a multitude of different career possibilities. If you’re looking for something a little different from the norm with a virtually guaranteed job at the end of your studies, then perhaps this may be something to consider.
This article is written from a UK perspective. Perhaps PonyGirl - right here in the OfHorse community - might like to write a post all about her role in the racing industry in the US which I know would be really interesting for folk over here.