With all eyes on Royal Ascot next week, University Centre Hartpury is proud to have launched a programme of specialist degrees driven by industry professionals to enable graduates to succeed in the global horseracing industry.
The BA (Hons) International Horseracing Business and BSc (Hons) Racehorse Performance and Rehabilitation degrees will provide students with the first-hand industry experience for which employers are looking.
The performance and rehabilitation course will combine this with strong practical knowledge, while the business students will take a closer look at the governance and structure of international racing.
The racing modules are being taught by lecturers with in-depth experience of racing and a wealth of contacts: Saranna Jordan was assistant to 15-time champion trainer Martin Pipe and Fiona Dowling worked for Grand National-winning trainer Gordon Elliott as well as spending many years working internationally.
Students are also gaining hands-on experience working with the world-class facilities at Hartpury’s Equestrian Centre, including the equine therapy centre, riding simulators, water treadmill and the 230-horse livery yard.
“The degrees are ideal for anyone with a passion for horseracing both here in the UK and globally,” explained Saranna.
“The world is a smaller place, the industry is constantly evolving, and we want our students to play a part in that.
“The degrees have been designed to meet the needs of the industry, with which we’re working closely, so that graduates can hit the ground running and go straight into their chosen career.
“The racing industry is massive, employing nearly 90,000 people either directly or indirectly in the UK, with a wide range of career options available.
“I would love to see some of our students becoming the future cogs in the wheel of racing and significant figures at showpiece meetings such as Royal Ascot and the Cheltenham Festival.”
The first cohort of students have gained practical knowledge and experience on placements across the horseracing industry, including at training yards, breeding establishments, hospitality businesses and racecourses.
Through Hartpury’s close affiliation with the British Racing School, students spent a week in Newmarket, where activities included receiving riding tuition, attending bloodstock sales and meeting a range of experts from this year’s Derby-winning stable Godolphin.
The week was rounded off with a trip to the QIPCO Guineas Festival at Newmarket.
Fiona, who led Silver Birch into the winner’s enclosure after he won the 2007 Grand National, added: “We have had positive feedback from industry that our students are coming across really well, appear extremely committed and are showing lots of ambition.
“Being based in Gloucestershire, a hotbed for racing, we have a number of racing stables, stud farms and horseracing-related businesses on our doorstep, not to mention Cheltenham Racecourse.
“Many of our students have already gained part-time jobs in the sport and are making valuable contacts, not only in Gloucestershire but across the UK. Hopefully these may lead on to full-time careers.”
Picture: Horseracing degree students at Chepstow races