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14-16 Year Old Programme

This two-year course is designed for 14 – 16-year-olds (school years 10 and 11), currently in full-time education who want to spend one day a week at the National Horseracing College working towards a Level 1 Diploma in Racehorse Care. For many, this initial training course leads to an apprenticeship and permanent employment in the horseracing industry upon completion of the learner’s full-time studies. Learners for this course are enrolled following a recommendation made by a member of staff at their school.

No experience is needed, just an interest in horses and a commitment to be reliable, hard-working and motivated.

Course Information

  • A 3-term course commencing in September and concluding in July the following year
  • The course cost is £1,950 per year for all three terms; £650 payable in advance at the start of each term. The cost must be met by the school the learner is attending or by the learner’s family. Lunch is provided.
  • The course is one day per week during term time only. The programme is delivered on a Wednesday with a 9am start and a 4.30pm finish.
  • Transport to and from the National Horseracing College is the responsibility of the school/learner
  • Learners must bring a skull cap (matching Kite Mark standards PAS 015:2011), jodhpur boots and half chaps or long-riding boots. The required equipment can be purchased through the NHC shop
  • The National Horseracing College provides learners with a body protector and other essential personal protective equipment
  • All activities at the National Horseracing College are supervised by qualified instructors/assessors.

Jobs/Careers Available After Completion Of The Course

Learners attending the 14-16-Year-Old Programme will be eligible to apply for the Apprenticeship Course when they finish school year 11. Learners will typically attend the National Horseracing College for a six-week residential course, dependent on experience, to gain their riding qualification, life skills and prepare them for life in the workplace.  Upon successful completion of the residential course, the National Horseracing College will secure them a placement in a racehorse trainer’s yard, where they will commence an Apprenticeship Programme, including a Level 2 Diploma in Racehorse Care. Completion of the Apprenticeship Programme can lead to the Advanced Apprenticeship, including a Level 3 Diploma in Racehorse Care and Management.

Application Process

To be considered for the 14-16-Year-Old Programme, in the first instance, and if in full-time education, a discussion between parents/guardians with the applicant’s school is required to gain their backing. Once the school has confirmed their support, an online application should be submitted.  Upon receipt of an application, applicants will be invited to attend an interview and, in some cases, an assessment may also be undertaken.

Applicants who have a statement of Educational Needs and/or Education, Health Care plan or additional classroom support provided at school, will require their school to provide the same support when the learner is at the National Horseracing College.  The National Horseracing College does not undertake to provide additional learning support unless the learners school pays for this at an extra cost, to be negotiated on an individual basis.

Do Learners Need Any Prior Experience With Horses?

No, the course is open to complete beginners. All learners need is an interest in working with horses.

What Does The Course Include?

Each programme includes Racehorse Care Diplomas which, unlike traditional qualifications, demonstrate that a learner is competent and can perform to the standard required by the racing industry. Programmes cover a wide range of subjects including mucking out, tack cleaning, grooming and other horse husbandry activities, as well as theoretical elements, for example, lectures on horse health and many other subjects and seminars.

Pony Racing Scholarship

Learners attending the National Horseracing College 14-to-16 Programme will have the opportunity for a scholarship that will enable them to race in Pony Club or Point-to-Point Pony Races on the NHC racing ponies. We give thanks to The Racing Foundation who have generously supported the 14-to-16 Programme.

The Racing Foundation was established in 2012 to oversee the distribution of funds to charitable causes within racing following the sale of the Tote. Since its inception, it has granted over £2million to charities associated with the horseracing and thoroughbred breeding industry in the UK, supporting work in social welfare, education, training and participation, horse welfare, equine science research and heritage and culture. Website: www.racingfoundation.co.uk

View all Stable Staff Courses
A member of the school can contact Amelia Williams or Jade Taylor for more details:

01302 861000

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