The Australian thoroughbred racing and breeding industry offers a range of careers, employment oppurtunities and horse jobs. Below are descriptions of some of the various jobs that the industry has to offer.
A Track Rider helps exercise race horses by walking, trotting and galloping them so they are fit enough to ride in a race. Track Riders are like Jockeys, but they don’t ride in races and do no have to manage their weight in the same way that Jockeys do. Most Track Riders are employed by a trainer, but some work free lance, riding track work for a number of different stables. There is a growing need for Track Riders and there are generally positions available at most race tracks around Australia . Track Riders generally start work around 4.00am avoiding the heat of the day, so they have the opportunity to hold another job or study during the day. All Track Riders must be licensed by the respective Principle Racing Association in each State. If you have no previous horse riding skills, there are courses available to provide you with experience and prepare you with the skills you need to become a track rider.
A Stable hands duties include grooming, feeding, walking and attending the races with horses ensuring that they are looked after. Some Stable hands also ride track work. Stables generally open around 4.00am for the morning shift, and re open around 3pm for the afternoon shift, in order to avoid the heat of the day. Stable hands must be licensed by the respective Principal Racing Authority and are employed by Trainers.
A Stud Hands duties include grooming, feeding and walking of horses in a Stud Farm environment. This role is similar to the role of a Stable Hand, however instead of working in racing stables, it is based at a Stud Farm. Stud Hands are employed by the Stud Farm.
A Trainer conditions horses to bring them to a certain level of fitness and prepares them for races. It is about knowing a horse’s abilities and strengths and training them for particular races. Becoming a trainer takes a lot of experience working with horses and working in racing stables. Most trainers start out originally working as stable hands or track riders and working there way up the ladder in order to gain experience. Many trainers have their own stables, and others are employed by larger stables. It is a highly competitive area, and not everyone can make it. Apart from having experience with horses, trainers must also have good communication skills, as they need to manage staff and also communicate with owners and potential owners.
A Farrier is responsible for the shoeing of horses and work across racing stables, stud farms and large equestrian establishments. Most trainers and stud farms will only use a farrier that is qualified. Farriers are mainly self employed, however some race clubs, larger stables and stud farms also employ farriers.
Professional specialist dental care is required as part of regular horse maintenance. This care requires high level of skills and knowledge in a variety of dental aspects. To become an Equine Dentist you will need to complete a Certificate in Equine Dentistry.
Equine Veterinarian & Nurses
Equine Veterinarians and Nurses play an important part in the health and welfare of race horses. There are career opportunities for graduates in speciality equine practices. There are also a small amount of positions available throughout Australia with regulatory bodies. To become an Equine Veterinarian you will need to complete a Degree in Veterinary Science.
Becoming a Jockey can be a tough but rewarding full time career in a highly competitive sporting industry. Jockeys begin their career being employed by a racehorse trainer as an apprentice jockey, before going on to be self employed. Jockeys will be required to work in both country and metropolitan areas and ride at race meets in all areas to gain experience. There are opportunities for Jockeys to also ride in other countries such as Hong Kong , France , Singapore and the United Kingdom . Apprentices must be at least 15 years of age and with a weight below 50kgs.
Horse Float Driver
Horse Float Drivers are responsible for the transportation of race and breeding horses. Their work involves transporting race horses to and from various race tracks on race day and transporting horses between racing stables and spelling farms. Float Drivers also transport Stallions, Broodmares and foals for breeding purposes. There may also be some long haul and interstate work involved. Float Drivers must hold a MR, HR or HC truck license and be prepared to work long hours, involving early morning starts and overnight trips. The must also have experience handling horses as they will be required to load horses on and off the trucks.
Stewards are responsible for the conducting of race meetings ensuring that the Rules of Racing are adhered to. Being a Steward involves a wide number of duties in order to properly control and regulate racing. Stewards are employed by the Principle Racing Authority of each State and all Stewards start as a Cadet Steward.
Handicappers are responsible for determining what weight horses should carry in a race. Handicappers are employed through the respective Principle Racing Authority and must have a good understanding of racing and be able to assess a horses racing form.
Barrier Attendants are responsible for the loading of horses into the barriers on race days. Barrier Attendants must have experience in handling horses and are employed by Race Clubs. As it is a job that only involves work on race days, most barrier attendants hold other jobs, some working at racing stables.
A Bookmakers Clerk is responsible for the processing of bets that are placed through a Bookmaker. Clerks are employed by Bookmakers and must be licensed by the respective Principle Racing Authority. A Bookies Clerk is responsible for handling cash and calling the bet, and/or entering the bet into the computer and printing out the ticket.
Tote operators are responsible for the processing of bets that are place through the Tote. Tote Operators are employed by the Tote and must be able to handle cash and enter bets into the computer.
A Race Caller is responsible for the calling of races and trials. Race Callers are employed by relevant radio and television stations.
Responsible for the assessment and purchasing of horses on behalf of clients. Some Bloodstock Agents also syndicate horses.
A Syndicator is responsible for the purchasing of horses and then finding owners to race the horse. A syndicator will also help manage the horse and finances through its career.
A Race Course Manager is responsible for the management of race tracks, to ensure that on race day the track is provides a safe and fair racing surface. Racecourse Managers are employed by Race Clubs and generally have experience of qualifications in Horticulture.
Horse Breakers are responsible for educating young horses and preparing them so that they can be ridden and commence training for races. Horse Breakers are generally self employed.
A Pre-Trainer is responsible for the conditioning of horses prior to them going into racing stables. A may go to a pre-trainer straight after spelling, so that the pre-trainer can do some conditioning work with the horse, and send it to the racing stable in a more forward position.
Along with the above positions there are a range of other positions in the industry. These positions include:
Stable Foreman: Similar to an assistant trainer or senior stable hand.
Foal Watcher: Responsible for the watching Mares that are about to give birth.
Yearling Preparer: Responsible for the preparation of yearlings leading up to Sales.
Broodmare Manager: Responsible for the management of Broodmares on Stud Farms
Stud Manager: Responsible for the running and management of a Stud Farm.
Pedigree Analyst: Responsible for studying horses pedigree in order to assist with stallion selection for mares.
Administration: General administration roles within racing offices, race clubs, stables, stud farms etc.
Judge: Responsible for determining the finish order of horses in races.
Jockey Manager: Responsible for the management of Jockeys and dealing with trainers in order to secure race rides for their jockeys.
There are many other positions and careers available in the thoroughbred racing industry. If you would like to learn more about any of these positions, please feel free to contact us.