Careers in the Horseracing Industry

The 1st March 2021 marks the first day of National Careers Week 2021.

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 a Raceday Official, there is a career to suit every individual.

Here are just a few careers in the horseracing industry:

  • Jockey Coach
  • Professional Jockey
  • Apprentice/Conditional Jockey
  • Amateur/Point to Point Jockey
  • Trainer
  • Assistant Trainer
  • Starter
  • Racecourse Manager
  • Racecourse Officials
  • Clerk of the Course
  • Stalls Handler
  • Racing Photographer
  • Training Instructor
  • Racing Groom
  • Work Rider
  • Yard Based Racing Groom
  • Head Groom
  • Travelling Head Groom
  • Veterinary Officer
  • Racing Secretary
  • Stud Manager
  • Breeding and Bloodstock
  • Technical or Scientific Roles
  • Media Roles

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 ASHCROFT – Barn Manager

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.

 

MARTIN COLEMAN – Yard Based Racing Groom and Maintenance

Martin, a graduate of the NHC in 2019, found himself getting into the racing game a little later in life and hasn’t looked back. During his six-weeks at the NHC he learned all the practical tasks associated with being a yard person and essentially how a racing yard is run.

Martin works for jump trainer, Ruth Jefferson, at her stables in Norton, North Yorkshire. In addition to carrying out all yard duties Martin also undertakes routine maintenance jobs and takes pride in keeping the grass mowed and the field boundaries secure. Martin is a pivotal member of the team and brings to the job a wealth of experience and transferable skills gained in other industries.

Employment in the horseracing industry is accessible to absolutely everyone. There are no barriers and whatever your aspirations with a positive work ethic and a “can do” attitude you will receive the warmest of welcomes.

 

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, as a six-footer 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:

  • In August 2020, Hollie became the first Woman to ride 5 winners in one day
  • Hollie broke the record for the most winners in a calendar year by a female jockey with 116 wins in 2019
  • Rode her first Group 1 winner, the British Champions Sprint Stakes, riding Glen Shiel in October 2020 for Archie Watson and owners Hambleton Racing.
  • Rode a Group 2 winner, the Long Distance Cup, in October 2020 riding Trueshan for trainer Alan King and owners The Barbury Lions.
  • In October 2020, Hollie became the first female jockey to ride a winner on Champions Day at Ascot, when she steered Trueshan to victory in the Long Distance Cup. This was followed by her first Group 1, winning the Champions Sprint on Glen Shiel.
  • In 2020, Hollie has won big races including her first Group 2 and Group 3 wins.
  • Hollie’s first win at Royal Ascotcame in June 2020 when she steered 33/1 chance Scarlet Dragon to victory in the Duke of Edinburgh Stakes
  • Hollie rode her first Group race winner on 9 July 2020 on Dame Malliot in the Princess of Wales’s Stakes on the July Course at Newmarket
  • In July 2020 she was appointed as a retained jockey for owner Imad Al Sagar.
  • She had a winner on her first ride on 5 May 2013 on a horse named The Mongoose.

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