Stable Staff A majority of people working in all aspects of the racing and breeding industry begin their career as stable staff in a local yard. Stable Staff are the back-bone of this industry and it is the starting point for anyone wishing to become a jockey. Excellent opportunities exist for experienced stable staff at home and abroad and Irish stable staff are highly valued workers in every racing jurisdiction throughout the world. Professional Jockey A jockey is a professional rider who rides in flat or jump races (some do both) for a riding fee. To become a professional jockey you must first become a highly experienced exercise rider before applying for an apprentice (flat) or conditional (jump) licence with the support of your employer/trainer. A conditional/apprentice jockey receives a weight allowance to compensate for inexperience until a set number of winners are ridden. Racehorse Trainer A racehorse trainer owns and runs a business that trains thoroughbred horses to race in flat or jump races. To become a racehorse trainer requires extensive experience in a senior/supervisory role in a racing yard. You apply through the Turf Club for a licence having completed a mandatory course here at RACE before submitting a business plan in advance of an interview by the Stewards of the Turf Club. Head Groom A Head Groom is the most senior groom in a racing yard and is responsible for supervising horses and staff on the trainer’s behalf. To become a Head Groom requires a lot of knowledge and experience acquired over many years working as a groom in a racing yard. You must be confident in your experience and capable of leading a team by example. Travelling Head Groom A Travelling Head Groom is responsible for all duties required to take a racehorse to a race meeting. Travelling Head Grooms will usually drive a horse lorry/van or 4x4 towing a trailer for which they will have training and certification. To become a Travelling Head Groom requires excellent organisational skills, confidence dealing with all types of horses and an ability to work under pressure. Qualified Rider A Qualified Rider is an amateur rider, meaning that they do not receive a fee for riding in a race. Most Qualified riders work as full-time stable staff. A Qualified rider is restricted to 21 rides against professional jockeys in Ireland each season (a calendar yr). Point-to-Point races are restricted to Qualified riders and there are many races on the flat and over jumps open to Qualified riders. Assistant Trainer An Assistant Trainer is 2nd in command to the Trainer and takes charge when the Trainer is away from the yard or may represent the Trainer at a race meeting. To become an Assistant Trainer requires a lot of experience and knowledge about every aspect of a racing yard as well as being capable of leading a team. Racing Secretary A Racing Secretary is a similar role as any secretary in any business, however they must also be capable of making entries, declarations and booking jockeys. Prior experience and understanding of horse racing is essential and many Racing Secretaries begin their careers as stable staff in either a full-time or part-time role. A Racing Secretary will often fill the role of PA to the Trainer. Stalls Handler In Ireland the work of most stalls handlers is part-time or seasonal. They work as a team to load flat horses into starting stalls under the instructions of the starter. Stall Handlers are usually experienced stable staff or former jockeys. To become a stalls handler requires a high degree of experience and skill in handling racehorses of all ages. Pre-Trainer Many trainers and racehorse owners employ a Pre-trainer to start young horses in training for the first time. A Pre-Trainer must be a very experienced horse person, capable of reading the reactions of a young horse to tack and rider on its back for the very first time. To become a Pre-trainer requires a vast experience and confidence in riding all character of racehorses. It does not require a licence. Stud Groom A Stud Groom is the traditional title of the Head Groom on a stud farm. The Stud Groom is usually responsible for closely monitoring all pregnant mares and mares with foals. Duties include supervising and delegating jobs to other grooms. To become a Stud Groom requires a lot of experience and knowledge gained over many years on all aspects of breeding horses. Farrier A farrier is a highly trained role responsible for the care and management of a horse’s foot including shoeing (nailing on steel shoes), trimming (controlling growth and shape) and remedial care where a horse has issue such as a bruised foot. To become a farrier you must first serve a 4-year apprenticeship under a Master Farrier and complete training courses at the Irish Farriery Authority, which is based here on campus. Stallion Groom Working with Stallions is a highly-skilled job and requires the highest level of horsemanship and experience. Stallions are highly intelligent and sensitive horses and managing their daily routine and exercise to the job of a Stallion Groom. NON RIDING STABLE STAFF Non-riding grooms are a vital part of most racing yards. A non-riding groom carries out all stable duties with the exception of exercising racehorses. Work in Racing For more details on training, education, careers and work opportunities in the Irish racing and breeding industry click here. A Great Week on the Track and on Campus 26 RACE Graduates rode 46 winners around the world last week. Joe Fanning ('86) easily topped the list with an amazing 9 winners last week including a treble at Musselburgh and a double at Brighton. Shane Foley ('05) notched 4 winners (Naas, Clonmel, Cork & Leopardstown) including a Gr.3 win at Naas on a Rehana, a filly that looks a live prospect for the Irish 1,000 Guineas (pictured). Pat Dobbs ('94) won 3 races (Windsor & Nottingham) including a double at Windsor, Kieran O'Neill ('04) rode a double at Bath, James Graham ('95) rode a double at Churchill Downs, USA, while Chris Hayes ('04) (Clonmel & Cork), Brian Hughes ('02) (Hexham & Sedgefield), Sean Flanagan ('05) (Ballinrobe & Downpatrick), Shane Kelly ('93) (Windsor & Goodwood) and Stevie Donohoe ('01) (Brighton & Chepstow) each rode 2 winners. Jerry McGrath ('07) (Kempton Park), Conor Ring ('09) (Warwick), Robert Winston ('96) (Wolverhampton), Daryl Jacob ('00) (Listed winner at Compiegne, France), Barry McHugh ('99) (Pontefract), Dylan Hogan ('12) (Clonmel), John Fahy ('07) (Lingfield), Colm McCormack ('06) (Sedgefield), Rory Cleary ('03) (Cork), Gerard Galligan ('09) (The Plains, Virginia, USA), Declan Cannon ('04) (Churchill Downs, USA), Emily Finnegan ('10) (Balaklava, Aus.), Conor O'Farrell ('06) (Nancy, France), James O'Sullivan ('11) (Wexford), Dylan Robinson ('11) (Wexford), and Leigh Roche ('08) (Leopardstown) all rode a winner. Congratulations to all #RACEwinners #flatjockeys #jumpjockeys#hopethatseveryone! Last week we held the first of three scheduled Point-to-Point Race-Riding Skills Courses with Derek O'Connor funded by CARE (www.workinracing.ie), demand has exceeded supply for places on these courses but we plan to schedule more days this year and places are offered to holders of a Qualified Riders license on a first-come-first-served basis, so anyone wishing to avail of this fully-funded training should get their name down as soon as possible. We held our 3rd Junior Academy Training Days for pony race riders last Saturday and it was another great success. 12 young riders with aspirations of become jockeys and work-riders in the future were put through their paces here at RACE on practical training around racehorses and stable yard routine, simulator lessons, fitness training and as session with a Sports Dietitian. RACE Graduate Leigh Roche called in to talk to the group about his career path and what it takes to become a jockey and the importance of being a good team player in a racing yard. We look forward to having all the riders back to RACE in the future for more training. Get a Career Leg-Up on our Exercise Rider Course A 3rd Irish Derby for RACE Trainee Jockey Course Graduate, Seamie Heffernan 22 RACE Graduates won 41 races around the world last week with Seamie Heffernan (white cap) stealing the limelight with a memorable victory on Capri for Aidan O'Brien and the Coolmore Partners in the Group 1 Irish Derby at the Curragh on Saturday. Kildare-man Seamie was recording a 3rd win in Ireland's most prestigious flat race and his win was not unexpected with pre-race talk on course that Capri had really sparkled in his last piece of work before Saturday's bigrace. Seamie has been a key part of Aidan O'Brien's team for the 20 years and is a credit to himself that at 44 years of age he is riding at the height of his powers. Seamie completed the Trainee Jockey Course in 1988 and along with Joe Fanning (1986) and John Egan (1984), both of whom also rode winners last week, he has certainly enjoyed a long and fruitful career. In his post-race interview Seamie said he's already looking forward to trying to add a 4th Irish Derby triumph to his CV next year! Keep Up to Date With RACE On Social Media For all the latest information on RACE training, activities and upcoming courses follow us on social media. Click on any of the social media links below to find daily posts, pictures, videos and information.