Thoroughbred Breeders Australia’s (TBA) commitment to find and educate the next generation of industry talent will continue with a second intake of trainees for its Fast Track program.

A national training scheme launched last year, Fast Track is a joint venture between TBA, breeders and TAFE NSW.

Fast Track is designed to create an opportunity for young people with a passion for horses to secure a foothold in Australia’s vibrant thoroughbred scene.

It was introduced in 2018 in response to shortages of staff in the breeding sector and TBA’s vision to establish formal training pathways into the industry.

Applications are now open for 2019 and will close on March 31 ahead of a 12-month program that starts in late May.

“The program is a great way for anybody with a love of horses to develop a rewarding career that can last a lifetime,” Thoroughbred Breeders Australia chief executive Tom Reilly said.

“Fast Track has proved a great success in its first year and it will be supported by many of Australia’s leading breeders again in 2019.”

Successful applicants will be placed with a respected farm where they will gain hands-on experience via a traineeship, while also completing a Certificate III in Horse Breeding through Scone TAFE.

The TAFE component of the program includes two intensive learning blocks (6 weeks in total) and includes 16 formal study modules.

All facets of the breeding industry are covered in the modules, including:

  • caring for broodmares
  • foaling
  • handling young horses
  • mating procedures
  • disease prevention
  • horse behaviour

Insights from some of the Australian thoroughbred industry’s biggest names as well as field trips, race meetings and social events will complement the TAFE course.

TBA will once again call on experts with many years of experience in breeding to deliver a series of lectures on topics that relate to:

  • understanding pedigrees
  • conformation
  • the business of breeding

Opportunities also exist for trainees to develop their personal skills, to empower them to become productive and successful members of the thoroughbred industry and enjoy long careers.

Among these broader learning opportunities are personal finance and first aid skills, as well as mental health and wellbeing, safe driver training, and maintaining a healthy lifestyle.

From a practical aspect, the course is structured to give trainees an invaluable experience in the daily workings of a thoroughbred farm.

Applications are being sought from across the country, with opportunities available on farms throughout Australia.

Three prominent Hunter Valley thoroughbred breeding figures are among those who will continue their involvement after supporting the scheme in its first year.

Yarraman Park director Arthur Mitchell says Fast Track is a perfect introduction to the industry.

“We can teach the trainees from the ground up to start on a stud and learn from the grassroots,” he said.

“Whether they stay in breeding or go on to another role in the thoroughbred industry, I think this is a great way to get a career off to a good start.”

Royston Murphy from Sledmere Stud said TBA deserved high praise for introducing the scheme.

“I would absolutely recommend to anybody to get behind this,” he said.

“I think we really need to push these initiatives and we’ll definitely be taking on some more people every year.”

Kitchwin Hills’ Mick Malone said the program would go a long way to ensuring long-term employment opportunities in the industry.

“Fast Track is a great initiative that will benefit farms all over the country as it provides a great introduction to breeding,” he said. “We are very happy with our trainee and are keen to continue our involvement with the second intake.”

Mr Reilly said a graduation ceremony would be held for all trainees at Scone at the end of the 12 months.

“I would encourage everyone who has an interest in working with horses to apply,” he said. Applications for the 2019 intake close on 31 March 2019. For more information on the program including the online application form, visit tbaus.com or email careers@tbaus.com.

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