A fundamental aspect of presenting a high-quality Thoroughbred on auction day, and one that seldom attracts much attention, is the attentive stud farm groom who is responsible for a horse’s care until it is ready for sale.
Stud farms are usually situated in rural areas and are an important source of employment to local communities. However, low levels of education amongst rural farm workers can make it difficult for grooms to fully understand the complexities of the stud farm business and thus to rise up in the stud farm industry, despite the important role they play.
Upskilling the grooms
To address this shortfall, a partnership between the Cape Breeders Club, Elsenburg Agricultural College, Singayenza Economic Development Practitioners, headed by Samantha Sharkey, and the Graham & Rhona Beck Skills Centre, was formed to develop a skills training programme specific to the racehorse breeding industry. The training consists of three modules: the Professional Groom’s Certificate, the Professional Head Groom’s Certificate and the Yard Manager’s Certificate.
The modules each consist of two components: the first is a technical skills component that aims to upskill the grooms and provide them with a more specialised understanding of their field.