The Australian breeding sector is a world-leader and our horses are recognised for their brilliance on the global stage. Our breeding industry is the biggest after America, meaning thoroughbreds make a huge contribution to the regional economy, supporting thousands of jobs directly, as well as many more in related areas such as horse transport, fencing, fodder and insurance.
Thoroughbred Breeders Australia is committed to helping the industry find the next generation of workers and dedicates significant time and resources to finding enthusiastic people to take up roles on studs across the country.
Applications for the 2019 intake are now closed. However, we'd still love to hear from you if you are interested in applying for the next round. Please register your details below and we'll be in touch to let you know when applications re-open.
The FAST TRACK program
Thoroughbred breeders Australia has launched the Fast Track program to create a pathway for talented horsemen and women to enter our industry.
If you are passionate about horses this is an incredible opportunity: you will be employed and mentored on a respected stud farm; gain a formal qualification, plus have the opportunity to learn from leaders in the global horse industry.
The 12 month program provides an accelerated introduction and learning experience that will help Fast Track graduates progress quickly in careers in the breeding industry.
We believe that trainees will gain an unmatched introduction in all aspects of the thoroughbred industry, allowing them to kick-start a career that offers a world of possibilities.
This opportunity is aimed at anybody who has a passion for horses, no matter your background. If you enjoy an active lifestyle, working outdoors in a social and fast-paced environment, Fast Track could be the start of an exciting new career.
How it works
Twelve applicants will be selected to take part in the 12-month program which incorporates a mix of on-the-job training and formal study.
If successful, you will be assigned to a reputable stud farm where you will be employed via a full-time traineeship. You will also be enrolled in a Certificate III in Horse Breeding; a nationally recognised qualification.
Over the 12 month period, trainees will attend two intensive learning blocks at TAFE (6 weeks in total) with the first block commencing shortly after enrolment. These blocks are designed to provide the theoretical knowledge needed to complement the on-farm training.
This formal aspect of the program will take place at TAFE NSW Scone campus, which is in the heart of one of the world’s biggest breeding centres.
As well as studying topics such as preventing equine disease and injury, caring for pregnant mares and foals, and raising young horses, trainees will be given a series of lectures and visits from high flyers in breeding.
Among the areas to be taught by industry experts are: understanding pedigrees, conformation and the business of breeding. Field trips will also be arranged to visit some of the most prestigious farms in the world, as well as attend race meetings and social events.
TBA is determined that this program produces well-rounded, capable individuals who can become productive members of the industry. As well as formal learning on equine subjects, trainees will also be tutored in areas to assist their personal development.
Among these broader learning opportunities are defensive driver training, first aid, maintaining a healthy lifestyle, mental health and appropriate workplace behaviour.
At the end of the 12 month program a graduation ceremony will be held for all trainees.
Successful trainees will earn a Certificate III in Horse Breeding, a nationally recognised qualification that demonstrates graduates have a solid understanding of how to care for breeding stock.
Teaching will be conducted at TAFE NSW Scone campus, which is in the heart of one of the world’s biggest breeding centres.
Below is a list of the formal units trainees will study while at TAFE:
ACMEQU201 Work safely in industries with horses
ACMEQU202 Handle horses safely
ACMEQU203 Provide basic care for horses
ACMEQU204 Perform daily tasks in the horse industry
ACMEQU205 Apply knowledge of horse behaviour
ACMHBR301 Prevent and treat equine industry and disease
ACMEBR313 Care for pregnant mares
ACMHBR202 Assist with oestrus detection in mares
ACMHBR303 Carry out natural mare mating procedures
ACMHBR312 Carry out procedures for foaling down mares
ACMHBR307 Handle young horses
ACMHBR311 Raise young horses
ACMHBR308 Maintain horses in a healthy state
ACMHBR302 Carry out basic hoof procedures
ACMHBR305 Assess suitability of horses for specific uses
Trainees may also be eligible for ‘Recognition of Prior Learning’ if they already have sufficient practical experience relating to the topics listed.
Questions & Answers
Which farms are taking part and where are they?
The majority of leading farms in NSW have agreed to support the Fast Track scheme. While there are studs around the state, the hub of the breeding industry is in the Hunter Valley, based around Scone. While we can endeavour to find trainees positions on farms in their region, the reality is that it may be necessary to move to take up one of the spots on Fast Track.
What is life like working on a farm?
If you love horses then life on a farm may be the perfect job for you. You’ll be part of a team working outside and spending the day with the animals you love.
But like any job that involves caring for animals, the hours can be long and sometimes antisocial. It is part of normal farm life to be rostered on every second weekend and, during foaling season, through the night.
The people that succeed in the breeding industry are committed to their jobs and accept that this isn’t a role for those wanting to work 9 to 5.
Farm work can also be quite physical at times so a basic level of fitness is needed, as well as a positive attitude and strong work ethic.
How much will I get paid?
Farms are required to pay trainees under the Federal Government’s award system, using the Miscellaneous Award Schedule E for national training.
However, the breeding industry is committed to showing young people that their contribution to the workplace is valued and as a result all employer farms participating in the program have agreed to pay above the standard trainee award.
This wage will also be paid even while you are away from your employer attending TAFE in Scone.
After graduating from Fast Track and completing your traineeship, you can expect a pay rise if you remain with your employer.
What experience do I need?
Fast Track is open to anyone aged 18 and over with an interest in horses, no matter what your equine background is. You don’t ever have to have worked with thoroughbreds, but a basic level of horse handling experience is required and will be taken into account when assessing applications.
If you have had limited contact with horses, you may benefit from undertaking a preliminary equine course or taking part in some work experience where you get to handle horses. Feel free to contact us for advice.
Will it cost me anything?
All the education and teaching provided to those enrolled in Fast Track is free to the trainee. The costs of the TAFE qualification and the additional learning opportunities (such as first aid, defensive driving, health and well-being) are met by Thoroughbred Breeders Australia. We view this as an investment in the future leaders of our industry.
What if I’m based outside NSW?
Fast Track is available to anybody no matter where they are in Australia. However, upon successful enrolment on the course, trainees will have to be based at a farm in NSW for the 12 month period. This is a requirement due to rules regarding funded training.
If Fast Track is something you’d like to do but relocating isn’t option, we’d still like to hear from you. Submit an application and we’ll be in touch.
When does Fast Track start?
The Fast Track program is run annually.
Applications for the 2019 intake are now closed but will re-open in early 2020. Successful applicants will need to be ready to commence their traineeships and the first TAFE learning block in May 2020.
Where will this lead me?
There are numerous roles in the breeding and thoroughbred industry including: foaling attendant, yearling manager, stallion handler, vet nurse, stud logistics, bloodstock agent, and nominations manager.
Nearly everybody involved in the industry has done some time working hands-on with horses on a farm, even if they now have an office-based job. Fast Track is designed to give trainees an intensive learning experience that will set them up to succeed no matter which way they want to take their career.
Breeding is also a global industry that provides the opportunity to travel for those who are keen to spend time overseas.