Fast Facts

Principal organisation: France Galop
Racecourses: 151
Registered thoroughbred foal crop of 2019: 5,632
Thoroughbred racehorses in training: 9,500 approx.
Most famous race: Qatar Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe, run in October (Flat); Grand Steeplechase de Paris (National Hunt)
Learn more:
France Galop


Pony racing (Poneys au Galop)

A grassroots organisation that organises training and racing for children from 5-18 years old. Training days, immersion, sourcing ponies, instruction, racing on the flat, for trotting and over jumps with over 760 entries in 114 different races!

Bringing racing to schools – and schools to the races

Working with the local community, France Sire organises a year-long educational programme to bring schoolchildren and horses together in the west of France.

For under-18s

France Galop – free entry for U18s

An industry initiative to make racing free for under-18s when accompanied by a paying adult, providing a fun, affordable family day out.

Dimanches au Galop

Free family entertainment is on offer for communities around Parisian racecourses, promising lots of racing excitement, fun and learning.

For adults

Championnat des Grandes Écoles

A series of races for university students and graduates. Participants are taught through the AFASEC racing school and gain practical experience with a trainer before competing at major racecourses.

Aux Courses les Jeunes

This peer-based network introduces young people (18-30) to racing by organising events that make the sport more accessible. Learn more about the opportunities on offer in this case study.

Club GRC (amateur riders association)

Much more than a club, this organisation introduces horse lovers to the world of competition in racing and creates a life-long network for industry participants, based on the values of respect and camaraderie.

For all ages

Stallion Trail – La Route des Étalons

An annual showcase organised by the Thoroughbred Breeders Federation (Fédération des Éleveurs du Galop) which sees stallion farms across the country open their doors to breeders, racing professionals and fans for two days in January each year.

Childcare for industry employees

Three racehorse training centres worked with their local communities to put in place pre-school childcare that meets the unique demands of the industry.

  • Lamorlaye
    (in partnership with Lamorlaye town and the AFASEC)
  • Cabriés
    Micro-crèche “La Poulinière” (in partnership with Cabriès training centre and the AFASEC)
  • Pau
    MAM les Galopins de Sers (in partnership with Pau training centre and the AFASEC)

Industry welfare

If you work in the racing industry (thoroughbred or trotter), the AFASEC teams offer support through assistance schemes.

Au Delà Des Pistes

Organised by French racing’s aftercare charity Au Delà Des Pistes with France Galop, this initiative showcases the potential of retired thoroughbreds, bringing the equestrian and thoroughbred communities together and offering the opportunity to meet and get close to past champions with behind-the-scenes visits.

From 14 years

AFASEC (French racing school)

The official French racing school provides residential training for young people from the age of 14 to adults. It operates alongside the national curriculum to train up future jockeys, grooms and racing staff.

Agricultural schools (Lycées Agricoles)

Secondary-level agricultural colleges provide training for work in the agricultural sector including the thoroughbred industry. There are many options depending on level, type of studies and location:

  • EducAgri: Information about public agricultural education institutions (supported by the Ministry of Agriculture and Food).
  • CNEAP: A network of private agricultural education institutions.
  • MFR: Rural family homes are an active and original component of agricultural education.
  • UNREP: A private, secular federation involving around 100 establishments.

A gateway to employment

Equiressources provides a one-stop recruitment platform for jobs and placements within the racing, breeding and equestrian industries and is also a vital source of information for developing future employment practices.

For graduates

MESB (Equine Science and Business Executive Specialised Master)

The highly regarded MESB MS aims to train managers in the equine industry. The Mastère Spécialisé is a qualification guaranteeing international standards of excellence and equivalence. Watch the following interviews about the program:

For industry employees

Trophées du Personnel des Courses et de l’Élevage

These awards recognise and reward the hard work and dedication of stud and stable staff, acknowledging the huge contribution they make to the French racing industry.