Yard Based Racing Groom
“Being around horses every day is definitely the best part of the job”
Patrick Villiers – Yard Based Racing Groom
A normal day for me would involve mucking out the horses, putting them on the walker and sometimes trotting them up for the vet to check them over. I also help to sweep the yard whenever I’m free and at the end of every day I groom and feed the four horses I’m responsible for looking after.
I’ve always had an interest in horses, but after I finished my GCSE’s I decided I wanted to try and pursue a career in farming. I missed working with the horses so much though that I decided to go back into racing instead.
My Dad always liked horseracing and so suggested that I apply for a job at Mark Johnston’s yard, so I did. Luckily I was successful, and I’m still working here now.
Being around horses every day is definitely the best part of the job as most of the time I find them easier to deal with than people! I also enjoy looking after horses that go on to win races – they tend to be my favourites.
I have Asperger’s Syndrome and so sometimes find it hard working with lots of people as part of a big team. However, this job has really helped me with my confidence having worked with so many different people and getting to know them.
Racing for me has been a great career choice as I have been able to combine my love of horses with meeting and working alongside people from a variety of backgrounds, who otherwise I never would have had the chance to meet.
Becoming a Yard Based Racing Groom
A Racing Groom is often the first job in the racing industry for young people after leaving education, who don’t wish to ride racehorses. In order to work full time as a Yard Based Racing Groom, you need to complete an Apprenticeship in Racehorse Care or Yard Based Training course offered by The British Racing School. This will teach you all the skills required to look after racehorses and work on a racing yard. The Apprenticeship course involves a 9-16 week residential training course at one of the Training Providers, followed by a work placement at a Racehorse Trainer’s yard. Throughout an Apprenticeship the learners progress and development will be overseen by Assessors.
Apprenticeship courses take place throughout the year, no horse riding or care experience is needed to apply, just a desire to work in the horseracing industry and willingness to learn.
Many Racing Grooms go on to other careers in the racing industry; Travelling Racing Groom, Racing Secretary, Jockey, Trainer, Assistant Trainer or Head Racing Groom.
Search for Yard Groom jobs on the Job Board, or if you’re looking to start a career in the racing industry find out more about Courses & Training available.