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To train racehorses for entry into steeple chases, hurdle races and national hunt flat races you need a licence from the British Horseracing Authority (BHA).
Licences can be for jump races, flat races or a combined licence for both races.
Licences last for one year and must be renewed annually.
There are numerous criteria you must meet to hold a licence. You must:
- have at least five years experience in training yards or stables, with at least two years in a senior, responsible position (eg Assistant Trainer)
- have at least three wins with a spread of horses as a permit holder
- have managed a point to point yard for two years and have a minimum of ten point to point wins with a spread of horses
- have NVQ level 3 in Racehorse Care and Management
- attend and pass three one-week long courses held at the British Racing School or the Northern Racing College
- attend a day-long seminar at Weatherbys
- have public liability and employer’s liability insurance
- be fit and proper to hold a licence, including a consideration of honesty and integrity (eg consideration of any criminal convictions)
- comply with health and safety requirements
- confirm that any employees are paid in line with the Racing Industry Minimum Rates of Pay and employed under required working standards
- have suitable premises and facilities to train horses
If you are applying for a licence for the first time, you will also have to show that you can recognise disease and health issues in horses and have knowledge in areas such as horse anatomy, feeding, racecourse requirements and the Rules of Racing.
You must also provide a business plan, professional references, details of the yard lease or agreements for its use, a projected profit and loss account and a reference to confirm you have around £40,000 in capital or as an overdraft.
You must pass background checks and your yard and facilities will be inspected by a British Horseracing Authority Stable Inspector. Facility requirements will vary depending on whether you wish to train for jump or flat races.
Ideally you should have at least three horses in training.
You may be asked to attend an interview to show your knowledge, understanding of the Rules of Racing and management skills etc.
Licences will be subject to a fee which must be included in your application.
As part of the honesty and integrity requirements, licences are not usually issued to bookmakers.
Licences only allow training from a specified yard. If you wish to train from a different stable or yard you must have approval to do so.