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Posted on 7th March 2022

National Careers Week | Careers and opportunities in the horseracing industry

The 7th March 2022 marks the first day of National Careers Week.

Many people believe that to work in the horseracing industry you must be able to ride a racehorse… absolutely not! There are over 85,000 people employed in the horseracing industry within the United Kingdom, ranging from a Racing Groom to administrative roles, there is a career path to suit every individual.

Here are just a few careers in the horseracing industry:

Check out the Horseracing Industry Career Map via CareersInRacing and find out what career you would enjoy

Case Studies

JAY TABB – From Professional Footballer to Racing Groom

Jay, 35 (at the time of graduating), had not so much as sat on a horse a year ago but that all changed when he was accepted onto the 12-week, residential Foundation Course. In preparation for the course commencing (on 29 March 2019) forward-thinking Jay booked half a dozen riding lessons at his local riding school so he had the basics in place.

Jay has watched the sport of horseracing as a spectator for many years and had an association as an owner with a racing stable. The future is very much in Jay’s hands but if there is one thing he knows and that is how to carve out a successful sporting career for he started his working life in 1999 playing, primarily as a central midfielder, for Crystal Palace before joining Brentford (2000 – 2006), then later Coventry City (2006 – 2009) followed by Reading (2009 – 2013) and lastly Ipswich Town (2013 – 2016).

The learning curve was steep as Jay not only had to learn to ride racehorses but also to care for them but Jay was focused and determined and now he is reaping the rewards with a flourishing career with leading National Hunt trainer, Philip Hobbs at his stables in Somerset.



Hayley, graduated from the NHC in 2014 and is employed as Barn Leader at Manor House Stables LLP in Cheshire which involves taking responsibility for the welfare of the horses in her yard and leading the staff who care for and ride the horses.

Winner of the Rider/Groom category in the Godolphin Stud and Stable Staff Awards 2020. They recognise and celebrate the unwavering dedication, hard work and passion which stud and stable staff offer the horses in their care day-in-day-out. They also recognise and celebrate the support and mentorship offered by stud and stable staff to their colleagues and to those entering the racing industry.


JOHN WILEY – Work Rider

John graduated from the 12-week residential Foundation Course at the NHC nearly 24 years ago and has been with the Brian Ellison Racing team for 12 years. John chats to us about his career in the racing industry, riding a winner, and his advice for anyone who would like to start a career in the racing industry.

RYAN COLLEY – Raceday Official, Starter

Ryan, from York, had never ridden before he attended the 12-week Foundation course at the NHC on leaving school. He completed all his qualifications through the College while working for trainers James Given, Alan King and Willie Mullins, before becoming assistant to Ruth Carr, for whom he rode two winners from eight rides as an amateur.

However, at 6ft his riding career was always destined to be short, and he has set his sights on becoming a raceday official, with a particular ambition to become a starter. He was given a leg up the ladder in that direction, when he spent eight weeks in the USA as the NHC’s first representative to take part in the new international scholarship introduced by the International Federation of Horse Racing Academies. Having passed a stringent examination there, he is now a starter for the BHA.


HOLLIE DOYLE – Professional Flat Jockey

Born in 1996, Hollie Doyle has become a household name when it comes to current British flat racing greats. She grew up around horses, her father is a former jockey and her mother rode in Arab horse races. Hollie completed her level 2 Apprenticeship Equine Groom Apprenticeship Standard at the National Horseracing College. In 2013, and prior to completing her Level 2 qualifications, Hollie spent the winter in Santa Anite, California, for six weeks.

Facts about Hollie:

Hollie Doyle
Royal Windsor 6.7.2020
Pic Dan Abraham-focusonracing.com
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