Types of Careers in the Horse Racing Industry

min read
A jockey rides a horse at sunset.
BetMGM @BETMGM Jan 25, 2022, 11:51 AM

Horse racing is a multi-million dollar industry in the USA, and it supports tens of thousands of jobs. Not to mention the fact that millions of people attend the races as spectators every year. While people have been able to bet on horse racing for decades, the evolution of online sports betting over the past few years has increased the number of people who bet on horse racing tournaments dramatically.

The horse racing industry is an exciting world to work in, and there are a number of diverse roles available for those who are passionate about horses and racing. It takes massive coordination efforts by individuals and organizations to provide the popular horse racing events like NYRA racing that take place every week on the local and international stage. 

Whether you’re looking to work with horses themselves, getting them ready for the races or retiring them afterward, or you’re more interested in the workings behind race days and making them happen, there’s something out there for you.

Let’s take a look at some of the careers that you can get into in the horse racing industry, some of which are obvious and others that you may not have considered.


Becoming a jockey is the most obvious career for many within the horse racing industry. A jockey is a person who rides the horses during flat or steeplechase races. They listen to the trainer’s instructions for each horse that they ride and can be expected to ride multiple races on different horses each race day. They work closely with racehorse trainers to find the best strategy for victory with every individual horse. Of course, not everyone can become a jockey, and you need to be an experienced horse rider, as well as weigh between 108 to 118 lb.


A farrier is someone who is in charge of the foot care of horses. They are highly-skilled professionals, and the job is physically demanding. Farriers use a variety of different tools to clean and trim the horses’ hooves every four to six weeks. They also remove and redo shoes for horses that need them. Farriers are essential in maintaining proper hoof health and balance in the foot and lower limbs.

Exercise rider

Jockeys aren’t the only people who get to ride the racehorses, although they are primarily in charge of riding them on race day. An exercise rider is in charge of riding the horses during their daily workout under the instruction of the trainer. This type of job requires riders to be physically fit, of an appropriate riding weight, and to have the ability to control horses of different ages, levels and temperaments.

Paddock judge

A paddock judge is almost exactly what it sounds like. They supervise the horses and activities that take place in the paddock and saddling areas before a race. They are there to ensure that the horses are equipped with the officially approved racing equipment, among other things.


A racehorse trainer must have a license and needs extensive industry experience. Their primary job is to prepare a number of different horses in their care for racing. They are in charge of organizing and overseeing the handling and exercise care of the horses. They are diligent, organized, and have great communication skills. Trainers will assess new horses, plan and approve training plans and schedules, implement nutrition plans, manage the race entries, liaise with owners and jockeys and supervise a number of employees.

Racetrack outrider

It’s essential that a safe environment is maintained at all times for all the horses that will be participating in training runs or live racing on the track every single day. Outriders are the people responsible for ensuring this by opening and closing the track in the morning and evening. They see that any maintenance and harrowing on the track is performed.

Track veterinarian

A trackside veterinarian is a trained veterinarian that specializes in horses. They are there to check and track that all horses are healthy and sound for competition before they race. They then remain on-call during live races to attend to any emergencies or injuries that happen on the track or paddock and gate area.


If you’ve ever wondered, “how do you bet on horse racing?” then the answer usually starts with the bookie profession. A bookie or “bookmaker” is the person or people who facilitate race bets. They set the horse racing odds, accept and place bets, and pay out winning bets. Or course, this can be done at the track itself or on a horse racing betting website like BetMGM.

Equine photographer

There are a couple of different roles for photographers within the horseracing industry. The first and most obvious is taking photos during races as they happen. These photos could be for newspapers, websites, or other commercial purposes. Then there’s taking photographs of winning horses and owners while they receive their prizes. Photographers could also work for owners, breeders, or trainers in taking photos of their stables, training grounds, horses and much more.

Race track designer

Of course, race tracks and the areas like grandstands surrounding them don’t design themselves. There are qualified designers and architects who are behind the biggest and the best racecourses in the world. They must consider factors like the length, direction and surface of the track, as well as how the course will accommodate spectators during race days.

Trackside announcer

Whether you’ve attended a race in person or you’ve watched one on TV, you’ve probably heard the person on the loudspeaker commentating along at record speed. Trackside announcers are in charge of keeping spectators and owners up to speed on what is happening during the race, especially when the horses are further away and towards the pinnacle of the race. They have to have sharp tongues, be quick-witted, and be able to distinguish between many different horses and jockeys who can look very similar.

BetMGM brings the horse racing industry to you

As you can see, there’s plenty to get excited about if you’re interested in a career in the horse racing industry. If you’re simply looking to place some bets on your favorite races, with our amazing odds and betting options, we’ve got you covered. BetMGM brings the horse racing industry to you.

Register and bet with BetMGM.

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Our BetMGM editors and authors are sports experts with a wealth of knowledge of the sports industry at all levels. Their coverage includes sports news, previews and predictions, fun facts, and betting.

Our BetMGM editors and authors are sports experts with a wealth of knowledge of the sports industry at all levels. Their coverage includes sports news, previews and predictions, fun facts, and betting.