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Careers in Racing

The nature of thoroughbred horse racing makes it one of the most diverse and exciting industries to be involved in. There are many wide and varied roles within the racing industry some are outlined below.

Stipendiary Steward

Stipendiary Stewards are fundamentally responsible for conducting race meetings and ensuring that the Rules of Racing are adhered to. Being a Stipendiary Steward involves a wide number of duties on race day from observing the running of the race and checking the racehorse’s equipment, monitoring betting trends and the conduct of participants in order to properly control and regulate racing. Outside of race day Stipendiary Stewards have administrative tasks such as checking the bonafides of ownerships, attending trackwork, being present at the barrier draw and conducting enquiries into possible breaches of the rules.


The Starter is there to ensure that each race begins on time and a start is effected as fairly as possible, with each horse and rider given the greatest possible opportunity to leave the barriers in a straight line. He must understand and know the behaviour of each horse and their idiosyncrasies. This is a most responsible post where many starters have been handlers prior to obtaining this role.


The Judge is responsible for ensuring that anything relating to the result as the horses cross the finish line is correct. They ensure that all horses are correctly placed in order at the finish of a race, giving a margin that separates each horse and the time for each runner to complete the course. They ensure that evidence of the result is provided to The Stewards, the media, the public and uploaded to the website.

Clerk of the Scales

The Clerk of the Scales is responsible for ensuring that each rider carries the correct weight when riding in a race. They weigh the jockeys and their equipment on scales ensuring that their weight corresponds to the handicap weight in the race card. Post race the rider is weighed to maintain the integrity that the horse has carried the allotted weight. Any alterations to the weight of the jockey in accordance within the rules is disseminated following approval from the Stipendiary Stewards.


Track veterinarians are licensed equine practitioners tasked with ensuring that all racehorses at a racecourse are healthy and sound for competition. They are employed or licensed by the Horse Racing Division to be present at the start of every race, attend the sampling procedure and to provide first aid to an animal in case of an injury.

Thoroughbred Trainer

The fundamental function of a thoroughbred Trainer is to condition racehorses to the level of fitness required for racing. It’s about knowing a horse’s abilities and strengths and training them for particular races. Becoming a Trainer takes a lot of experience working with horses and having been employed in racing stables as well as having a natural ability and a high dedication for the equine athlete. You are required to attend early morning exercise and supervise the care and welfare of horses in your stable. Trainers are licensed by the Horse Racing Division.


Becoming a Jockey can be a tough but rewarding career in a highly competitive sporting industry. Jockeys are licensed by the Horse Racing Division, they must follow strict integrity guidelines. Many commence the road to becoming a jockey starting as a groom, then track work rider progressing to an apprentice and finally a jockey. Being light weight and strong are two criteria for this profession.

Racing Department

The Horse Racing Division has a Racing Department that runs the administrative side of racing. Each person in the Racing Department has a core role to ensure the co-ordination of the programming, nominations, handicapping, declarations of race fields and other functions into something that ensures the greatest possible outcomes for its stakeholders. There are many pathways in the Racing Department that can lead to senior official duties.

Track Rider

A Track Rider plays a vital role in conditioning thoroughbreds to a level of fitness suitable for racing, they can also be known as ‘work riders’ too. Track Riders follow directions given to them by the trainer and ride each thoroughbred’s work to those instructions. A Track Rider is required to ride at various speeds and the timing requested by the trainer over a nominated distance is most important in the preparation of a horse to race.


The duties of a groom include grooming, feeding, walking, keeping the stable clean, saddling up and attending the races with horses to ensure they are safe at all times. Some grooms ride track work in the mornings too. Racehorses require constant care and attention to ensure they are performing at their best; this means the role of the groom is most important for the welfare of the horse.

Horse Float Driver

Horse Float Drivers are responsible for the transportation of racehorses. Their work involves transporting racehorses to and from various racecourses, training and spelling establishments. They must be careful drivers and skilled horsemen should a problem arise whilst transporting these precious animals.


A Farrier is responsible for the trimming and shaping of horses’ hooves they form, fit and shapes horseshoes to their hooves – and work across racing stables, spelling farms and large equestrian establishments. A Farrier is a skilled person who may be trained in ‘blacksmithing’ so they can correctly shape a shoe or a plate.

Betting Services

Wagering is a key element in the racing industry for the viability of racing where a percentage of turnover is returned to the Horse Racing Organiser for the running of the racecourse and distributed in prizemoney. There are roles within the betting services area that need to be filled. As these are mostly available only on race day, people in these positions often have other jobs as well. A Bookmaker employs Clerks in the running of his business. The Totalisator operator employs numerous people in several roles to take bets in person or via telephone, experienced staff to monitor the wagering operation for integrity and transparency.

Barrier Attendant

Barrier Attendants are responsible for the loading of horses into the barriers on race days. They provide vital support for the jockeys and horses in and behind the barriers. Some horses wear gear that is only worn on the way to the barriers and it must be removed by the barrier attendants prior to the horse entering the starting gates, or special equipment to encourage the horse into the barriers. Often horses are lifted into the barriers by the barrier attendants. Their role is dangerous and most important in assisting the Starter to obtain a fair start.

Race Caller

A Race Caller is responsible for the broadcasting the running of the race, painting a colourful and accurate picture as the event unfolds. In order to be a Race Caller you will need to have a clear voice, very good eyesight and a great memory in associating the jockey colour with the name of the horse.

Clerk of the Course

A Clerk of the Course is responsible for maintaining a racing surface to its optimum level, ensuring that the surface, crossing, running rails are safe for racing. The quality of a racing surface is vitally important to the welfare of all thoroughbreds, it is also important that the surface is as fair as possible to ensure every horse is afforded an equal chance.

Horse Breaker

Horse Breaker is responsible for educating young horses in the fundamentals required for them to begin training. The breaker will familiarise them with wearing bridles, being under a saddle, having a rider on their back and walking through barriers. Horse Breakers are generally self employed – an advanced level of horsemanship is required to handle young horses.

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