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Posted on 17th September 2020

What qualifications do I need to become a jockey?


We often get asked what route people can take to become a jockey.

Those who want to become a Flat or National Hunt jockey will need to begin by successfully completing the 12-week residential Foundation Course at the National Horseracing College (NHC). From here, successfully complete 6-week work placement with a racehorse trainer. The location and type of racing yard you will be placed in will be decided by both the Training Manager at the NHC and yourself. Currently, 96% of our learners are offered full-time employment by the racehorse trainer.

The next stage is to begin your Level 2 Equine Groom Apprenticeship Standard, this will be undertaken at your place of work and our Roving Tutors will offer support and guidance throughout your apprenticeship, and this qualification will take a year to complete. You will need to be working towards, or have completed the Level 2 Equine Groom Apprenticeship Standard before you are considered for a jockey license.

Already working in racing? Our exemption course is for those aged 19 and under working in racing, the employer can apply for an exemption from the Level 1 Diploma for a candidate they believe to be working at or above this level. Our Roving Tutors can assess the candidate in the workplace with a view to them enrolling on the Level 2 Equine Groom Apprenticeship Standard. Or, if gaps in mandatory qualifications are identified the NHC may offer a free one week course.

Once your employer, the racehorse trainer, feels that you are capable and prepared, they will contact the NHC and put you forward for a jockey license course.

Head over to our ‘Success Stories‘ page to see just a few NHC graduates who have gone on to become successful jockey’s.


how to become a jockey UKOwen Payton, NHC graduate now Apprentice Jockey for Jedd O’Keeffe



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