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.
The FAST TRACK program
Thoroughbred breeders Australia has launched the Fast Track program to create a pathway for talented horse people 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 equine 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
A limited number of 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 (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 in Scone NSW, 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 is conducted by a Registered Training Organisation (RTO) in Scone NSW, which is in the heart of one of the world’s biggest breeding centres.
Below is the list of the formal units trainees will study:
|ACMEQU205||Apply knowledge of horse behaviour|
|ACMEQU208||Manage personal health and fitness for working with horses|
|BSBWHS201||Contribute to health and safety of self and others|
|RGRHBR301||Work effectively in horse breeding sector|
|ACMEQU402||Determine nutritional needs in provision of horse health care|
|HLTAID003||Provide first aid|
|ACMEQU202||Handle horses safely|
|ACMINF302||Follow equine biosecurity and infection control procedures|
|ACMEQU405||Maintain and monitor horse health and welfare|
|RGRHBR308||Care for broodmares|
|RGRHBR307||Carry out procedures for foaling down mares|
|RGRHBR201||Assist with oestrus detection in mares|
|RGRHBR302||Carry out natural mare mating procedures|
|RGRHBR305||Handle young horses|
|ACMHBR302||Carry out basic hoof procedures|
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?
Many of the leading farms in Australia support the Fast Track scheme. While there are studs in all states, the major centres for breeding in Australia are the Hunter Valley in NSW, Victoria's north-east and the Darling Downs in QLD.
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 to work 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 the learning blocks.
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 in Australia, aged 18 and over with an interest in horses - no matter what your background is. You don’t ever have to have worked with thoroughbreds, but a basic level of horse handling experience is advantageous and will be taken into account when assessing applications.
If you've had limited or no contact with horses but are passionate about the thoroughbred industry, we'd still love to hear from you. 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 qualification and the additional learning opportunities (such as first aid, defensive driving, health and well-being) are covered by funding or 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. When placing our trainees, we do our best to accommodate people and find farms within their home state, however sometimes it will be necessary for trainees to take up placements interstate.
For those trainees based interstate, TBA with the support of the AgriFutures Australia Capacity Building Program, meets the cost of accommodation and assists with travel expenses while students attend the intensive learning blocks in Scone.
When does Fast Track start?
The Fast Track program is run annually.
Applications for the 2023 intake will open in January. Successful applicants will need to be ready to commence their traineeships and the first learning block in May 2023 (exact date TBC and may be subject to change).
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.
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.