Perhaps one of the most favored & sought after jobs at the track is that of outrider. A mounted position this one offers a great deal of contact with the animals, along with the responsibility that comes along with it.
What You Need
This is a position which benefits from a great deal of track knowledge, superb riding skills and keen senses. Not only are they mounted, but they are responsible for making sure the racehorses make it to the gate safely. Often outriders use their own mounts, allowing them to be comfortable in the saddle and able to turn their attention elsewhere.
A calm demeanor, physical strength and a tireless attitude are all key elements of a successful outrider.
Basic rule enforcement
Leading animals to starting gates
Chasing down run aways
Chasing down any early starters
Sounding the alarm to notify rider injury
Leading animals for morning exercise
Opening & closing the track at the beginning & end of the day
Coordinating with other track personnel
Overseeing morning exercise routines & maintaining order
This position doesn’t require any formal education to acquire. Trainers & Track Managers will be far more concerned with previous track & riding experience. Often these jobs are given to grooms and others who are working their way up through the ranks.
However it never hurts to have formal equine jockey school experience when looking for a job at the racetrack.
A few places to start if you are interested in a career as a Racetrack Outrider.
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The Right Job For You?
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