Cadet Applications Open For 2020 Explorer Program

Applications are now open for the racing industry's 2020 Explorer Program for aspiring cadets  committed to pursuing equine-related educational opportunities.

The program involves 12 months of stud and stable horsemanship training, including three months of theory and practical learning while based at Western Sydney University's Hawkesbury Campus. 

During work placements, cadets learn from a number of leading employers including Chris Waller, Gai Waterhouse and Adrian Bott, McEvoy Mitchell Racing, Lindsay Park Racing, Godolphin and Arrowfield Stud.

In conjunction with the Australian Turf Club they are the founding benefactors of Thoroughbred Industry Careers – a not for profit organisation that funds the training program.

Godolphin managing director Vin Cox says the industry is excited about the number of new and highly skilled staff about to join the workforce.

"The exposure these cadets have had to industry leaders is quite phenomenal – they've been at the biggest stud farms, they've been with the best trainers and they've come out with introductions they can't jump over.

"As an employer, we know that thanks to their experiences with the Explorer Program we're getting a well-rounded employee and as cadets they know they're getting an incredible opportunity to jet-propel their career."

One of the cadets Jack Cripps, arrived in Western Sydney from rural Western Australia with minimal riding experience but a great passion for racing and can't recommend the course highly enough. 

"This program has changed my life.  Twelve months ago I was working in sales for a truck company when I saw the ad for the Explorer Program, now I'm doing a work placement at Tony McEvoy's stables and about to record my first piece for," Cripps said.

"I didn't have any ties to the racing industry before signing up so the first three months of Boot Camp was a great introduction. 

"We were horse handling every day, we developed race programs, we went to yearlings sales and followed some of the best bloodstock agents in the business, we spent time with vets and I just spent every day learning because I really didn't have a clue."

Since then Cripps has worked with broodmares, done time with stallion nominations teams and strapped his first horse at the races.

"This opportunity I've been given is just unreal and I can't recommend the course highly enough," Cripps said. "There's nothing else like it and I now know it's an industry I'll stay in for the rest of my life."

Racing and Sports