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BCTC Equine

How do I enroll in Racehorse Riding Skills?

Founded in 2006 by Hall of Fame jockey, Chris McCarron, the North American Racing Academy (NARA), now offered through BCTC Equine, is the first and only community college-based racehorse riding certificate in the United States. The mission of the certificate is to provide students with the education, training and experience needed to become skilled in the art of riding a racehorse, proficient in the care and management of racehorses and knowledgeable about the workings of the racing industry as a whole. 

"I cannot begin to tell you how excited I was to have been part of the creation of the first racing academy in the United States. Although the United States conducts some of the finest racing in the world, its racing industry has never had a formal training program for professional race riders."

-Chris McCarron, Hall of Fame jockey and Founder of NARA

Students will learn and apply racehorse riding techniques on the BCTC Equine's roster of retired racehorses in foundational courses during the summer semester at the Thoroughbred Training Center. Upon successful completion of the summer courses, students will be placed with a licensed trainer in a cooperative educational work experience to expand upon their experience and skill set to obtain their exercise rider license with the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission.

Prospective Students must complete the following courses with BCTC Equine in the fall or spring semester prior to enrollment in the summer racehorse riding courses:

  • EQS 104 - Equine Care Lab
  • EQS 130 - Introduction to the Racing Industry
  • EQS 223 - Training Principles & Practices

In addition, students will be required to successfully pass a physical fitness and basic riding assessment on a scheduled date in March to earn department consent for enrollment in the summer racehorse riding courses. For more information, contact BCTC Equine Program Coordinator, Dixie Kendall, at dixie.kendall@kctcs.edu

"A school for training exercise riders and jockeys is desperately needed in the U.S. We see so many riders and horsemen come here from other countries where they are required to attend and graduate from a training program only to compete very successfully here in the States. I am firmly convinced their success can be directly attributed to their education and training. The U.S. racing industry will benefit tremendously from the establishment of NARA."

-Steve Cauthen, Hall of Fame and Triple Crown-winning jockey


Industry Partners

Employment and Internships Opportunities

Since 2006 BCTC Equine has placed students into full-time employment and internships with the following equine industry employers.  Among them are nationally known breeding farms and racehorse trainers - including five members of the Racing Hall of Fame and winners of 12 Kentucky Derbies.