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Racehorse trainer Horse racing trainer, equine trainer

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Racehorse trainers run racing stables, manage staff, look after horses’ training and welfare, and help them prepare for races.

Salary, a pound sign Salary: £15,000 to £45,000 average per year
Hours, a clock face Hours: Up to 48 per week

1. Entry requirements

You must gain a trainer’s licence issued by the British Horseracing Authority.

To apply for a licence you’ll need to meet several criteria, including:

  • completing the level 3 diploma in racehorse care and management
  • having a minimum of 5 years’ experience in a racing yard
  • passing pre-licence training courses with the British Racing School at Newmarket, or the Northern Racing College at Doncaster

You could start at a racing stables as a groom, rider or instructor, then move on to become an assistant trainer before applying for the full trainer’s licence.

Visit careersinracing for more information about working in this industry.

2. Skills required

You’ll need:

  • practical skills
  • administration skills
  • number skills
  • leadership skills

3. What you'll do

Your day-to-day duties could include: 

  • working out daily training and exercise routines
  • planning feeding programmes for each horse
  • monitoring horses’ development
  • talking to staff and vets about any problems
  • supervising stable staff
  • managing preparations and travel for race days
  • keeping racehorse owners up to date with their horses’ progress
  • dealing with administrative work like training records, wages and payments
You might also accompany riders on their daily training runs, depending on your role.

4. Salary

Starter: £15,000 to £24,000 (assistant trainer)

Experienced: £25,000 to £40,000

Highly Experienced: £45,000 or more (elite trainer)

You may receive a share of race winnings known as ‘pool money’ on top of your salary.

These figures are a guide.

5. Working hours, patterns and environment

You’ll work long days with early starts.

You’ll split your time between the stable office and outdoor work in the yard, on the ‘gallops’ and at race courses. You’ll work in all weather conditions.

6. Career path and progression

With experience you could become a specialist racing consultant, trainer instructor, bloodstock agent or thoroughbred breeder.

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Last updated: 11 September 2018