Thoroughbred Breeders Australia’s (TBA) commitment to finding the next generation of staff for the breeding industry continues with applications for the 2023 Fast Track program opening this week.
Now in its sixth year, the national training scheme offers people with a passion for horses a pathway into the breeding sector.
Developed in response to the industry staffing shortage, the 12-month program is designed to target people from outside of breeding and racing and introduce them to Australia’s vibrant thoroughbred scene.
“Through Fast Track, we’ve been able to create a pathway for new people to enter our industry regardless of their background or level of horse experience and we know the formula works – close to 90% of our graduates have remained working in the industry after completing the course, which is really pleasing,” says TBA chief executive, Tom Reilly.
Among the diverse graduates are an electrician, beauty therapist and a cricket coach, all of who were looking for a career change.
The current crop of trainees also includes an army veteran who developed a passion for horses after taking part in an equine therapy program.
Successful Fast Track applicants commence a full-time traineeship with a stud farm while studying for a Certificate III in Horse Breeding – a nationally recognised formal qualification.
To complement the on-the-job learning, students attend two intensive learning blocks in Scone (six weeks in total), where they receive a mix of practical training and classroom theory, as well as take part in a variety of field trips and personal development workshops.
These learning blocks are designed to prepare the trainees for life working on a stud farm and provide them with the foundational skills and knowledge needed to build successful careers in the industry.
Employers from around the country have embraced the program.
“We can’t run the industry without staff and the better the staff we have, the better the industry will be,” says Twin Hills Stud principal Olly Tait.
“TBA is finding trainees who have got an enthusiasm and an interest in horses and/or racing and we’ve been very fortunate to have some good trainees come to Twin Hills”.
A number of graduates have gone on to excel in various roles within the industry.
Alyssa Pickels, two-time runner up in the Newcomer category at the Australian Stud and Stable Staff Awards, spent four years at Kitchwin Hills, working her way up to foaling manager.
Fellow Fast Track graduate Lachie Pethica is currently completing his second year of Godolphin Flying Start, while 2019 graduate Eliza Grantham is a rising star among South Australia’s thoroughbred ranks becoming one of the youngest stud masters in the country, standing Nostradamus at her family’s Springfield Farm.
Fast Track is open to anyone in Australia who is 18 years and over regardless of their level of horse experience.
Trainees have enjoyed placements on farms in Victoria, New South Wales, South Australia and Queensland and with planning underway for the 2023 intake, TBA are calling for farms from all states to get in contact if they are interested in taking on a trainee.
You can begin your application here.
Applications close March 12th and you can email firstname.lastname@example.org to find out more information.