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Racing employment with British Grooms Association
Employment in racing

THE RACING EMPLOYMENT PACKAGERacing grooms with British Grooms Association

The racing industry is more progressive than the general/competition sector in terms of its employment of grooms.

This is good news for you if you decide to make the change.

If you are working with horses as a racing groom in a racehorse trainers yard, you will be protected by many of the agreements that are in place by way of the Trainer's License, issued by the British Horseracing Authority.



Take a look at the benefits of working in the racing industry in the Welcome to the Racing Industry video:


WORKING IN BREEDINGRacehorse breeding groom with British Grooms Association

The breeding industry, whilst not regulated in the same way under a license, also looks to provide excellent employment practices.

The Thoroughbred Breeders Association is the official body. 

If you work in thoroughbred breeding and sales preparation, you are eligible to use the services of Racing Welfare.


The staff union, the National Association of Racing Staff (NARS), supports racing staff. 

It works closely with the employers National Trainers Federation (NTF) to agree terms, annually - it is called the Memorandum of Agreement (MOA). 

As a member of stable staff, you will be automatically joined to NARS.

They will act on your behalf if you have a dispute with your employer, and have a comprehensive website and App which offers help and advice on all employment matters.


The agreed package

Some of the key aspects of employment that are discussed and agree upon are:


The MOA provides for a Racing Industry Minimum Rates of Pay Structure and certain standard conditions of employment for stable staff employed by trainers in the racing industry.

There are different minimum salary levels ages depending on your age, qualifications and experience. The rates are above National Minimum Wage, and you may in practice earn more. 

There are agreed rules surrounding overtime, hours of work, staying overnight, racing on Sunday's and subsistance allowances. These are all regulated under the Trainers License (i.e they must be adhered to).

Further details and current rates of pay can be found here.


This is the distribution of a share of a percentage of the prize money won by a horse in the yard.

The stable staff in the yard agree how they want this to be fairly distributed. The payment of pool money by the trainer to the staff is governed by the Orders and Rules of Racing.

Non compliance is a breach of the rules which could result in disciplinary action by the British Horseracing Authority, hence staff are protected.



All eligible staff must be enrolled onto a pension scheme and your employer must make contributions for you. Saving for your retirement is a good thing to do. 



As per set by the MOA, staff who are off work as a result of sickness or accident and have been with their current employer for 6 months or more will receive their normal weekly wage for 1 month in any 1 year.*

Staff with less than 6 months service will only receive SSP (statutory sick pay), if eligible.
*For sickness this payment will be from the 4th day of absence. For injury due to an accident at work this will be from the 1st day.



RIABS is funded by licensed and permitted trainers and by contributions from stable staff.

It is taken automatically from your wages and costs you approximately £3.00 per week. 

The scheme provides for benefits to eligible persons following accidental injury, disablement or death arising out of, whilst carrying out duties for a licensed trainer, including bona fide journeys between normal place of residence and place of work.

The scheme does not cover race riding accidents or accidents, which occur while on, or travelling to and from a racecourse when engaged to ride.

Discover more 



What the personal accident policy covers you for:

  • Whilst at work
  • All stable duties – mucking out, grooming, washing off, turning out
  • Clipping
  • Riding – including hacking and jumping
  • Hunting
  • Lunging
  • Breaking in
  • Holding horse for a vet and other procedures
  • Travelling horses both in the UK and abroad
  • Competing in line with your job including: jumping, dressage, eventing
  • Injuries that may happen to you whilst you are teaching - but you must also be grooming as part of your duties and not be a sole instructor

What the personal accident policy doesn’t cover you for:

  • Riding in a race, point to point or team chase
  • Stunt Riding
  • Accidents occurring whilst travelling to and from work
  • Riding and competing your own horse (but you can upgrade when applying for membership to include this)
  • Public Liability – this is a separate insurance policy - the Freelance Groom Liability Insurance
  • Care Custody and Control – this is a separate policy - the Freelance Groom Liability Insurance

If you require additional cover then please contact KBIS directly.


When you are working for other people you do most of the following; muck out, turn out/catch in, tack up, groom horses, exercise Horses (including hacking, jumping and schooling), in the care of your employer/client.




Predominantly ride horses for other people including schooling, exercising and competing.   

 Provide grooming services for someone else either full time or on a freelance basis i.e. an employer or a client.   


Employ staff – have an employers liability policy in your name NO NO YES
Buy and sell horses NO YES YES