In an effort to enhance equine welfare, health and safety, and horsemanship skills, the Grayson-Jockey Club Research Foundation has announced the availability of the first three modules of its Advanced Horsemanship Program.

Titled “Understanding and Managing EHV-1,” “The Hoof: Inside and Out,” and “Understanding the National Uniform Medication Program,” the three modules are available as free, online courses to any interested individuals.

“The need for a ‘continuing education’ program for licensed trainers was identified at the first Welfare and Safety of the Racehorse Summit in 2006,” said Edward L. Bowen, president of Grayson-Jockey Club Research Foundation. “Many professions, ranging from hairdressers to attorneys, require continuing education, and we certainly feel like this, at least in part, fills a void in the horse racing business.”

The Association of Racing Commissioners International (RCI) has developed a model rule requiring at least four hours of continuing education per year for licensed trainers and encourages racing commissions to adopt that rule. The Jockey Club’s Thoroughbred Safety Committee subsequently issued a recommendation urging all North American racing authorities to adopt the model rule.

Each of these first three courses takes approximately one hour to complete, and racing commissions can be notified electronically by the person who has completed the online course.

The Advance Horsemanship Program and these three modules were developed in collaboration with the North American Racing Academy (NARA), based at Bluegrass Community a