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Racehorse trainer

What is a ‘Racehorse Trainer’?

Racehorse trainers look after horses – their welfare, their training and preparing them for races as well as managing the day-to-day running of stables. In most countries, there are various levels of professional certification required to become a racehorse trainer.

‘Racehorse Trainer’ Explained

It takes many people working together, to produce a champion race horse, but perhaps the most important role of all is that of the racehorse trainer. As well as a deep understanding of horses and horse racing, a racehorse trainer also needs to be able to manage people and the administration of running stables. It is a highly-skilled role combining leadership, project management and animal welfare duties.

Duties can include

  • Planning of exercise and training routines
  • Customising nutrition programs for every horse under their care
  • Monitoring of the horses health and development
  • Regular communication with staff and veterinarians over horse welfare
  • Supervision of junior staff at stables
  • Preparing for race days and managing all aspects of travel
  • Updating horse owners with progress and health reports
  • Keeping accurate training records and other administration duties including salaries and HR issues

The role is a mixture of outdoors and indoor work with long days and early starts in all weather conditions, so a real passion for horses is a must and most trainers have worked with horses from a young age.

Elite trainers can become famous all over the world and command high salaries if they have a track record of producing champion horses, that win major races such as the Grand National. Famous names in the industry are people such as Bob Baffert, Henry Cecil and Kelly Breen.

Many successful racehorse trainers start as assistants in stables (grooms or instructors) and if successful can go on to become elite trainers, consultants, bloodstock agents or breeders of thoroughbreds. As well as a good salary, racehorse trainer’s can also receive ‘pool money’ which is a share of any race winnings.