“I don’t want to be a jockey, so working in racing is not for me…”
You might be surprised to know that there’s a huge variety of careers on offer within the racing industry, including many office-based roles where no horse handling or riding skills are required. Careers in Racing have answered some common misconceptions about working in racing here.
Ahead of our Racing Careers Day on Monday 12 August, we’ve looked at some of the different careers within the industry including practical roles working directly with horses and roles at racecourses and racing authorities:
- Broadcaster - A Racing Broadcaster will report on raceday activities on one of the various media channels. It requires long and unsocial hours and a determined and dedicated approach to work, together with an almost encyclopaedic memory of racing information.
- Catering & Hospitality - At each racecourse there will be a team of Catering and Hospitality people operating across all mediums of race day and non-race day hospitality, restaurants, conferences & events.
- Clerk of the Course - The Clerk of the Course is responsible for all matters relating to turf management, fence construction, course configuration and race day preparation and operation. In conjunction with the Racecourse Manager they will also deal with race planning and aim to achieve an optimum fixture list. Click here to read a Case Study.
- Groudstaff - Depending on its size a racecourse can have a team of Groundstaff from between two and thirty people. They work in all weathers and often during unsociable hours. Groundstaff will ensure the turf and or track and all its rails and fences are in excellent condition for racing.
- Handicapper - Employed by the British Horseracing Authority, the role of the Handicapper is to provide effective handicap ratings for a designated group of racehorses, based on analytical and evaluative evidence. This enables those horses to compete on Handicap Races with equal opportunity to ensure the equitable distribution of prize money and an open betting market. Handicappers also evaluate the performance of horses in domestic and international races. They provide ratings for the appropriate handicap file within the required timescale and advise racing officials such as Stipendiary Stewards and Stewards’ Secretaries on the acceptability of the performance of horses in particular races. Handicappers liaise with trainers and the media to advance knowledge of handicapping and promote British Horseracing Authority policy.
- Professional Jockey - A Professional Jockey will ride in either flat or jump races according to their chosen field of work and licence obtained. Some jockeys may be retained, or employed, by a trainer although the majorities are self-employed. When not race riding, jockeys will often ride out for trainers to maintain contact and assist with preparing horses to race fitness.
- Racing Groom - The role of a Racing Groom is to provide direct care of the racehorse under instruction of the Head Groom and Assistant Trainer. Normally a full-time position, routine yard duties include mucking out, sweeping the yard, grooming, feeding, exercising, general horse care and welfare, accompanying horses to the races and ongoing communication with trainer, owner, and jockey concerning condition of horses in their charge. Click here to read a Case Study.
- Racecourse Manager - The Racecourse Manager is responsible for all matters relating to running a racecourse as a business, including race day preparation and the race day itself. On race days the Manager deals with race goers, owners, trainers, jockeys, sponsors, caterers, race day staff, police, security, press, broadcasters, bookmakers and any subcontractors on site.
- Stipendiary Steward - Working as part of the British Horseracing Authority’s Raceday Officials team, the Stipendiary Steward’s role ensures all races are run smoothly and within the rules of racing at all meetings. There are usually two Stipendiary Stewards at every race meeting and three at the major meetings such as Royal Ascot and the Cheltenham Festival. They assist the Stewards when making decisions following an enquiry into a race and are very knowledgeable in the Rules of Racing.
- Stud Manager - The role of the Stud Manager is to run the entire Stud Farm as a business enterprise, breeding and caring for horses to race and liaising with owners and trainers. The Stud Manager must organise Stud Grooms and Stud Hands and oversee the stud office. Stud Manager will work closely with the Stud Secretary, Stallion Handers and other key staff. The Stud Manager’s role will include care of stallions, mares, foals and young stock, communicating with owners and liaising with Weatherby’s Stud Book Department.
- Trainer - The role of the trainer is to run the entire yard as a business enterprise, prepare and maintain horses for racing, liaise with all relevant parties to progress towards success in winning races. The trainer must organise stable staff and work riders. Trainers will be supported by the racing secretary and assistant trainer. The trainer’s role will include training the horses, communicating with owners on the progression of horses in training, deciding on race entries for the horses, organising the transportation of the horses to the races and attending the races.
- Valet - A jockey’s Valet is responsible for looking after jockeys’ riding equipment during a race meeting. They will ensure they are wearing the correct silks, numbers and riding equipment. A Valet will also clean saddles, wash silks and shine boots for jockeys.
- Veterinary Officer - The Veterinary Officer works on behalf of the British Horseracing Authority to implement all veterinary aspects of racing from health and welfare to drug testing. Racecourse activities include carry out identity checks on horses in the racecourse stables and coordinating the dope testing of nominated horses, before sending samples to the Horseracing Forensic Laboratory in Newmarket.
This list offers just a brief insight into some of the careers within the racing industry, you can visit the careersinracing Career Path pages for a more detailed look at all the options available.
Racing Careers Day on Monday 12 August will showcase a variety of careers within the racing industry and give young racing fans the opportunity to experience the inner workings of a racecourse as part of the behind the scenes tour and workshop ahead of racing. Click here for more information and details on how to book onto the FREE workshop and behind the scenes tour.
The first of 7 races is scheduled for 2.15pm, and FREE children’s entertainment will be available throughout the day as well as the Northern Racing College racing simulator, giving race goers the opportunity to feel what it’s like to ride a winner!
Book your tickets online and save up to 20% on your Grandstand & Paddock admission.