With all eyes on the Cheltenham Festival this week, Hartpury University has launched a programme of specialist degrees driven by industry professionals to help graduates into the global horseracing industry.
The racing modules are being taught by experienced lecturers. Saranna Jordan worked for Grand National-winning trainer Venetia Williams for a decade and was assistant to 15-time champion trainer Martin Pipe; Fiona Dowling worked for Gold Cup and Grand National-winning trainer Gordon Elliott as well as spending many years working internationally.
Students are also gaining hands-on experience working with the world-class facilities at Hartpury’s Equestrian Centre, including the Racewood MK10 Racing Simulator within the Margaret Giffen Centre for Rider Performance.
Saranna said: “The degrees have been designed to meet the needs of the industry. Many of the students are currently working with trainers locally, which enables our graduates to hit the ground running and go straight into their chosen career.
“The racing industry employs nearly 90,000 people either directly or indirectly in the UK, with a wide range of career options available.
“I would love to see some of our students having a significant impact and playing important roles within the horseracing industry in future years.”
Fiona, who led Silver Birch into the winner’s enclosure after he won the 2007 Grand National, added: “Being based in Gloucestershire, a hotbed for racing, we have a number of racing stables, stud” farms and horseracing-related businesses on our doorstep, not to mention Cheltenham Racecourse.
Hartpury graduates have progressed into careers with a variety of organisations within the equine industry, including the Jockey Club, The Hong Kong Jockey Club, World Horse Welfare and the British Horseracing Authority.