NZ Equine Skills & Apprenticeship in Racing Courses

Want a career in the renowned and vibrant horse racing industry? 

The NZ racing industry contributes a whopping 1.6 billion dollars to the NZ economy making it the largest equine industry in NZ, with the Thoroughbred sector responsible for employing 9,600 of these people. If you love horses, we have a wide range of jobs on offer within our industry, ensuring there is a place for everyone. 

We believe in training and educating our participants so they are recognised for the very important skill sets that they bring to our sport. New Zealand Thoroughbred Racing offers industry participants free* NZQA courses ranging from the introduction to equine skills (level 2) to a Jockey apprenticeship (level 4)  

We have worked with the Primary ITO to develop a range of programmes that are best suited to our industry’s needs. They provide people with the hands on knowledge that is needed to enhance their career pathways. People who hold a qualification through us can utilise it for domestic and international licensing purposes as well as enhancing their C.V and climbing the career ladder. 

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Track work shot

Level 2 - NZC Introduction into equine skills 

Duration: 6 months 

Cost: Free for people who are working as stable hands and track work riders in our industry 

Topics: 

  • Knowledge of good and ill health in horses 

  • Communication and skills for employment in the equine industry 

  • Preparing horses for travel 

  • Preparing Thoroughbred horses for exercise 

  • Managing horses who live at pasture at in yards/ stables 

Level 3 - Limited credit programme track work riding skills and safety 

Duration: 4 months 

Cost: licensing fee for a slow work license is $110 

Topics: 

  • Online industry knowledge test 

  • Communication protocols and legislative requirements in an equine workplace 

  • Ride a Thoroughbred racehorse in pace work 

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Track work
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On course

Level 3 - New Zealand Certificate in Equine Skills - Strapper

Duration: 7 months 

Cost: Free 

Topics:

  • Feeding requirements of horses in training 

  • Knowledge of routine care to horses in training 

  • Evaluating equine conformation 

  • Knowledge of equine body systems 

  • Attending to horses at the races 

  • Dealing with emergency situations 

  • Travelling horses 

  • Communication and legislative requirements in an equine workplace 

Level 3 - New Zealand Certificate in equine skills - Track work rider

Duration: 9 months 

Cost: free 

Topics: 

  • Feeding requirements of horses in training 

  • Knowledge of routine care to horses in training 

  • Evaluating equine conformation 

  • Knowledge of equine body systems 

  • Dealing with emergency situations 

  • Communication and legislative requirements in an equine workplace 

  • Ride a thoroughbred racehorse in pace work and fast work 

  • Ride at barrier practice and jump outs 

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The famous Leigh Phelan riding trackwork
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Jockey

New Zealand Apprenticeship in the equine racing industry - Jockey  

Duration: 26 months 

Cost: Free for NZ citizens and residents, a licensing fee may apply for international applicants 

Topics:

  • Equine nutrition 

  • Equine conformation and physiology 

  • Routine care of horses in training 

  • The racing industry judicial system 

  • Optimum personal health for racing 

  • Managing  personal finances for racing purposes 

  • Race day procedures 

  • Ride at official trials  

  • Ride at official race days 

Interested in a career in racing or want to find out more, contact our racing industry training team.