The duties of a Stablehand include grooming, feeding, walking, keeping the stable clean, saddling up and attending the races with horses to ensure they are safe at all times. Some Stablehands ride track work in the mornings too.
Racehorses require constant care and attention to ensure they are performing at their best; this means Stablehands are required to be at work early in the morning and again in the afternoon. The morning shifts may commence as early as 3:30am-4.00am depending on the size of the stable to meet the individual needs of each thoroughbred under the direction of the Trainer. When a Stablehand returns in the afternoons they ensure thoroughbreds are walked, groomed, fed, have adequate water and rugged in the cooler months.
During each shift the Stablehand maybe required to work as part of a team, in some situations supervise others or act autonomously in a limited capacity too.
A Stablehand can be required to attend race meetings during the day as well as the evening where they are required to prepare the thoroughbred for its race, wash and dry the horse before loading the horse onto and off the float.
Stablehand's must be licensed by their respective Principal Racing Authority (PRA) and are employed by Racehorse Trainers. In addition, there are strict regulatory requirements relating to horse handling skills and fitness of character, the relevant PRA has recognised courses within each state or territory which every Stablehand must complete to be eligible for employment.
RGR10208 – Certificate I in Racing (Stablehand)
RGR20108 – Certificate II in Racing (Stablehand)
RGR30208 – Certificate III in Racing (Advanced Stablehand)
Further information can be found on the RWWA website: