With breeding being such a significant rural industry, combined with its close relationship with racing, it means the opportunities to further a career are as many and varied as you can imagine.
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.
Some of those careers include:
Australia is home to some of the world’s most popular sires, some of which are worth tens of millions of dollars. As a stallion manager, you will supervise an exclusive team of grooms who are responsible for the day-to-day care of these animals to ensure they remain in peak physical and mental condition. During the official breeding season the stallion barn becomes a hive of activity and you will be responsible for overseeing the safe practice of covering mares.
Foaling managers are responsible for overseeing a farm’s foaling units. Some farms are capable of ‘foaling down’ in excess of 200 mares a season. Much like a midwife, this role involves caring from pregnant mares during their late pregnancy through to post foaling. You will also work closely with the stud veterinarians treating mares who may have difficult pregnancies and with any newborns that require extra are and attention.
Each year, around 5,000 thoroughbred yearlings go under the hammer at public auction in Australia with many set to be future stars of the track. The role of yearling manager is to oversee is to oversee the development and management of these young horses in this vital stage of their life and ensure that they present in peak condition come sale time. Responsibilities include everything from tailoring daily exercise and feeding programs to teaching the yearlings how to parade for prospective buyers.
Equine Vet Nurse
Equine vet nurses play an important role in all aspects of equine veterinary care. Primary responsibilities include assisting the stud veterinarian with surgeries and treatments; keeping accurate health and welfare records; overseeing quarantine and hygiene practices; managing vet related inventory and stores; and nursing horses in intensive care.
It takes a highly organised and skilled team of people in the office to manage the logistics and provide the administrational support for farms to run successfully. As stud secretary, you’ll oversee the daily running of the stud office and become the primary point of contact for booking mares into stallions for service. You’ll work closely with the stud manager and be responsible for keeping veterinary records up to date, tracking paddock movements and organising transport. You may also be asked to control accounts and communications.
Farms that stand stallions will have a ‘nominations team’. In this role you will work to attract breeders to support your farm’s stallions with their mares and help them plan the most suitable matings in order to produce offspring that will fetch a high sale price at auction and hopefully go on to perform well on the racetrack. This is a job that involves a lot of social interaction and require you to attend all major bloodstock sales and race meetings.
Bloodstock agents are experts in physical conformation and pedigree analysis. They work as consultants available for hire who specialise in everything from selecting weanlings, yearlings and mares to purchase on behalf of owners, to managing people’s breeding portfolios and race horses. Bloodstock agents not only attend sales all over Australia, but often get the opportunity to travel internationally too.