THIS summer, RACE will be running a new programme to help people gain practical skills and employment in the thoroughbred industry over a two to six-week period.

Starting on July 25th, the course will consist of an initial two-week block of training with optional further training available for a further four weeks.


Participants will gain practical experience in stable management and horse care and gain an insight into what it’s like to work in the thoroughbred industry. While the first two weeks will focus on basic key skills, the following weeks will build on this knowledge and include opportunities to gain work experience in a racing yard or stud farm.


The programme has options for riders and non-riders. For those wishing to work in a racing yard or stud farm in a ground-based role, the course requires no previous experience, just a willingness to learn and an interest in the thoroughbred industry. Participants will develop knowledge and practical skills in handling horses.

Applicants who aspire to ride out in a racing yard will need to have a capable level of riding on commencement. They will get intensive tuition at RACE through regular riding and simulator training with instructors and both areas of the programme will include regular fitness sessions.


Classroom modules will provide participants with an insight into the Irish thoroughbred breeding and racing sector. There will also be visits to the Irish National Stud, Leopardstown races and the Curragh training facilities. Participants will work towards gaining certification in manual handling and equine transport which will enhance their employability as stable staff.

Places are limited and applications are now being accepted with practical assessment days scheduled for July 2nd and 9th. The course is open to anyone over the age of 18 that is looking to gain employment in the thoroughbred industry on a full-time or part-time basis. It is funded through HRI Equuip with a nominal registration fee of €75.


Accommodation options are available at a competitive rate to support anyone hoping to attend from outside the Kildare area.

More details are available at or by contacting RACE at 045 522468 or why not send an email to

Twenty-six trainees ready for next step

THE current group of 26 trainees are coming to the end of their programme and will be graduating on July 1st with most having secured employment in racing yards and ready to take the next steps in their fledgling careers.

This year we have had the distinction of five participants progressing through their licencing courses before completion of the 10-month programme and this is an indication of how the trainee jockey course is likely to evolve in the future with an accelerated jockey pathway for advanced participants, alongside an adapted progression pathway for those seeking employment as stable staff or looking to develop a career on the breeding side of the industry.

Applications are still coming in for the next programme to be run in conjunction with KWETB and trial weeks are scheduled for July 18th and 25th. While the series of open days has finished this week, there is still scope for late applicants to contact RACE with expressions of interest or enquiries relating to the composition of next year’s programme if they are exploring the potential for a sustainable career in racing.

The trainee jockey programme has continually evolved over more than 40 years with the objective of providing a solid all-round foundation for young people entering the racing industry and the ongoing collaboration with stakeholders is designed to ensure it remains fit for purpose and a flagship entry-level programme which the industry can be proud of. More change will be in evidence in the next intake as we develop and adapt to current needs and continue to offer a path to a fruitful and sustainable career.

Industry and licensing courses delivered on time

ACTIVITY levels on campus have been high with a range of industry and licensing courses being delivered plus the return of visiting groups and the development of our private jockey and rider coaching service which has been attracting a strong uptake.

We now have a team of well-established and highly regarded coaches offering flexible sessions using our selection of simulators at a variety of day and evening slots and the service is open to licensed and non-licensed riders.


Current apprentices, conditionals, amateurs and professionals can book times as can pre-licence riders, charity race participants and stable staff/work riders aiming to improve their capability. The service is easy to book and very affordable with a package of four sessions for just €90.

With their wealth of experience at the highest level, the combination of Leighton Aspell, Paddy Flood, Cathy Gannon and Gordon Power ensures there is a suitable match for every rider and access to invaluable guidance and tuition whether operating on the flat or over jumps, male or female, professional race rider or industry improver.

Our own trainees and residents have been benefitting from additional tuition and it is hoped that this type of individual coaching will become a standard part of their development as they progress in their careers and the range of jockey support services continues to expand.