Jockey Club Offers Online Courses

From The Jockey Club
LEXINGTON, Ky. (June 9, 2015) -- In an effort to enhance equine welfare, health and safety and overall horsemanship skills, the Grayson-Jockey Club Research Foundation today announced the availability of the first three modules of its Advanced Horsemanship Program.

Titled, “Understanding & Managing EHV-1,”  “The Hoof: Inside & Out,” and “Understanding the National Uniform Medication Program,” the three modules are available as free, online courses to any interested individuals.

“The need for a ‘continuing education’ program for licensed trainers was identified at the first Welfare and Safety of the Racehorse Summit in 2006,” said Edward L. Bowen, president of Grayson-Jockey Club Research Foundation. “Many professions, ranging from hairdressers to attorneys, require continuing education, and we certainly feel like this, at least in part, fills a void in the horse racing business.”

The Association of Racing Commissioners (ARCI) has developed a model rule requiring at least four hours of continuing education per year for licensed trainers and encourages racing commissions to adopt that rule.

The Jockey Club’s Thoroughbred Safety Committee subsequently issued a recommendation urging all North American racing authorities to adopt the model rule.

Each of these first three courses takes approximately one hour to complete, and racing commissions can be notified electronically by the person who has completed the online course.

The Advanced Horsemanship Program and these three modules were developed in collaboration with the North American Racing Academy (NARA), which is based at Bluegrass Community & Technical College (BCTC) in Lexington, Ky., and introduced at the RCI Convention in Tampa, Fla., in April.

Remi Bellocq, executive director of Equine Programming at BCTC/NARA, said, “For the past two years, we have shifted our focus from primarily being a riding program toward becoming an overall racing and breeding industry workforce training program. We emphasize with our students that there are many different career pathways to pursue in our industry, beyond those they may have initially chosen. As such, the opportunity to work with Grayson-Jockey Club Research Foundation and The Jockey Club on the creation of this continuing education program is something we very much believe in and we are excited to undertake.”

Future courses may focus on topics such as immigration, medication use, lameness, basic horse health, and rules and regulations.

To encourage participation, targeted e-mails have been sent to all racing commissions (ARCI), national and local horsemen’s groups and regulatory veterinarians.

Updates and other information about the Advanced Horsemanship Program and other educational efforts will be presented at the Welfare and Safety of the Racehorse Summit VI on Wednesday, July 8, 2015, at Keeneland in Lexington, Ky.

Committees formed at the Welfare and Safety of the Racehorse Summit have previously produced the Uniform National Trainer’s Test and Study Guide, which is now used in nearly two dozen states.

Additional information is available by contacting Cathy O’Meara, Industry Initiatives coordinator, at (859) 224-2728 orcomeara@jockeyclub.com.