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British Horseracing Graduate Development Programme

20 October 2015

British Horseracing Graduate Development Programme

The British Horseracing Graduate Development Programme, celebrating its 25th running of the Programme in 2015, provides an invaluable source of talent to the sport and its supporting industry.

Around 300 graduates have completed the Programme and many are now key figures in racing. Graduates from previous years work in management positions in racecourses, bookmakers, the trade press, trainer’s yards, studs, bloodstock sales and  the British Horseracing Authority to name a few. A passion for horseracing is a must but experience is not essential.  If a career in an exciting, high-profile and challenging industry sounds appealing, then the Graduate Development Programme may be of interest to you.

The Programme is intended for degree students in their final year of University or those who have recently graduated.  

The Programme

The programme starts with a comprehensive two-week residential course usually held in Newmarket in July, which includes a wide range of speakers, field trips, personal development and networking opportunities. The course shows how the various aspects of the sport work together and gives an insight into many of the organisations and functions within the industry. Graduates then go on to their paid placements which are usually eight weeks but in some cases may be longer.


For most of the placements, your degree subject isn’t as important as your desire for a challenging career in horseracing. Most of those who join us have just finished their degree, but recent graduates will also be considered. On completing the programme, graduates will have a raft of opportunities in the fascinating, complex and rewarding world of horseracing.


From journalism to digital marketing, there are placements on offer in a broad range of areas. Placements are subject to change each year.  The following list are examples of the regular placement sponsors in previous years:

Great British Racing
An exciting placement with the body responsible for promoting Horseracing, this placement involves working on many exciting PR and Marketing projects utilising creative writing, marketing & digital marketing skills.  

British Horseracing Authority
The British Horseracing Authority is the governing and regulatory body of British racing. There are usually a number of placements in different departments, offering a range of challenges and projects. Good communications skills, together with an adaptable attitude are required to optimise this Central London based placement.  

Racehorse Owners Association
Based in their London office in High Holborn, this placement consists of a variety of projects. The ROA has more than 7,000 members and promotes and protects the interests of racehorse owners in Great Britain. 

The Horserace Betting Levy Board
The Levy Board collects and distributes about £80m annually. You will gain knowledge of prize money funding policies, fixture grants to racecourses and how betting data is analysed to inform decisions. You will also be involved in work on veterinary science and education grants; and loans to racecourses for improvements to infrastructure. Enthusiasm and interest are the main attributes needed in HBLB's small team!

The Racecourse Association
The RCA is the trade association for British racecourses. This placement, based at their head office in Ascot, will allow you to get some invaluable administrative experience covering a vast range of activities relevant to the management of racecourses. You’ll normally get the chance to do a research and/or analysis project, too. 

The Racing Post
Based in the heart of Canary Wharf at The Racing Post’s modern offices, this placement offers the chance to write for racing’s famous daily newspaper. To gain entry, you’ll need a flexible attitude, an interest in journalism and a good knowledge of horseracing. 

Timeform is an internationally renowned organisation. Timeform ratings are now widely accepted as the definitive measure of racing merit, and its many publications have become indispensable to thousands of serious punters. Based in its Halifax office in West Yorkshire, this placement will be designed to suit your interests and skills, which must include a good knowledge of horseracing. Your role could be in editorial, marketing or general operations. 

A placement at Weatherbys (based in Wellingborough) enables you to experience first hand the variety of business activities undertaken by this 230 year old private company.  Combining tradition, values and integrity with innovation and excellence, its companies - Weatherbys Ltd and Weatherbys Bank Ltd, provide the racing industry with everything from racing administration to banking and financial services in addition to an array of commercial activities. The placement will be tailored to suit the successful applicant.  

Jockey Club Racecourses
This placement will include working in several departments at one of the groups racecourses and will give a general overview of everything that goes on at a racecourse.  

A Great opportunity for someone who is interested in the bookmaking side of the industry – to work within the PR and Marketing team, based in London.

Turnberry Consulting Ltd.
Turnberry works on racecourse development projects all over the world, the placement would include practical research and analysis in support of the team working on various client based development projects.  Suit those with strong analytical, research and writing skills.  London based office but some travel may be required.  

Racing Welfare
Based at Racing Welfare's offices in Newmarket, this role will be a Data Analyst/Executive Assistant to the Head of Welfare, carrying out a benchmarking project.  Someone with a keen attention to detail and analytical skills with an interest in horseracing and the charitable/voluntary sector.  Racing Welfare is a registered charity which provides assistance for stud, stable and support staff in times of need. 

Arena Racing Company
With 15 racecourses in the Group this is a fantastic opportunity to get an understanding of how the racecourse business works.  Event Management, Sponsorship, Hospitality and Sales are all vital areas of business for racecourses.  

Bloodstock Media Ltd.
A niche full service marketing agency, based in Newmarket, with a fantastic list of bloodstock industry clients.  If you are creative or a great copy writer and knowledgeable about racing this is a fantastic placement.  


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