Your route to becoming a
Racing Groom

Under 16 years old

It’s fantastic that you are already thinking about a future job as a racing groom.

You can leave school at 16 to train to be a racing groom in Doncaster at the Northern Racing College or in Newmarket at the British Racing School. Even if that seems a long way off, there are several things you can be doing now that will help you decide if a job in a racing yard is really the job you want to do and to make it easier for you to find training and a job in the future.

16-years old
school leaver

It’s time for you to really start planning what job you want to do in the future. You must stay in education or some form of training until you are 18 years old.

It is a Rule of Racing that anyone under 19 years old who wants to work as a racing groom must start a Level 2 Apprenticeship or equivalent qualification. You can do this via the British Racing School (BRS), Northern Racing College (NRC)Haddon Training or, alternatively, you can study for a City and Guild Qualifications with HEROS. Complete beginners may have to complete a Foundation course, a pre-apprenticeship or your Level 1 Diploma in Work Based Racehorse Care first.

16-19 years old
equine student

When you left school, you may have been certain that you wanted to work with horses, but perhaps you were unsure as to which equestrian discipline you wanted to work in once you had completed your training.

As your training comes to an end, you may decide that you want to work in the racing industry. Some equine students go straight into employment with a racehorse trainer. However, others might want some specific training in looking after racehorses – and as you know, riding a racehorse at work is very different from riding a dressage horse or eventer. the British Racing School (BRS) and the Northern Racing College (NRC) both run a free Entry to Employment Programme that will help you prepare for riding racehorses and looking after them.

This is a suggested pathway for final year students of an equine qualification at an equine college or for those who have recently graduated with an equine qualification and who want to work with racehorses.

Over 19 years old
working in other equestrian disciplines or very competent riders

If you are over 19 years old and want to train to work as a Racing Groom, you may be able to get Government funding for training at the British Racing School or Northern Racing College if this is not the case, please talk to the Racing Schools.

Even so, please talk to the racing schools as there may be support from the racing industry and they may be able to suggest other training options.

If you are very competent at riding, have been working with horses in another discipline for a while and want to move into working with racehorses there are a few options we would suggest for training and finding work in a racehorse yard.

  1. The British Racing School and Northern Racing College provide a Transition to Racing course for those who are experienced riders in another equestrian discipline but who want to learn to ride for racing.
  2. You can apply to work with a racehorse trainer and your training can be led by your employer. Selected racehorse trainers offer employer-led training. This is a new scheme run by the British Horseracing Authority and the National Trainers Federation. You train on-the-job and the racehorse trainer measures your progress against a Racing Groom Skills Passport.
  3. You can apply to work with a racehorse trainer immediately and they may help you with your racing work riding technique. You could do a short course in work riding at the British Racing School or Northern Racing College, or your employer could invite the racing schools into your yard to train a group of staff in work riding.

Over 19 years old
not in racing

Don’t worry if you haven’t worked in racing before and have no or limited experience of working with horses. There are training options for beginners or novices of any age.

If you have already used Government funding for other equine training, you may be eligible for more Government funding for training. Please talk to the British Racing School or Northern Racing College. They may also be able to suggest other training options.  

We’d suggest one of two options for you:

  1. You can apply to work with a racehorse trainer and your training can be led by your employer. Selected racehorse trainers offer employer-led training. This is a new scheme run by the British Horseracing Authority and the National Trainers Federation. You train on-the-job and the racehorse trainer measures your progress against a Racing Groom Skills Passport.
  2. Students up to 22 years old may be eligible for the Foundation Level 1 Diploma in Work Based Racehorse Care and then the Level 2 Diploma in Work Based Racehorse Care. Funding support may be available from the racing industry, so please speak to the racing schools or Haddon Training for more information.

Over 19 years old
returning to racing after a break

Your route back into racing will depend on the qualifications and experience you had before you left the racing industry. In most cases we would suggest applying direct to a trainer for a new position.

If it has been some time since you worked with horses and particularly some time since you last rode for work, then you may want to consider a short course in work riding at the British Racing School (BRS) or Northern Racing College (NRC), or your employer could invite the British Racing School or Northern Racing College into your yard to train a group of staff in work riding.

Over 19 years old
already working in racing looking for a new job

There may come a time when you want to move on from your role. You may feel you want a new challenge, move to a new area or look for more responsibility in another yard.

There is support from The Careers Advice and Training Service (CATS) to help you plan a career path and the CareersinRacing job board to help you find new jobs.

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