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Foundation Course

Residential Foundation Course

Level 1 Diploma in Work-Based Racehorse Care

For people seeking their first taste of racing, our Foundation Course will ensure they have the necessary skills to gain employment in the racing industry, and for existing racing staff, emphasis is placed on ensuring they receive the advice and develop the practical knowledge, skills and experience to gain promotion within their chosen field.

The Course:

  • 18-week, residential Foundation Course
  • 12 weeks at the National Horseracing College and 6-week work experience placement
  • Courses start every 4 weeks
  • Riding and non-riding option
  • Designed to ensure learners are competent both on the ground working with horses and also whilst riding a thoroughbred horse at exercise
  • Learners will receive lectures and demonstrations and will work to a routine similar to a racing stable whilst at the NHC
  • The aim of this course is to prepare learners for work in a racing stable

Who The Course is For:

  • Anyone age 16+
  • No previous equine experience or academic qualifications are required to enrol
  • Applicants must not weigh more than 11 stone ready to ride (i.e. wearing skullcap, body protector and boots).


  • Tuition for UK residents is free, including Irish residents
  • A contribution of £500 towards the £1200 cost of the accommodation and meals is payable
  • A £100 first instalment is required following an interview and to secure a place. The remainder of the course fee can be paid in agreed instalments prior to the course commencing
  • There is currently a bursary available to cover a percentage of this cost if the person comes from a household with an income of less than £26,000. Please call Aimee Collins on 01302 861000 to seek advice or support regarding bursary eligibility
  • To view our full policy on Bursary please click here Bursary Policy

Qualifications You Will Gain:

  • Level 1 Diploma in Work-Based Racehorse Care
  • Functional Skills Maths and English
  • Emergency First Aid Certificate
  • L3 Award in the Principles of Transporting Horses by Road on Short Journeys
  • L1 Award Introduction to Horseracing Industry
  • Life skills, including cooking, nutrition, fitness, looking after your money and talks from speakers from NARS and Racing Welfare

In addition, learners also improve their self-esteem, independence, self-confidence and resilience.

What Happens After the Course?

Upon successful completion of the course suitable learners, with the right aptitude, will be secured permanent, full-time employment in a UK racing yard, where they will become a member of the racing staff team.

The equipment necessary to commence the Foundation Course can be purchased through our onsite shop. Body protectors are provided by the National Horseracing College for the duration of the Foundation Course.

Short Course Options

Need to comply with the British Horseracing Authority ruling? All staff aged 19 and under who work in a racing yard must be working towards their Level 2 Equine Groom Apprenticeship Standard.

Industry Fast Track Course

For those aged 16-to-18 years old already riding out for a trainer, the National Horseracing College offers short-course training tailored to individual needs. Attendees will gain a Level 1 Diploma in Work-Based Racehorse Care and will start working towards a Level 2 Equine Groom Apprenticeship Standard. Candidates must be recommended by a trainer.

Exemption Course

For those aged 19 and under working in racing, the employer can apply for an exemption from the Level 1 Diploma (Foundation Course) for a candidate they believe to be working at or above this level. Our Roving Tutors will 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 National Horseracing College may offer a free one-week residential course.

View all Stable Staff Courses


  • Monday 24th Jun 2024 - Group 24.13
  • Monday 22nd Jul 2024 - Group 25.01
  • Monday 19th Aug 2024 - Group 25.02
  • Monday 16th Sep 2024 - Group 25.03
  • Monday 14th Oct 2024 - Group 25.04
  • Monday 11th Nov 2024 - Group 25.05
  • Monday 9th Dec 2024 - Group 25.06
  • Monday 13th Jan 2025 - Group 25.07
  • Monday 10th Feb 2025 - Group 25.08
  • Monday 10th Mar 2025 - Group 25.09
  • Monday 7th Apr 2025 - Group 25.10
  • Monday 5th May 2025 - Group 25.11

How To Apply

Do you like the look of the course and want to find out more? We are here to help – you can click on the links below to register your interest or you can apply online now.

Please note: we advise applying online at least 6-9 months in advance of an anticipated course start date to avoid disappointment.

Or contact Amelia Williams or Jade Taylor.

01302 861000

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