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Racetrack Exercise Rider


A racetrack exercise rider must be able to deal with, and if possible correct habits or problems of the horse. Riders conduct general training of the horse to: relax, pace, use himself correctly, and rate his energy. Exercise riders teach the horse to maneuver in race situations (e.g. use the spaces that open up during the race). They get the horse used to possible conditions of the track during the race (e.g. accept dirt in the face). They teach a horse how to approach the gate and to break from the gate alertly when asked. The rider must gauge a horse's fitness and relay this information to the trainer.

Exercise riders also have to take direction from the trainer regarding the proper workout for a horse. They have to understand the environment of the racetrack. A rider must be aware of and attend to the physical and mental needs of both inexperienced and older horses. The rider must impart to the horse a quiet confidence that will enable the horse to win races.

Certification Requirements:

An occupational license is required. Applicants must have good character and respect for the integrity of all participants. Every application is reviewed, updated and carefully processed by the Licensing unit before a license is issued.

Recertification Requirements:

Fingerprinting is required of each applicant. Where it is found that his/her participation in racing would be inconsistent with the public interest or the best interest of racing generally, a thorough investigation is conducted before unfavorable action is taken in the form of a denial, suspension or revocation of his/her license.

Licenses Issued:

In 2018, there were 1,207 issued for the occupation.

Licensing Authority:

New York State Gaming Commission
PO Box 7500
Schenectady, New York 12301-7500
Phone: (518) 388-3300

Standard Occupational Classification:

39-2021.00 - Nonfarm Animal Caretakers
To learn more about this occupation go to the Occupational Information Network (O*Net).


Fees stated and other information contained in this report are subject to change. Please contact the licensing authority listed above for the most current information.

This page was last updated on 1/9/19.

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