Exercise Rider & Jockey Training Program - Apply February 1, 2017 for January 2018

Horse Racing is a multi-million dollar industry, employing thousands of people in one of the most exciting spectator sports in North America. There are numerous career paths in horse racing, and Olds College can offer you a certificate in either our Exercise Rider and Jockey Program or Race Horse Groom Program.

Program Description

This dynamic and interactive program will take your horsemanship to the next level if you are interested in a career in the racing industry. We provide hands on learning using race horses as your text books. You will be taught to prepare and manage yourself as an entrepreneur with race horses as your business. The course uses standardized racing industry equipment, procedures, and on-site practical experience to give you the additional riding skills and knowledge you require to become a certified Exercise Rider in 15 weeks.

Exercise Riders

This exciting program is unique in Canada. You will have access to a variety of race horse breeds and Alberta A Track facilities to help you develop into a professional gallop rider and/or jockey. The program has been developed in conjunction with Horse Racing Alberta to provide the racing industry with qualified riders who will excel at the race track and at training centres. Your instructors are experienced professionals, with North American and International experience to help you learn best practices and techniques with a focus on safety and continuous improvement. Olds College boasts an excellent range of equine amenities including the Canadian Equine Centre of Innovation (CECI), a state of the art multimillion dollar riding arena, and stables complex.

This data comes from our academic database and is for the most current academic year.

Applications Now Open!


The program is offered in three phases during your 15 weeks:

  • Phase 1 provides students with one month of riding instruction on horse simulators as well as industry loaned horses in the CECI indoor arena. In this first month you will receive an introduction to bio mechanics, body position and proper techniques unique to exercising the race horse. You will learn about personal nutrition and have daily fitness classes designed to prepare you for the specific demands of riding. You will learn the basics of race horse stable care and management with an introduction to anatomy, biology, horse health care and horse behavior. Your horse partners each have their own personality and your range of experience will increase with each new ride.
  • Phase 2 provides students with one month of riding instruction where you will work with the horses on an outdoor training track.  During this phase you will get more experience on body position along the straight as well as turns, working on lead changes and your hand and body position. You will receive continual assessment and testing from your instructors who are on lead pony horses on the race track with you. You will continue with stable management and horse care, and you will learn the fundamentals of horse physiology and fitness from warming up to cooling out.
  • Phase 3 For one month you will ride on an "A" racetrack during a time allotted to your class. This gets you ready to meet the skill level required to become licensed as an Exercise Rider as per Horse Racing Alberta regulations. You will learn to put your entrepreneurship skills to work as you are introduced to racing barns and Trainers so that you can complete your 60 gallop ride practicum on the track. Your practicum will ensure that you become a fit, competent and confident exercise rider.  The support and encouragement from the industry and Horse Racing Alberta during your practicum will provide you with the skills to obtain your Exercise Rider License and go to work right away. 
  • The Exercise Rider Program can be an excellent stepping stone for a future career as a jockey or race rider as Jockey theory is taught in Phase 3. To become a jockey you need to be an excellent seasoned exercise rider and have industry mentorship in an exercise rider role. Graduates from the Exercise Rider Program who meet the physical conditions and who demonstrate expertise as an exercise rider can be encouraged to train for a Jockey License.

* Your 60 gallop rides may be completed at any Alberta based horse racing facility.  For more information on the requirements please contact Theresa Sealy, Racetrack Programs at tsealy@oldscollege.ca.

Staff and alumni boast a lengthy list of accomplishments including Sovereign and Eclipse Awards. The benchmark has been set high by our 2007 graduate Omar Moreno. One short year after graduating he claimed the title of Outstanding Apprentice Jockey at the 35th Annual Sovereign Awards in Toronto, Canada’s highest award for an apprentice jockey. At the 40th Annual Eclipse Awards in Miami, Florida, Moreno was named the top apprentice rider in North America. In 2010, he racked up 146 wins and approximately $5.5 million in purse money.

Ask Us or Visit Us

Still have questions? Ask Us. Or take advantage of our many opportunities to come for a campus visit. Register online or contact our Campus Visit Coordinator, or check out our VIRTUAL TOUR.

Career Opportunities

An exercise rider is a person who is licensed to gallop a race horse during morning training sessions and a jockey is licensed to ride a horse in a race. Horse racing is one of the most exciting and largest spectator sports in North America, with employment opportunities in both Canada and the United States.  Strong work ethic and competitiveness define the best jockeys and exercise riders, and with hard work can also come many rewards. The best riders at the track command the best opportunities and the best pay. The racing season in Canada is weather-based and the racing season will keep you busy from March – October, but there are also opportunities for graduates to be employed year round at training farms and winter racing jurisdictions. 

Career Coach

Career Coach is designed to help you find a good career by providing the most current local data on wages, employment, job postings, and associated education and training.

Career Coach: Exercise Rider & Jockey Training Program

 

Cindy Orr
Admissions Officer

Phone: 403-507-7711
Toll Free: 1-800-661-6537
Fax: (403) 556-4711
Email: horses@oldscollege.ca

Request an Information Package

Applications Now Open!


Enrolment Advisor

Cindy Orr
Admissions Officer

Phone: 403-507-7711
Toll Free: 1-800-661-6537
Fax: (403) 556-4711
Email: horses@oldscollege.ca

Request an Information Package

Check out our VIRTUAL TOUR!

Equine_Virtual_Tour_Icon.jpg

Ask Us or Visit Us

Still have questions? Ask Us. Or take advantage of our many opportunities to come for a campus visit. Register online or contact our Campus Visit Coordinator, or check out our VIRTUAL TOUR.