Race ahead to a new career

Release Date: 02-Jul-2013
The horse racing industry is bucking the trend when it comes to job opportunities in the recession – and Doncaster’s Northern Racing College can help you to kick off a career in this exciting international sport.
Training on the gallops

Training on the gallops

The Northern Racing College offers a 12-week residential foundation course designed to help 16-19-year-olds find out if they want to work in the racing industry. You don’t need to know how to ride to join the course, and funding options are available to help cover the costs of study.

The Foundation Course consists of 12 weeks of hands-on training in how to ride and care for thoroughbred racehorses. During the course students live in purpose-built accommodation on the site, just as they would at a racehorse training yard.

A typical day involves getting up early to exercise the race horses before enjoying a hearty breakfast with up to 40 fellow students from around the UK. This is followed by a busy schedule which may include mucking out and washing the horses to riding lessons or a relaxing hack through nearby woodland, and sessions discussing opportunities in racing with professionals from the industry. In the evenings students eat together and chill out in large lounge area with pool and TV.

The course is designed to help students move into a Level 2 Diploma on an apprenticeship place at a training yard which is the entry point to a wide range of careers from working on a racing yard to being a jockey. It also helps them to learn how to look after themselves in preparation for living away from home, with classes in cookery, money management, communication skills and how to avoid becoming a victim of crime.

Sarah Beattie of the Northern Racing College says the course has been the first step to a job for many young people.

She explains : “We place around 80 per cent of the students from these courses in apprenticeship places at training yards. Those who decide that they do not want to go into racing still find the Foundation Course really valuable in developing work skills such as being on time and taking responsibility for tasks. It can make a great difference in helping them get a job or apprenticeship in a different type of employment.”

What the students say

Tom applied and was accepted on the Foundation Course, despite the fact that he had never ridden a horse before. He took to it immediately and made such good progress that his tutor decided he was ready to go out on the imitation racecourse known as ‘the gallops’ after just three weeks.

Tom says: “I was really scared at first but the speed gives you an amazing adrenaline rush. It felt like I was going at 300 mph!”

Tom also speaks highly of the experience of living at the Northern Racing College during his training, along with other teenagers from across the UK.

“We’re like one big family,” he says. “It’s been really amazing and I’ve met loads of new friends.”

Charlotte has been riding since she was five years old and wants to spend her working life around horses.

She says: “I passed my GCSEs and A Levels and I was studying art, but found that I was really bored by it. I just love being with horses and working outside so when I heard about this course I signed up.

“It’s been fantastic and now I know I want to be a jockey, or if that doesn’t work out I want to be an equine veterinary nurse. I’m really glad that I came here.”

Who can go on the course?
The course is designed for 16-19 year-olds but older students may also be accepted.

You do not need any qualifications or riding experience, just a strong desire to work in the racing industry. Those who apply will be interviewed to see if they would benefit from the course.

How do I find out more?
Contact the college for further details or an application pack by ringing 01302 861000 or email .

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