Ellie Harrod

Qualification & subject:
Undergraduate BSc (Hons) Equine Science
British Horseracing Authority placements

What I do

I completed a graduate placement with the British Horseracing Authority (BHA) with Newmarket Jockey Club Racecourses. I worked in sales, events management and customer relations and oversaw the private pavilions on racedays and music nights, including the Kaiser Chiefs, Tom Jones, Spandau Ballet and McBusted. I had one week at The National Stud where I liaised with guests and speakers to coordinate ‘The Mating Game’ seminar. I also worked within the thoroughbred breeding sector on a bloodstock placement with the Thoroughbred Breeders Association (TBA). At Tweenhills Farm and Stud, I learned the practical aspects of youngstock preparation for the Tattersalls October yearling sales. Then, at Newsells Park Stud, I assisted the Stud Secretary and Manager with 2015 sales and preparations for the 2016 breeding season and managed the cards for Newsells at the Tattersalls October Yearling Sales.

Learning the industry

Another work placement I was lucky enough to secure on the British Horseracing Authority Graduate Development Programme involved a two-week intense training course on all aspects of the racing industry, with professional talks from the BHA, Weatherbys, Thoroughbred Breeders Association (TBA), Bloodstock Agents and International Horseracing Federations. There were also behind-the-scenes trips to Tattersalls; the world’s renowned equine auction sales, as well as Dalham Hall Stud - Sheikh Mohammed’s thoroughbred breeding operation- and Darley. There were also tours around Ed Dunlop’s and Sir Mark Prescott’s training yards, and a tour of the Newmarket Equine Hospital for a view of knee surgery. I did an exam to achieve a Level 2 Certificate in the Structure of the Horseracing Industry, great for enhancing my CV.

My highlights from working in the industry

I’ve made valuable contacts through fantastic networking opportunities and been given the best insight into the racing industry. That has given me a competitive advantage and a confidence boost from realising how widely recognised both my degree and the BHA graduate placement is within the racing industry for obtaining a successful career.

How Hartpury University has helped to open doors for me

Hartpury University organised a trip to Tattersalls for the TBA course. This enabled me to meet with the BHA and I expressed my interest in the graduate programme and ask advice on what they look for in applicants. I was then able to act upon this feedback. For example, I worked New Year’s Day at Cheltenham Racecourse, assisting the secretary to the clerk of the course to gain some industry experience. If it was not for this trip and the opportunity of liaising with them, I am certain I would not have achieved a place on the programme.

Why I chose Hartpury University

I only applied to one university because Hartpury University was the only place I wanted to study and I decided on the BSc (Hons) Equine Science. Within the equine industry, Hartpury University is renowned for its fantastic facilities, including the Equine Therapy Centre and is one of the largest equestrian centres in the world, providing a top class education. I knew that when applying for jobs, a degree from Hartpury University would be viewed with high regard.  

My hopes for the future

I have loved gaining experience and an insight into the different jobs available within the racing industry as I did not realise how vast the opportunities are, and I would like to further this internationally. I have enjoyed administration work within a racecourse and a stud. I am also fascinated by pedigree research and would like to one day become more involved with this, for example as a nominations executive.