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 for UK residents is free, including Irish residents.
  • A £50 deposit/bond is required upon enrolment for accommodation.
  • For the twelve week course a contribution of £350 towards the cost of the accommodation and meals is payable.
  • There is a currently a bursary available to cover a percentage of this cost if the person comes from a household with an income less than £23,000. 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 & 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.


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. 

Please note: we advise applying online 9-12 months in advance to avoid disappointment


Or contact Sarah Beattie, Zoe Horne or Amelia Williams:

: 01302 861000