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19 December 2023

Scholarships and industry initatives

Racing has some stand out opportunities for gaining experience and furthering your career through training and development programmes.  Most of the below initiatives are scholarships which you can apply for.

Alex Scott Future Trainers Scholarship

Alex Scott Future Trainers Scholarship is a well-known award in the industry for aspiring trainers to further their careers in Alex’s memory. The scholarship continues to play a role in supporting those who are committed to a career training racehorses and promoting their education and improvement of their skills outside Great Britain.  Applications are invited in the autumn of each year, advertised on the BHA website and in the NTF newsletter. The NTF Chief Executive and two members of the NTF Council representing Flat and Jump codes will reduce the initial applications to a short list of four. From the short list, a panel appointed by the NTF and the TDMS trustees will choose the winner through a single round of interviews.

After the Scholarship winner is chosen, they will arrange the trip abroad with guidance and assistance from the NTF. The winner will then go abroad in the month of their choice, depending on whether they are attached to a Flat or National Hunt yard. Each winner is required to write a report of their experience on their return.  More information and details on how to apply can be found here.

Godolphin Flying Start

Godolphin Flying Start is a two year full-time international management and leadership training programme for the thoroughbred industry. Founded in 2003, it is the brainchild of Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid al Maktoum of Dubai. Twelve candidates are selected annually to receive the scholarship which includes course fees, accommodation, transport, health insurance and a monthly allowance. 

The course will see you spend time in various locations around the world learning from world leaders about all aspects of the industry from bloodstock production and management, breeding and racing, business management and communication as well as completing 12 weeks on externships developing personal and professional skills.  For more information and to apply, visit the Godolphin Flying Start website.

BHA Graduate Development Programme

The programme starts with a comprehensive two-week residential course held at The British Racing School (BRS) in Newmarket in July. Graduates then go on to paid placements which are usually eight weeks, but in some cases may be longer. 

Approximately 20 places are available each year, in a variety of organisations, in locations across the UK including:  the Racecourses Association, the Racing Post, Weatherbys, Jockey Club Racecourses and Arena Racing Company.  

The programme provides an invaluable source of talent to the industry. Many of graduate scheme alumni have established careers in a wide range of roles including management positions at racecourses, broadcasters, the trade press, bloodstock sales and also at the BHA.

The Graduate Programme is for degree students in their final year of university or for those who have recently graduated.  Candidates must be of a good academic standard, be passionate about horseracing and enthusiastic to learn about the industry and develop a career within it.  Prior knowledge or experience of horses and horseracing is not necessary and there are no restrictions on the degree subject studied.  Although no job is guaranteed at the end of the eight week placement, most graduates go on to find employment within the industry.

Applications are usually opened in November each and close at the end of February.  Successful candidates will be invited to attend an assessment day in London late March/early April.  Placements will then be offered to successful candidates in May.  More information can be found here.

Women in Racing Bursary

As a leader and innovator within horseracing, and a champion of women’s advancement in the workplace, Women in Racing has created a bursary programme to support further professional growth and development within its members.  For more information the Women in Racing website.


TBA Thoroughbred Club Bursary

The Thoroughbred Club Bursary enables full members of the club to submit an application for a grant of up to £500 to fund an educational course or continued professional development activity which will allow them to develop or further their career in the breeding industry.  Funded by the Thoroughbred Breeders’ Association, all full members of the club are eligible to apply for the scheme. Example grant requests could include:

  • Training course, e.g. Stud Secretary’s Course, The Racing Industry Course, National Stud Lecture Series
  • Entry cost for attendance to an industry event or conference
  • Equipment to support career development 

Applications for the bursary are made through The Thoroughbred Club website 

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