Under starter’s orders for career opportunity
WITHOUT jockeys, there would not be racing. It takes more than the riders and their horses, however, to make the industry run smoothly in South Australia.
From groundskeepers and stewards to sales and marketing professionals, a host of workers are needed to keep the South Australian Jockey Club operating.
The SAJC hosts 65 days of racing a year at Allan Scott Park, Morphettville, but holds many other functions and services at outside entertainment venues on non-race days.
The club needs 75 full-time staff to run day-to-day operations and employs more than 400 casual staff across the business on race days. Workers passionate about horse racing usually strive to work for the SAJC but it also attracts staff eager to be part of an exciting industry.
Chief executive Brenton Wilkinson says there are many pieces to the puzzle to ensure that when race time comes, all is set in place for the event.
‘‘There’s a lot more to racing than people understand,’’ he says.
‘‘From the club perspective, there’s administration staff, grounds staff in the preparation of the racing surface, hospitality and catering staff and, on nonrace days, there’s a heap of functions each year. ‘‘It’s a very diverse business.’’ The South Australian Jockey Club is offering two CareerOne readers the chance to kick-start their careers in the racing industry by applying for a work- experience placement. They will spend one week working in different areas of the club at Allan Scott Park, Morphettville. The workers will experience a day in the life of a jockey, learning how to ride a horse as well as undertake other off track duties of a jockey, such as public speaking.
They can learn from other racerelated occupations, such as race callers and stewards, and work with behind-the-scenes staff, from hospitality, marketing and sales to administration.
The two work experience staff can use the placement to gain more information on the qualifications required to work in their desired roles, whether it be tertiary qualifications for professional positions or trade certificates for on-track jobs.
Jockeys, such as Adrian Patterson, will be on hand to talk about their career paths from attending the apprentice academy to passing the post first on race day.
‘‘It’s an industry you get hooked on, it gets a part of your life,’’ Mr Wilkinson says.
‘‘If you’re successful at getting a berth to come down, it’ll be a very good experience.
He says staff do not have to have a love of racing to work at the SAJC.
While several employees are ‘‘diehard racing people’’, others are business professionals who have learned to enjoy racing, he says.
The jockey steers Andronica home at Allan Scott Park, Morphettville.