Australia

Fast Facts

Principal organisation: Racing Australia (RA)
Racecourses: 385 race clubs
Registered thoroughbred foals in 2019: 12,898 (RA)
Thoroughbred racehorses in training: 35,196 (RA)
Most famous race: The Melbourne Cup, run in November
Learn more: Racing Australia (RA) Fact Book

Australian Industry Directory

National

Thoroughbred Industry Careers (TIC)

Thoroughbred Industry Careers is a not-for-profit industry organisation which aims to educate the next generation about jobs in the thoroughbred breeding and racing industry through a variety of community and educational initiatives. Find out more about the opportunities on offer in this case study.

Godolphin Kids

Godolphin is always keen to engage the next generation of racehorse lovers. Children can find a whole host of interactive games and information on the special Godolphin Kids website.

Scholarships & Bursaries

Scholarships, donations and bursaries are offered by many thoroughbred industry participants to support students in equine-related programmes as well as young people from local communities keen to pursue a different discipline. One example is the Upper Hunter Education Fund.

Student & School tours

Many thoroughbred industry organisations offer tours of their facilities to primary, secondary and tertiary-level students and some bring the industry to the school. For example, HTBA; TIC; RacingVictoria; RWWA

Victorian programmes

Saddle Up

Racing Victoria’s Saddle Up School Holiday Program is a fun and engaging all-day initiative, providing a range of horse-related activities for primary-age children at Victoria’s most picturesque racecourses during the school holidays.

Racing Victoria school incursion programme

This free programme, supported by Racing Victoria, is offered to primary school children in metropolitan Melbourne. Throughout a fun-filled educational hour, children learn about horse health, anatomy and other interesting facts from an experienced primary school teacher with content aligned to the Victorian curriculum. Every child also has the opportunity to pat a thoroughbred horse.

Living Legends

The International Home of Rest for Champion Horses was established to nurture the deep connection between the community and racehorse legends and to promote life after racing for all horses. Living Legends’ aim is to ensure the best care for horses with community education about life after racing at its heart. At Living Legends, people of all ages can get up close and personal with retired champions through guided tours, photo opportunities and options to feed and pat horses.

VRC schools programme

Victoria Racing Club (VRC) welcomes schools from across Australia to experience the magic of Flemington Racecourse. Listed on Australia’s National Heritage List, customised heritage tours of this national treasure and home of the Melbourne Cup can be arranged from Years 3 to 12.

Western Australia programmes

RWWA Pony Club WA Partnership

Speed to Safety provides opportunities for Pony Club members to ride their own horses to set times on race/training tracks. Additionally, it provides trackwork tours and opportunities to meet leading thoroughbred trainers, experience coaching on racehorse simulators and attend race meetings.

NSW programmes

ATC Heritage Centre and Heritage Tours

Located at Royal Randwick Racecourse, the Heritage Centre provides a captivating archive and study space that brings this history alive. Researchers are encouraged to use the extensive library of racing books. Complimentary 90-minute heritage tours are usually hosted on the first Thursday of every month at 10:30am, with 15 guests per session. Registration is required.

ATC children’s activity book ‘For The Love of the Horse’

You don’t have to own your own pony to get to know and love horses. Inside this book, you can learn about and enjoy the magic of the thoroughbred horse, including how they see and hear.

HTBA Thoroughbred Explore (Schools, Careers, Public)

Hunter Thoroughbred Breeders Association (HTBA) (Scone Horse Festival)
HTBA is devoted to fostering and promoting the thoroughbred breeding industry in the Hunter Valley area of New South Wales. The Hunter Valley is Australia’s horse capital and the organisation is committed to working with its community and governments at all levels to foster the industry’s preservation, promotion and prosperity.

National programmes

Australian Racing Museum and Hall of Fame

The Australian Racing Museum and Hall of Fame is dedicated to telling the stories of thoroughbred racing in Australia and preserving its rich history.

Thoroughbred Industry Careers (TIC)

TIC is a major sponsor of national youth equestrian events in Australia, including The Pony Club Australia National Championships and the Equestrian Australia Interschool Series. The organisation bolsters these competitions at a national level and supports healthy equestrian competition for young people.

Race Club’s Community Race Day

The majority of the 385 race clubs across Australia, including rural and remote regions, host a local community cup day. Funds raised are allocated to a local community need. Major metropolitan clubs, through associated foundations, contribute to local state and national community-based charities. For example: Regional – Muswellbrook Race Club; Metropolitan – MRC Foundation (see below).

Queensland programmes

Magic Millions Carnival

Magic Millions is a premier thoroughbred sales company in Australia. Every January on the Gold Coast, the company holds its flagship event – the internationally-renowned The Star Gold Coast Magic Millions Carnival, Raceday and Yearling Sale – featuring 12 days of fun, fast-paced action, on and off the track.

Magic Millions Racing Women Initiative

Established to support the participation and profile of women in the thoroughbred industry, the initiative offers prizemoney incentives to encourage more to own racehorses. It offers lucrative bonuses annually to horses that are 100% owned by women and has inspired large all-female ownership groups around the globe.

Queensland Thoroughbred Racing Museum and Archives

Set in the heritage-listed Old Tote building on Eagle Farm racecourse, the Racing Museum offers a journey through history. Attractions include the award-winning Julius Totalisator, a unique piece of engineering said to be the forerunner of the computer. Photographs, paintings, trophies, jockeys’ silks, memorabilia and stories of racing’s great champions are on display.

NSW programmes

ATC Foundation

The Australian Turf Club is home to four racecourses in the Sydney metropolitan area and is committed to serving communities through charitable support programmes and engagement. ATC Foundation gives grants nationally to support charitable organisations (with DGR1 status) that work to benefit the community across a wide range of sectors and endeavours. Key races underpin charity initiatives and community gatherings.

Team Thoroughbred Corrective Services Program

Selected minimum-security inmates are given the opportunity to learn horse-related vocational skills to help them secure employment after being released from custody.

Team Thoroughbred/Ballyoch Horses/BackTrack Youth Works

BackTrack Youth Works has been helping vulnerable young people in the New England region with counselling, education, life skills and support since 2006. In early 2019, the programme was expanded to include the retraining of retired racehorses for new careers under the guidance of Patrick Herde, from Ballyoch Horses at Deepwater in Northern NSW, and supported by Racing NSW.

Team Thoroughbred & Pony Club NSW

Talented Pony Club members aged 16 and over can apply to learn how to retrain off-the-track thoroughbreds for equestrian sports, including dressage, showjumping and eventing.

Scone Horse Festival

The festival pays homage to all breeds of horses, including thoroughbreds, Australian Stock horses and draught horses, as well as the men and women who breed and work with them.

HTBA Thoroughbred Explore

The Upper Hunter is home to unique Australian heritage and history, iconic horse studs and award-winning wineries. Nestled in the Hunter Valley, it is surrounded by the Wollemi National Park, which is part of the Greater Blue Mountains Heritage Area and the Barrington Tops National Park. Tours can be booked through commercial accredited operators or the Hunter Thoroughbred Breeders Association (HTBA).

Victorian programmes

Melbourne Cup Foundation

The Melbourne Cup Foundation, launched in November 2020, will be underpinned by three core pillars representing the three handles of the Cup trophy; honouring the past, enhancing the present and shaping the future. It will bring together existing VRC charitable initiatives and also provide a platform to drive the goals of building community, connectedness and belonging. Read about the community and education Cup tour.

Melbourne Racing Club Foundation

The MRC Foundation is the philanthropic arm of the Melbourne Racing Club, and provides a centralised, coordinated approach to its charitable giving and community support. The foundation assists a diverse range of groups and organisations, particularly those within the areas of its three racecourses, Pegasus Leisure Group venues across Victoria and participants in the racing industry. The MRC Foundation hopes to engage not only its MRC members and Pegasus Rewards customers but also the wider Victorian community by generating charitable funds and other support to enrich the lives of people in need.

VRC tours

Victoria Racing Club offers different tours of Flemington Heritage Centre and guided walking tours of the grounds.

VRC community fitness

The VRC offers periodic community, health & wellbeing fitness classes. While they are temporarily discontinued due to Covid-19, see details of their at-home fitness activities. Racecourse grounds are still open for community use and local people are encouraged to continue enjoying the gardens and wetlands for personal exercise and walking pets.

VRC Employee Volunteer Program

Victoria Racing Club supports the community through a number of programmes, working with charities and organisations that address needs relating to racing industry welfare, animal welfare, community health and the local community.

National programmes

Thoroughbred Industry Careers (TIC)

  • Explorer Cadetship – a 12-month horsemanship and mentoring programme in the breeding and racing industry.
  • The Accelerator Program – an intensive track riding and mentoring programme with the assistance of some of Australia’s top jockeys.

Racing Australia jobs board

Thoroughbred Breeders Australia (TBA) Fast Track Traineeship Program

Run by main national body Thoroughbred Breeders Australia, this 12-month programme takes successful applicants through a Certificate III in Horse Breeding while completing a 12-month paid traineeship on a leading thoroughbred stud farm.

Equine Management - Marcus Oldham

Equine-related industries provide some of the world’s most exciting and fulfilling experiences. Whether in breeding, racing, equestrian or interrelated activities, the opportunities are boundless. High-quality skills, experience and a well-rounded education will open doors for graduates of Marcus Oldham’s Diploma of Equine Management.

State-based options

Principal Racing Authority (PRA) traineeships and jockey programmes

Team Thoroughbred NSW Training Academy (Racing NSW)

Team Thoroughbred NSW Training Academy is a Registered Training Organisation (RTO number 45565) with the Australian Skills Quality Authority. The academy is proud to offer qualifications, including traineeship pathways, to the NSW thoroughbred racing industry as a Racing NSW-approved Training Provider.

Racing Mates (Racing NSW)

Established by Racing NSW, Racing Mates empowers mates to look out for mates. This programme is open to all racing industry participants, who have access to clinical psychologists, counsellors and assistance hotlines. Racing Mates has appointed ambassadors who are available to support industry participants when they need a mate.

Racing Queensland

Racing Queensland’s Registered Training Organisation (RTO 31452) is based in Brisbane and delivers industry training across Queensland. Watch the video to find out more.

Hunter Thoroughbred Breeders Association (HTBA) – rewarding careers in the Hunter Valley

The Upper Hunter is the thoroughbred capital of Australia. The HTBA represents stallion farms, broodmare farms, the largest equine hospital in the southern hemisphere and a sophisticated network of equine support industries, all of whom are dependent on Australia’s premier breeding industry. People are the most valuable assets, they are the backbone of the thoroughbred industry and are critical to its success. As such, investments in training and development of employees and creating industry leaders for the future is key.

Women in Racing – Wakeful awards and scholarship/bursaries

The Victorian Wakeful Club was named after one of the great thoroughbreds of the Australian turf, a mare named Wakeful. It supports Melbourne Polytechnic by sponsoring an equine student via the Mary Martin Scholarship, and offers the Marie McCullough Apprentice Jockey scholarship and bi-annually sponsors an equine student at Marcus Oldham College via a bursary. It also donates funds to various charities selected by the members, including horse rescue and rehabilitation organisations, the National Jockeys’ Trust and Living Legends.

Global Stud and Stable Staff Awards and Australian Stud and Stable Staff Awards

Stud and stable staff are the backbone of the horseracing industry and Godolphin believes their hard work and dedication should be celebrated. Grooms, exercise riders, office workers and foaling crews – the list of unsung heroes within the industry goes on and on. These awards are a way for racing to say ‘thank you’.
Global Stud and Stable Staff Awards and Australian Stud and Stable Staff Awards