Working in a Thoroughbred Stud
The breeding of racehorses is referred to as 'Thoroughbred breeding' or 'bloodstock'.
There are many opportunities to work in this sector of the Racing Industry, and if you have no prior training to working in breeding, then there is free training to prepare you for the change.
The studs will vary in size, but some of the well known establishments are big operations with many stallions, mares and foals.
WHAT IS A STUD GROOM
The Stud Groom is second in charge to the Stud Manager and they have many extra responsibilities to those of a Stud Hand.
These include the welfare of the horses, feeding, exercising, liaising with the vet and farrier, teasing and covering, attending to mares and foals during and after foaling, maintaining the stud records, supervising and liaising with staff, and he/she may also have to keep in close contact with owners.
Stud Grooms are likely to have vast industry experience and knowledge and may have achieved the National Stud Diploma Course.
What do I need to know to make the change
If you have already worked in a stud then your knowledge and skills will simply transfer across - there is virtually no difference on the different types of breeding operations.
If you have no experience, then the National Stud will be able to help. And mostly it is free! You can do a short course or a Diploma that will prepare you for your new career path.
Have a look at the Careers in Racing Career Map to learn more about the different roles available.
Who is who
The horse racing industry is well organised and there are many organisations that are responsible for the different activities.
Here are the ones that are particularly relevant to you if you want to work in breeding:
Much of the training is fully funded and the Stud's courses cater for the novice looking to be the next generation of stud staff to the more experienced members of the current workforce who want additional skills or updating.
The Thoroughbred Breeders' Association exists to support the breeding of quality bloodstock. The Thoroughbred Club aims to help educate and inspire a younger generation to ensure they feel actively involved in our industry.
What is it like looking after foals
Watch these two videos to see what it is like to groom and care for the young horses on a thoroughbred stud:
Things to consider
If you work in breeding you will not be covered by RIABS insurance - and so it is important to consider your own personal accident cover.
BGA Silver or Platinum membership will cover you for everything you do whilst working in a stud and protect your income in the case of an accident at work.