Work Experience

Why should I do work experience?

There are many good reasons why doing work experience before your Racing Groom training is a good idea.

These include:

  • If you are unsure of what career you want to do, work experience is a perfect way to try out different career options. Before committing to any training or full-time jobs as a Racing Groom, you can try it and see if you like it.
  • It’s a great way of getting a sense of what it will be like working as a Racing Groom. You’ll get to talk to your employer and other staff, and they can tell you all about the job. You’ll get to do some of the tasks that you will be doing once you start in a paid role – and you’ll get an idea of the other skills you will need to learn to do your job at your best.
  • You are more likely to be successful when looking for a job if you have already shown you are interested and passionate about working in racing and have done some good work experience. It’s a good thing to put on your CV when you are looking for a job.
  • Who knows, you might impress your employer so much that they might offer you a job immediately or after your training!

How do I look for work experience opportunities?

You should start looking for work experience about six months before you want to do it. Your school might help arrange this for you as part of their work experience placements, or you may wish to arrange work experience yourself.

Decide if you want to work near your home or if you would be prepared to work in another part of the country where you could stay with other family or friends. You’ll need to decide too if you want to work with a flat or National Hunt trainer – or maybe you aren’t quite sure yet, in which case you could look for work experience in a yard that trains both flat and jump horses.

Look at our Trainer map to see which racehorse trainers you can approach for work experience. Alternatively, you may have family or friends who already know people working in racing. They may be able to introduce you to someone who could help you to find work experience in a yard.

By joining the Racing Groom Hub and accessing our trainer locator where you will be able to search for employers who offer work experience. You will also be able to create your CV and fill out a covering letter ready to email directly to your chosen employer.

How do I apply for work experience?

You can explore the racehorse trainers’ websites or social media profiles to get a feel for the yard and they may have their own instructions or forms for applying for work experience.

If they don’t then we suggest you write a letter or email to the trainer or his or her racing secretary first. When asking for work experience, it is vital that you are honest about your abilities and experience, particularly as to whether you have any experience with thoroughbreds or fit competition horses. Lack of experience does not mean you will not be considered but it is important the trainer knows what you have done before to ensure that they can make suitable and safe arrangements for you during work experience.

From their website or by giving the yard a telephone call first, find the name of the person you need to write to, so that you can address them personally in your letter. It makes a better first impression if you can write to them personally.

You must tell them why you want to do work experience at their yard and include a copy of your latest CV. You will find a CV builder and a sample covering letter on our Racing Groom Hub.

You should follow your letter with a phone call if they haven’t replied after a week. You might have to approach a few racehorse trainers before you find one who will offer you work experience.

You can do work experience for any amount of time, but we would suggest at least one week. You’ll need to agree the dates and length of time with the employer. Make sure you find out what time you will be needed on your first day too.

What do I wear for work experience?

Ask your contact at the yard what you should wear. Make sure it us practical, comfortable, clean and tidy.

If you will be riding, then a hat and a racing approved body protector (Level 3 is preferred) is essential. The racehorse trainer may provide you with these – speak to them about it before your first day.

We list other clothing you will need or might need to consider in our ‘What does a racing groom wear?’ section. If your clothing isn’t suitable or safe your employer may have no choice but to send you home.

What happens on your first day of work experience?

On your first day you may feel a little nervous, so be well prepared to help the day go as smoothly as possible.

Make sure you arrive on time. It’s better to be a bit early than to arrive late. Leave home in plenty of time just in case you get held up – it’s not unusual to meet a herd of cows or a slow tractor on your way to a yard!

Before you even start doing any jobs or activities, your employer or their representative might give you a welcome talk. In this they will tell you about the yard rules including the health and safety risks and fire, accident and first aid procedures. You must listen carefully, follow instructions and use any safety equipment that has been provided.

You employer will also want to find out a bit more about you, what experience and skills you already have and if there are any particular tasks that you would like to be involved with.

You will probably be given a supervisor, who will be another racing groom, who will show you how to do the roles you have been given, and they will be around to answer any questions you have. At first, you may be given simple task to see how you get on, but if you prove yourself to be confident and competent you will be given more tasks and responsibility as your work experience placement progresses.

Join NOW!

Create an account on the Racing Groom Hub

Use our free CV & cover letter tools for easy job applications and to apply for Work Experience

Find any licensed trainer in the UK using our ’Trainer Locator’ who may offer you a job or work experience.

Access exclusive benefits for Racing Grooms

Top tip! If you can’t see your perfect job advertised, trainers welcome speculative applications too! Use the trainer locator to get started.