Blog 3 – Arvin Chadee

Here’s the third post from our Racing Groom blogger, Arvin Chadee here he talks about balancing the racing world & university life.

I’m very fortunate in that I work for a great trainer in Dean Ivory, who allows me to balance working in racing part time and studying at university. Mornings in which I have to balance both allows me two contrasting experiences. The early morning picturesque setting of seeing the Ivory string on the gallops in Radlett, to the fast pace, frantic at times metropolis that is London.

We have a fairly traditional racing yard, we start at 6:30am where everyone mucks out three, before tacking up and pulling out first lot for 7:30am. The horses are warmed up through trotting and plenty of walking, before heading off to canter up the gallops. This is the tried and tested formula, although each horse is treated as an individuals and tweaks are made in order to keep them happy and achieve maximum performance.

The days where I have to leave work early in order to make it on time to my lectures, I can usually ride two lots. That gives me somewhat enough time to drive home, eat breakfast in the car, shower and catch the tube. Although strenuous at times, I thoroughly enjoy balancing both aspects. Working in racing has aided my studies in Business Management. The plethora of organisations that encompasses horse racing allows me to further my understanding of racing and incorporate it into my studies, which has made it far more interesting for myself.

I thoroughly enjoy being part of a racing yard, it’s a unique experience. No job can replicate the comradery & togetherness you develop with your fellow colleagues like in a racing yard. Whether it’s discussing what horses your riding, how they might run at the races or just general chit chat, your never alone, surrounded by great horses an even greater people.

I was initially very hesitant about entering the racing industry, having not come from a horse background, it’s a decision I am glad I made and have never looked back in regret. However I don’t feel I would have been able to get through it or achieve what I’ve achieved without the racing community. Aside from the support colleagues and staff provided, it is the education that proved invaluable. I’m eager to learn and everyone I met was eager to teach, especially when it comes to varying riding technique. Different people have different opinions nonetheless having too much information is better than having not enough. The different characters in racing coupled with their own unique experiences allowed me to get a well-rounded view of riding and the different methods and how they vary country to country.

In recent years the racing industry has faced a lot of stigma in regards to the “stable staff crisis”. Criticisms regarding pay, working hours and overtime are a few obstacles the industry faces in attracting and retaining staff. Having worked for a few yards I have noticed small differences which have gone a long way in improving the conditions and morale of the workforce. This has indicated to me that the industry is willing to adapt and change. This is fundamental to continued success of the sport.

Therefore, I still believe, based on my own experience that racing remains and attractive and worthwhile job. Although improvement is still required, as with many jobs, it’s an industry and an job like no other. The skills I learned and developed in racing have also been of great assistant to me in higher education. Transferable skills such as team work, discipline and perseverance all stem from working in racing.

Days are never the same, the thrill of working with thoroughbreds cannot be replicated by any other job and the relationships built with both human and equine is rewarding in its self.