Perhaps one of the most vital jobs in all of racing, the starting gate crew carries the burden of getting a field full of highly strung young horses into tiny spaces.
What You Need
This is a position which benefits from a deep understanding of horse (Thoroughbred in particular) behavior, physical strength/ agility and a love of the sport. This can be a dangerous job and this position may have a higher percentage of track injuries.
This is a great position for someone who wants a lot of hands on time with the animals and has a calm demeanor.
Responsible for getting each animal safely into the starting gate stalls and quiet enough for the race to begin. They also work trainers & jockeys during practices helping train young animals to enter & break from the gate.
Calming upset animals at the gate
Guiding each animal into their gate stall
Keeping animals calm while waiting for start
Catching and re-loading early starters
Training young animals to enter & break from gate
This is a position which doesn’t require much formal education (however equine studies are always a plus). Trainers and track mangers will probably be more concerned with track experience and a knowledge of race horse temperament. Larger facilities may require a high school diploma for employment.
The best place to start looking is the tracks themselves & speaking with barn mangers. Here are some resources for finding the tracks near you.
The Right Job For You?
If this isn’t your dream horse job, try using the search below to find it. You can also find more horse job descriptions on our careers page.