Foundation Course Update – Covid 19

(updated 17.06.2020). We can now confirm the NHC will recommence Foundation Course training on-site at the beginning of July.

Our decision has been taken after careful and detailed deliberation on a host of factors including, as a priority, the health and wellbeing of staff and learners. We have monitored Government and ESFA guidance very carefully throughout the current pandemic. We have discussed courses of action in detail with the BHA whose leaders are fully supportive of our chosen way ahead.

We will be in touch with those learners who have been offered a place on the July or August courses, to advise you of the next steps.

We look forward to welcoming you to the College shortly..

Residential Foundation Course

Level 1 Diploma in Work Based Racehorse Care

For those 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 and experience to gain promotion within their chosen field.

the course
  • 18 week, residential foundation course
  • 12 weeks at the NHC and 6 weeks work experience placement.
  • Courses start every 6 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 if 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 is free for EU/EEA residents.
  • The actual cost of the accommodation and subsistence for the 12 week course is £1200.
  • If the family income is less than £23,000 (details in Bursary Policy) learners are eligible to apply for up to £1150 from the ESFA Residential Bursary Fund towards their residential fees.
  • The NHC offers a range other bursaries/discounts to eligible students and the majority will only pay £350 which must be paid in full before commencing the course.
  •   A £50 deposit/bond is required upon enrolment for accommodation.
Qualifications you will gain;
  • Level 1 Diploma in Work Based Racehorse Care
  • Functional Skills Maths & English
  • Emergency First Aid Certificate
  • L3 Award in the principles of transporting horses by road on short journeys
  • L1 Award introduction to horse racing 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 stable staff team.

All the necessary equipment can be provided through the onsite shop. Body protectors are provided for the duration of the foundation course.

Short course options

Need to comply with BHA ruling? All staff aged 19 or under in racing 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 NHC offer short-course training tailored to your needs. You will gain a Level 1 Diploma in Work Based Racehorse Care and 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 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.


4 October 2020
15 November 2020 
3 January 2021
7 February 2021
21 March 2021
2 May 2021
13 June 2021
25 July 2021
5 September 2021
17 October 2021
28 November 2021
9 January 2022


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 apply online. 


Or contact Sarah Beattie, Zoe Horne or Amelia Williams:

: 01302 861000