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 the Olds College Racetrack Programs can offer you a certificate in either our Race Horse Groom Program or Exercise Rider and Jockey Program.
If a career with horses in an exciting, fast paced and high profile industry sounds appealing, then the Race Horse Groom Training Certificate might be right for you! The relationship between the horse and groom is by far the closest in the industry because grooms provide the daily care and attention to these prized equine athletes. Keeping their charges both physically and mentally happy provides unlimited job satisfaction.
During this practical hands-on 15 week program (includes a 3 week practicum) you will learn all of the skills you need to provide intensive professional care for both flat and harness racing. Courses in the program include bandaging techniques, stable management for the flat race track and the harness race track, understanding nutrition, conditioning, veterinary techniques, hoof care, harnessing and race preparation. Each phase of the course will teach you to work with horses as you would in an industry barn using industry loaned race horses as your main ‘textbooks’. This hands-on knowledge is combined with theory sessions designed to make you a better horseperson and provide you with all of the necessary skills to successfully provide day to day care for race horses, as well as maintain the standards required for the race paddock. Your instructors are experienced professionals, with North American experience to help you learn best practices and techniques with a focus on safety and continuous improvement.
With support from Horse Racing Alberta and industry partners you will receive your hands on training with Thoroughbreds, Quarter Horses and Standardbreds. 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. Your hands-on training will take place at Northlands Park Race track in Edmonton, Century Downs Racing Centre north of Calgary, and potentially other racing or breeding facilities. Part of your training will include field trips to training centres and breeding stables where you will see state of the art health care and therapy tools in action.
Graduates of the Race Horse Groom Training program have experienced success at the race track with Stakes winning horses and many have used the program as a stepping stone to other careers in the industry. Race Horse Groom Training alumni Amanda Gregory graduated in 2005 and worked for a racing stable for six years before she took out her Trainer’s License and started her own Thoroughbred racing stable. In 2013 she had 12 horses in her care and had 85 starts, 14 wins and over $140,000 in earnings and achieved a lifelong goal with her first stakes win.
This data comes from our academic database and is for the most current academic year.
A groom is a person who is licensed to work in a racing barn or stable to provide the daily care and maintenance for horse athletes. A groom must be dedicated and provide an extraordinary level of care to the horses assigned to them – this position can be very demanding but the rewards when you lead your equine partner into the winner’s circle will be worth all of the effort! The racing season in Canada is weather-based and the racing season will keep you busy from January – October, but there are also opportunities for graduates to be employed year round at training farms and winter racing jurisdictions. Trainers typically pay grooms in Alberta a weekly or monthly salary based on your experience level and the number of horses in your care. There is an extremely high demand for qualified grooms in Alberta, and with support from Horse Racing Alberta and the racing industry, many graduates of the program are offered a job immediately after graduation! Entry level salary range for a groom in
Alberta is $2,000 - $3,000/month.