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Thoroughbred Careers

The racing industry is one of Australia’s largest industries and is one of the top ten employers in Australia, employing in excess of 240,000 Australians.

A career in the racing and breeding industry is a rewarding experience with employment available in a diverse range of fields.

This section provides a brief overview of careers within the racing industry that may interest you.

Further information on any of the careers in this section can be obtained from the sources indicated or by contacting:

Racing Industry Training
Name:     Racing Industry Training
Phone:     (08) 9445 5483


Australia has more racing clubs and racecourses than any other country in the world.  All of these clubs require administration and customer service staff, providing employment opportunities in both regional and metropolitan areas.

Most full-time administration jobs require some experience and qualifications in their relevant fields such as general office administration, finance, sales, marketing, event management, etc.  Effective communication skills and computer skills are also requirements.

Jobs within racing clubs are usually extremely competitive and gaining race day experience and making contacts within the industry will help improve your chances when applying for jobs.

Administration job opportunities in the racing industry include positions such as:

  • Administration Officer
  • Customer Service Officer
  • Finance Clerk
  • Executive Assistant
  • Marketing Coordinator
  • Events Coordinator
  • Media and Communications Coordinator
  • Payroll Officer
  • Human Resource Officer
  • IT Opportunities

The busiest time for racing in Western Australia is the Summer Racing Carnival during which a number of casual positions will often require filling.  These include roles such as:

  • Car Park Attendants
  • Ticket Sellers
  • Gate Attendants
  • Food and Beverage Staff
  • Promotional Staff

The basic skills required for the above casual positions are good customer service skills, computer skills and cash handling skills.  The length of employment will vary between different race clubs, however the experience will help you learn more about the racing industry, giving you race day experience and the opportunity to meet people within the industry.

For further information in relation to jobs in Racing Administration and Customer Service please contact:

RWWA – Human Resources
Phone: (08) 94455544
Perth Racing
Phone: (08) 92770777
Contact your local race club.



Australia has the second largest stallion and broodmare population in the world behind the USA. The majority of Australian bred horses are sold and raced in Australia, although a significant number are exported overseas.

Jobs in the breeding industry are generally with Stud farms, of which there are many within Western Australia,with the large majority being in the South West of the State.

Obtaining a job on a stud farm is generally the first step to a career in the breeding industry. Stablehand or any horse handling experience are the usual requirements to commence employment as a Stud hand.

Jobs available on Stud farms are many and varied including:

  • Stud Hand
  • Foal Watch Assistant (seasonal)
  • Yearling Preparation Groom (seasonal)
  • Stallion Handler
  • Broodmare Manager
  • Stud Manager
  • Pedigree Analyst
  • Administration Officer

Seasonal and Casual Work

The Australian thoroughbred breeding season begins with foals born between August and December, followed by the yearling sales from January to April each year. It is during these months that stud farms increase their casual labour and presents a great opportunity to start work in the industry.

International Opportunities

When the breeding season finishes in Australia, the Northern Hemisphere season is just getting started. There are many international opportunities to work for major stud farms in Ireland, France and the United States, just to name a few.

Many young people who have gained experience working on a stud farm in Australia can find their way working and travelling around the world.

Administration Opportunties

The breeding industry also provides clerical, management, marketing and sales opportunities. People with the relevant skills and qualifications are highly sought after.

Further Information

For further information on jobs in the breeding industry, contact:
Swan TAFE – Certificate III –Advanced Stablehand Course Information:
Phone: (08) 9267 7500
West Australian Bloodstock Breeders Association


Equine Dentist

Professional specialist equine dentistry care is required as part of a horse's regular health maintenance to ensure that the animal is able to pick up and chew its food correctly. This, in turn, affects the health of the horse and helps to overcome problems where a horse may be experiencing pain with the placement of a bit in its mouth.

To become a certified equine dentist you will need to complete a Certificate in Equine Dentistry. Unfortunately, at this point in time, West Australia does not offer this course. However, it is possible to complete the qualifications through distance education, combined with a block of "hands on training".




A Farrier plays a vital role in the well being and level of performance in horses - keeping their hooves in good condition and placing the appropriate shoes on horses.  The role of the Farrier is absolutely vital to the well-being and performance level of horses, with no truer a saying than “no foot – no horse”.

A qualified Farrier is one of the most important people associated with the health and welfare of horses.  Due to their proven training, skills, knowledge and commitment, almost all racing stables, stud farms and large equestrian establishments employ qualified Farriers to care for their horses’ feet.

Farrier training consists of a 4-year Apprenticeship studying Certificate III Farriery comprising both on-the-job practical training with a qualified Farrier and off-the-job theory study at TAFE.



Have you ever dreamed of being a professional sports person?

Becoming a Jockey can be a tough but rewarding career.  Many successful Apprentice Jockeys have had no previous involvement with horses prior to commencing a Jockey Apprenticeship – just a keenness to learn about horses and make it in a highly competitive sporting industry.

Being a Jockey is a full-time career. Whilst learning and gaining the skills required, a 4 year Apprenticeship is entered into.  During this time, the Apprentice Jockeys are employed full-time and receive a fortnightly wage throughout the 4 year duration of the apprenticeship in addition to income from riding in races.

Racing and Wagering Western Australia is a Registered Training Organisation and delivers all training throughout the term of the Apprenticeship.

Apprentice Jockeys work in both Metropolitan and Regional areas of the State and also ride at race meetings in all areas.

Once training is completed and a Jockey licence is issued, it is possible to travel all over Australia and many parts of the world to ride in races.

Apprentice Jockeys and Jockeys receive a riding fee for every race ride along with 5% of any prize money earned by the horses ridden.

The Jockey Apprenticeship

Racing and Wagering Western Australia is a Registered Training Organisation leading the way throughout Australia in the training of Apprentice Jockeys.

RWWA offers a 4 year Jockey Apprenticeship training programme.  After 18 months, successful apprentices are awarded Certificate III Racing (Thoroughbred) – Trackrider and at the completion of the 4 year Apprenticeship, Certificate IV Racing (Thoroughbred) – Jockey.

An Apprenticeship as a Jockey in the West Australian thoroughbred industry offers:

  • Full employment with award wages
  • Additional income from race riding
  • On-the-job training in a licensed racing stable
  • Structured classroom learning
  • Formal Qualifications
  • One on One coaching/tuition from our Riding Masters
  • 24/7 Support and encouragement from our Industry Training Department
  • Opportunity for self employment as a Professional Jockey
  • A satisfying and rewarding career
  • Opportunities for an international career

Applicants must be a minimum of 15 years of age, meet weight requirements and pass a medical examination.

Applicants 18 years of age and over are also required to provide a police clearance.


Overseas Opportunities

With Trackriding and/or Stablehand experience, there are a significant number of international opportunities for work in the racing industry. Other countries with large racing industries include the United Kingdom, France, Hong Kong, Dubai, New Zealand and the United States.


A Trackrider helps exercise a Racehorse by walking, trotting and galloping it under the instruction of the horse’s Trainer so it is at its optimum fitness to run in races.  Trackriders are similar to Jockeys but they don’t ride in races and don’t have to be as light as a Jockey. Many Trackriders are employed by Trainers but equally, many are freelance and ride for a number of different Trainers each day.

There is a real need for Trackriders in Western Australia in both regional and metropolitan areas of the State, with many Trainers seeking people with riding experience to ride trackwork.

Formal Training: Traineeships in the Certificate III in Racing – Trackrider.



Being a Racehorse Trainer is about knowing a horse’s abilities and strengths, its health and fitness, its character and special needs to train them to become elite equine athletes.

Becoming a Racehorse Trainer requires a lot of prior experience and knowledge gained from years of working with horses and in racing training stables. The majority of Racehorse Trainers have their own stables and are self-employed with a minority being employed as a “private” trainer by people who own a large number of racehorses and have their own private facilities.

Training is a highly competitive area of work and can be very rewarding. However, not everyone enjoys a high rate of success.

Racehorse trainers gain their experience working in stables under experienced trainers, usually as Stablehands.

Additional Information

All people working in a racing training stable in Western Australia must be registered or licensed with Racing and Wagering Western Australia.

If you would like to find out further information about working in a racing training stable, training courses available in Western Australia or Licensing requirements, please contact:



A Stablehand, often referred to as a Strapper, is a person who attends and grooms racehorses.  In a racing stable, a Stablehand may be responsible for caring for a number of horses at any one time.  Duties include grooming, feeding, tidying horse boxes/yards and attending races.  Duties at the races include looking after the horse whilst at the races, ensuring it is safe and remains calm and also leading the horse around prior to and after it has raced.

There are full- and part-time Stablehand positions in both Thoroughbred and Harness stables.  Many people enter stables with no formal training and learn on the job.

Most careers in racing start with a period of working as a stablehand to gain the skills and knowledge required to work with racehorses.

Formal Training: Certificate III Racing (Advanced Stablehand)  


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