Information for Parents & Carers
As a parent or carer, find out more about the training and career options for young people.
Working in the Racing Industry
The racing industry offers some fantastic opportunities for young people. Your son or daughter, may be all ready to get started but it is only natural that as a parent or guardian you will have lots of questions.
The government has increased the age to which all young people in England must continue in education or training. They are now required to stay in education or training until the end of the academic year in which they turn 18.
This does not necessarily mean staying in school. They have a choice as to how to continue in education or training post-16, this might be
- full-time study in a school, college or with a training provider
- full-time work or volunteering combined with part-time education or training
- an apprenticeship
So if your child is desperate to start working with horses as soon as possible, leaving school at 16 and continuing to study on a Foundation Course at the British Racing School or the National Horseracing College is an option, prior to starting their apprenticeship training with an employer.
These will all lead on to working as a Racing Groom, working practically with horses in a racing yard.
If your child stays on at school to do A Levels, they can still attend one of the training providers to complete an apprenticeship. If they decide to go onto University, there is always the British Horseracing Development Programme to consider and even the Thoroughbred Industries MBA.
Pay, Pensions and Prospects
The racing industry is diverse in the types and levels of roles available and as such the salaries are across a huge range. If your child is entering the industry on the administration side – perhaps as a graduate – you should expect them to be paid competitively with other industries.
For those that are starting out in the practical side of the industry working with horses as a Racing Groom in a racehorse trainers yard, they will be protected by many of the agreements that are in place by way of the Trainer’s License, issued by the British Horseracing Authority.
This offers them a great deal of protection, and in that respect potentially a better working environment than that of other equestrian disciplines, such as eventing or show jumping.
The staff union National Association of Racing Staff is key in supporting stable staff in the industry and works closely with the employers National Trainers Federation to agree terms. Some of the key aspects of employment that they discuss and agree are:
Wages and conditions
The Agreement provides for a Racing Industry Minimum Rates of Pay Structure and certain standard conditions of employment for stable staff employed by trainers in the racing industry. Further details and current rates of pay can be found on the National Association of Racing Staff website.
Pool Money (bonus scheme)
This is essentially the distribution of a share of a percentage of the prize money won by a horse in the yard. The stable staff in the yard agree how they want this to be fairly distributed. The payment of pool money by the trainer to the staff is governed by the Orders and Rules of Racing. Non compliance is a breach of the rules which could result in disciplinary action by the British Horseracing Authority, hence staff are protected.
Under the Rules of Racing trainers have to contribute to a pension scheme for eligible employees.
The Racing Industry Accident Benefit Scheme (RIABS)
RIABS is funded by licensed and permitted trainers and by contributions from stable staff. The scheme provides for benefits to eligible persons following accidental injury, disablement or death arising out of, whilst carrying out duties for a licensed trainer, including bona fide journeys between normal place of residence and place of work. The scheme does not cover race riding accidents or accidents, which occur while on, or travelling to and from a racecourse when engaged to ride.
Working in the Thoroughbred Breeding Industry
The Breeding industry, whilst not regulated in the same way under license, also looks to provide excellent employment practices. The Thoroughbred Breeders Association is the only official body representing Thoroughbred Breeders in Great Britain and further details on employment can be found on their website.
The Welfare support in the industry is second to none and by having such a strong racing community goes towards creating a safe and supporting working environment. Take a look at the benefits of working in the racing industry in our Welcome to the Racing Industry video below.