Horse racing intoxicates with its blend of high-octane entertainment, social networking, splashes of colour and fashion and its diverse audiences. It is also a sport that offers a myriad of vocational opportunities.
While horse racing has paused during the Covid-19 pandemic, the Royal Saint Lucia Turf Club is currently planning on its next series of training programmes ahead of the resumption of the sport. The Club is now taking applications from Saint Lucians who wish to join either a groom training programme or a training programme to become race day officials. Successful graduates will be considered for full-time groom jobs and for part-time jobs as race officials (race stewards, clerk of scales or paddock judges) on race days.
Both programmes will be held under the banner of the Winston Trim Training Programme, a social responsibility initiative of the Royal Saint Lucia Turf Club that is designed to provide vocational opportunities for Saint Lucians in the new horse racing industry.
“The inherent motivation for bringing Thoroughbred Horse Racing to the Island of Saint Lucia was never just about delivering horse racing to the people of Saint Lucia. Rather, what was critically important to the founding family of the Royal Saint Lucia Turf Club, was what its arrival meant to her people with respect to vocation, economic blessing and prosperity in the lives of Saint Lucians,” said Ben Walden, Chief Operating Officer of the Royal Saint Lucia Turf Club.
“Our horses, facilities and operations require people. As we carefully develop all three, we seek to reach out to Saint Lucians who genuinely seek to be a part of what we have and who deeply desire to learn and develop their vocations for the long term and for their families.
“The Winston Trim Training Programme has multiple curriculums and we are currently promoting two. First, the Grooms Programme is designed to train people from the ground up, who have never worked in a racing stable or around racehorses before.
2019 Winston Trim Grooms Training Programme
“The Groom Programme includes not just horsemanship, but a mentoring component that brings the overall experience to a deeper level. We already have eight applicants for our next groom training programme. We encourage others that really care and that want to be a part of something special, to apply for a spot. As the Government of Saint Lucia loosens regulations in response to the Covid-19, we will set a date for registration.”
The Groom Programme ensures students become comfortable around the thoroughbred racehorses so they can not only appreciate their qualities but also take care of these great athletes.
“Most of the graduates from our initial Groom Programme last October were younger people just out of school. But if you are middle-aged you are welcome! The biggest requirement is an earnest attitude. We seek students that are serious about this opportunity,” Walden added.
“The second curriculum is the Racing Officials Programme. This curriculum is designed for established professionals on the island who again, desire to be a part of the Royal Saint Lucia Turf Club, and serve horse racing on a Race Day in varying official capacities. These roles include Paddock Judge, Clerk of Scales (for Jockeys), Stewards, and etc. Again, you do not need prior experience in Racing to apply. We will train you and equip you for success.”
Only a select number of individuals will be invited to be trained by the Royal Saint Lucia Turf Club under each programme. Individuals who are interested to work for the Club in either role are invited to send their resumes to email@example.com complete with their contact details and confirming which programme they wish to be a part of.
The first graduates of a groom training programme that was run under the Winston Trim Training Programme last October have been instrumental in the successful launching of horse racing in Saint Lucia. From modest first steps, these grooms have played key roles at the high profile 2019 CECF Saint Lucia and, more significantly, been instrumental in managing the well-being of young racehorses at the Royal Saint Lucia Turf Club.