Track Rider

A Track Rider plays a vital role in conditioning thoroughbreds to a level of fitness suitable for racing, they can also be known as 'work riders' too.  Track Riders follow directions given to them by the trainer and ride each thoroughbred's work to those instructions.  A Track Rider is required to ride at speeds that vary from walking, trotting, collected canter through to controlled speed known as half-pace and, or three-quarter pace or even-time.

A Track Rider's duties require strength as well as judgement, it's skilled work as riders need to be able to interpret information that concerns each horse's action and health to a high level of accuracy when reporting back to the trainer.

Many Track Riders are employed by a trainer, but some work freelance, riding work for a number of different stables, in this instance they must possess a high-level of riding skill. This can often be the case in smaller training centres where individual trainers don't have enough horses to warrant the full time employment of their own Track Riders. There is a growing need for Track Riders and there are a high number of casual positions available at most race tracks around Australia. Some larger stables offer incentives for those riders who want to just ride work while holding down a job in another field.

Track work commences in the early hours of the morning with most major metropolitan racecourses opening at 4am, with provincial and country racecourses opening slightly later.

All Track Riders must be licensed by their respective Principle Racing Authority to ensure they have the adequate skills required to handle thoroughbreds. Track Riders will often have previous experience riding horses.

If you have no previous horse riding skills, there are courses available to assist you with the base level requirements you need to become a Track Rider.

Available Courses

RGR30108 – Certificate III in Racing (Trackrider)

Racing Queensland
T: (07) 3869 9737
Rhonda McCallum
P: 03 5723 6229
Melbourne Polytechnic
Debbie Jones
P: 03 9269 1200
Skillinvest Limited
Office Administration: 03 5381 6200
David Cookson
M: 0439 552 402
Kim Packer
M: 0418 349 269
Racing Industry Skills Centre
Vicki Moro
P: 03 5449 3590
South West TAFE
Lisa Coffey
P: 0400 519 483
New South Wales
Australian Racing and Equine Academy (RTO 90000)
P: 1800 200 724
Richmond College, Cnr Blacktown Road and Campus Drive, Richmond NSW 2753
  • AREA delivers training in a partnership agreement with RNSW
  • Smart and Skilled Training is subsidised by the NSW Government
  • ACT Training is subsidised under the ACT Government Funding Agreement
NSW Training Requirements
Online Safety Induction: All new licensees in NSW must complete the online HorseSafe Racing Industry Safety Induction.
Register at Training: To be eligible for Racing NSW's 1.5% prizemoney bonus scheme, licensees must obtain, or be in the process, of achieving a National Qualification in their vocation (Certificate II, III in Stablehand and Advanced Stablehand, Certificate III Trackrider)
Western Australia

Further information can be found on the RWWA website:

Skillinvest - 1300 308 620
Tafe Tasmania - 1300 655 307 or 6777 2634
Marion Dalco (Thoroughbreds) - 0407 434 054
South Australia
Skillinvest Limited
Office Administration: 03 5381 6200
David Cookson
M: 0439 552 402
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