When and why was NARA formed?

Virtually every other country that conducts racing requires jockeys to attend a recognized school for training. Surprisingly, the United States has never had a top-class, internationally recognized school for jockeys. The horse racing industry in North America needed a place to train individuals who desire to become jockeys.

Who is eligible to attend NARA?

Gender: male or female

Applicants must have a high school diploma or GED®. If you do not have a high school diploma or GED® you must take the Compass test and reach minimum scores for entrance to the program. International students must meet a minimum TOFEL score.

How long will it take for me to become a jockey?

From start to finish, it will take a minimum of two years of training to graduate from the program and become a professional jockey.

Does NARA supply the riding equipment?

NARA will provide all the tack, including saddles and bridles. Students must bring their own boots and approved helmets, safety vests and riding crops.

How much time each day will be spent working with horses and in the classroom?

The students will be responsible for feeding, grooming and exercising at least two horses each day. They will spend approximately three hours each day completing their chores in the barn while learning about horse care, approximately one hour riding on the track, and approximately another hour working out on a mechanical horse. Additionally, approximately 3 hours per day will be spent in the classroom.

Can I bring my horse?

No. NARA provides all the horses necessary for instruction.

Where do the NARA horses come from?

NARA acquires horses from any one of four different sources, including: private donors who experience charitable tax deductions when applicable; leasing from private owners, adoption from retired thoroughbred facilities, and/or training using a "per day" training agreement.

Does NARA provide scholarship opportunities or financial aid?

There are opportunities for scholarship and financial aid support available through Bluegrass Community and Technical College. Please visit the Bluegrass Community and Technical College web site for Financial aid and scholarship information.

Will NARA assist the students with job placement after graduation?

While NARA cannot guarantee each student with either an internship or a job, NARA does make every effort to help students with job placement assistance by introducing each eligible student to licensed and qualified professional horsemen and horsewomen, who are already established in the racing, breeding or sales industry.

Is housing available?

There are a limited number of dorms available at the University of Kentucky's campus at a cost of approximately $500/month per student. Our students are able to find an apartment for between $450/month to $650/month.

What is the average NARA class size?

Typically, average class size for students pursuing the exercise rider/jockey pathway is capped at 15 due to a limited number of horse available for riding. There is no cap for horseman's pathway classes but usually classes will close off at no more than 20-25 students. There is no cap for online classes.

Where are NARA classes held?

NARA classes are held at one of two locations:

The Thoroughbred Training Center
3380 Paris Pike, Lexington, KY 40511
Facilities: Barn 30 (15-20 NARA horses are stabled here for hands-on training); classroom and offices in main building.

BCTC Newtown Campus
500 Newtown Pike
Lexington, KY 40508-1207
Facilities: Lecture are held at the BCTC Newtown Campus which is located approximately 15 minutes from the Thoroughbred Training Center.

Are NARA courses transferable/can I transfer in credits from another institution?

Yes. As with any other accredited university or college, previously earned credits can be transferred. To do so, students should go to the "Transfer Center" section of the BCTC website:

What are the different degree and certificate options available with NARA?

For more specific information about degree and certificate options available through NARA, please go to our NARA Overview for Perspective Students by clicking here.

Are all the course in-house or are courses available online?

EQS courses are offered both in-house and now online. NARA also offers dual credit classes for high school juniors and seniors through the Locust Trace Agriscience Farm.