The concept of ‘participation in racing’ is broader than simply considering those employed in the industry. Participants include employees, trainers, breeders, owners, contractors and volunteers who have varying levels of engagement, from occasional to full-time.
Participants are the lifeblood of the racing industry. For the majority of participants, involvement is part business and part hobby. Passion drives many to pursue the challenges and opportunities available in thoroughbred racing. For some participants however, the racing industry is their livelihood - their occupation.
Many of these people find gainful employment of their specific skillset where they may find it difficult otherwise. This is especially true in relation to the trainers, breeders, stablehands and particularly for supply businesses for whom thoroughbred racing provides the market for which to sell their goods or services.
More than 115,000 breeders, owners, trainers and their staff provide the capital and the skills to produce and prepare racehorses for racing. These participants drive a chain of activity which leads to the production of a racing product that is consumed by audiences on most days of the year.
In addition to these participants, nearly 22,000 individuals are employed directly within thoroughbred racing clubs and principal racing authorities. These individuals are employed in a variety of full-time, part-time and casual positions.
Finally, there are approximately 21,000 individuals who volunteer their time and skills in a variety of roles within the industry. A significant portion of these volunteers are family members who assist breeders and trainers with their activities. For some, this family connection goes back many generations.