Explorer Cadetship

When you leave high school or university it’s hard to know what your next step should be - there are so many career choices. It’s even harder to know what a job will be like when you do it and whether it is going to be the right fit for you.

The thoroughbred industry is all about passion. For most people who work in the industry their passion starts with a love of horses. For others it starts with a love of the excitement that racing brings. One thing is for sure, once you work in the thoroughbred industry your love of horses grows to higher level.

The thoroughbred industry has two major sectors; the breeding industry and the racing industry, and within these there are many different types of careers. So, to take the challenge out of deciding straight away we have designed a pathway which allows you to Explore.

Click here to download a brochure!


About the Program

The Explorer Cadetship Program is a 12-month stable and stud horsemanship program in the thoroughbred industry. It kicks off with a 12-week residential learning component of practical and theoretical training, followed by two paid work-experience placements at a leading racing stable and stud farm.

You will be accommodated while you learn on the job, and for 9 months of the year you will be earning an income while you learn. Note: The cost of your accommodation will be deducted from your remuneration package.

Course Overview



A 12-week residential ‘boot camp’ where Explorers will cover theoretical and practical skills at the Australian Racing and Equine Academy (Richmond, NSW).

During this 12-week learning, Explorers will live on campus at Western Sydney University, Richmond.

During Boot Camp, Explorers will be taught the basics of attending to and handling thoroughbreds in stables and at trackwork, riding thoroughbreds (tailored to suit varying abilities), health and safety of self and others, career opportunities in the thoroughbred industry, ethics and rules of racing, stud operations and quarantine procedures, pedigrees and conformation of thoroughbreds and more.

Qualifications received upon completion of Boot Camp: Statement of Attainment in Explorer Cadetship Stable/Studhand or Trackrider or Certificate II in Racing (with breeding electives).

Industry Days

Throughout the 12-week program, students will gain valuable insight into the thoroughbred industry through Industry Days. This include excursions to the races, yearling sales, morning track work and stud farms, along with hearing from leading trainers, jockeys, bloodstock agents, media and administrators about their careers in the industry.

Life Skills

The Explorer Cadetship Program will include the development of valuable life skills. Topics include: work ethic, being on time and being reliable, personal presentation and language, manners, self-respect and respect for others, how to conduct yourself, how to greet people and how to speak to owners/clients, personal motivation, health and fitness (mental health), healthy eating habits, how to work in a team and how to resolve conflict.


Racing stable placement

Explorers will commence their first 4.5 months paid work-placement with a leading racing stable, gaining valuable hands-on experience and insight into the racing industry

Your job tasks will be set by your employer to suit your abilities. Most leading racing stables are situated in city areas.

Note: Pay rates for working in a Racing Stable fall under the Horse and Greyhound Training Award. You will be required to work weekend shifts.


Stud farm placement

Explorers will commence their second 4.5 months paid work-placement with a leading stud farm, learning all aspects of the care and management of breeding stock including mares, foals and stallions, preparing yearlings for sale and the mating process.

Note: Pay rates for working on a Stud Farm falls under the Pastoral Award. You will be required to work weekend shifts


Following the 12-month program, there will be a Ceremony to celebrate the Graduates of the Explorer Program.

Thoroughbred Industry Careers will help guide the Explorers into further study or employment via apprenticeships/traineeships or full-time employment in an area of the industry which interests them.

Application Process

Application form

Students will complete an application form to express why the interested in the course. Applications are currently closed so stay tuned for our next updates through our Facebook, Instagram or Twitter feeds

Financial assistance available for drought-affected applicants.


After applications close, students will be notified if they have been accepted for an interview (conducted via Zoom).

During these interviews, applicants will be asked general questions about why they want to be on the program.


Applicants will be notified if they have a place on the program as soon as practicable.

Successful students will need to formally enrol into the Australian Racing and Equine Academy and the accommodation element at Western Sydney University. Details on how to do this will be forwarded to successful applicants.

What you need to know
  • The program commences in February and the program is capped at 30 students. Applications ar enow open and will close mid-December 2019.
  • The program will take 12 months to complete and once you commence you will receive minimal time off.
  • Successful applicants will need to demonstrate a passion for horses, animals and/or racing and a level of equine experience or passion through the application process to be considered for the program.
  • Students will need to be 18 years or over at the commencement of the program and 24 years or under.
  • The program will involve riding and hard physical work, so students will need to be fit and healthy and have a strong work ethic and will to succeed.

What will it cost?

Students will need enough funds to cover the cost of their accommodation and living expenses for three months whilst studying at the Australian Racing and Equine Academy and living at Western Sydney University, Richmond.

Accommodation costs:

1. Weekly Rent: single room in a 4 bedroom villa rate is $192.50 per week

2. Activity Fee: $25.00

3. Application Fee: $110.00

4. Bond (refunded at the end of the boot camp): $770.00

5. Departure cleaning fee: $60

6. Living expenses

The cost of the course fees for the 12-week bootcamp will be determined upon enrolment.