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How To Get A Riding Job in a Racing Yard

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We’ve all held our breath as we’ve watched Keiran Fallon or A P McCoy ride their mounts passed the winning post at Cheltenham or Epsom, and thought ‘I’d love to ride racehorses’. If you are a reasonably competent rider, and under 9st 7lbs/60kg in weight this may be easier than you think …
1: 
The first step is accepting that you’ll be starting at the bottom of the muck heap – literally – if you apply for a position as a stable lass or lad. Riding out is part of the daily routine – although larger yards do take on casual riders for morning work during the week and on Saturdays. Apply to the racing stables direct.
2: 
Work riding by comparison, requires a high level of competence in handling more difficult horses, and involves the schooling of horses through the starting boxes, and being used to racing disciplines through riding point to point, former jockeys, etc.
3: 
An apprentice jockey also starts on the bottom rung, and will need a combination of riding skills together with an ability to maintain the right weight for either flat or ‘jump’ racing, depending on the type of yard.
4: 
The British Racing School at Newmarket originally provided purpose built facilities to promote and encourage young people who had the potential to ride as professional jockeys. Since then, the BRS has developed and flourished to its current position as the centre of excellence for training in the racing industry, providing a whole range of different courses and training, including a 9-week foundation course – see website.
Conclusion: 
Although the industry isn’t particularly well-paid and the hours long, there is a tremendous job satisfaction and camaraderie among the horse racing fraternity that can last a life-time.
Tips: 
Study the various different trainers' websites
Watch Channel 4's 'Morning Line' on Saturday mornings
Warnings: 
Any equestrian sport is dangerous.

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