NARA as a KCTCS program is the first professional jockey school in the United States. It teaches students the fundamentals of professional race riding and horse care with courses in nutrition, fitness, finance, communication, rules of racing, and technology.
Located at the Thoroughbred Training Center and The Kentucky Horse Park in Lexington, NARA has partnered with the Kentucky Community and Technical College System with a long-term goal of developing an associate degree and certificate programs to provide career pathways for individuals interested in working in all aspects of the racing industry.
The idea of a jockey school in the United States first came to Hall of Fame jockey Chris McCarron in 1988 after he spoke before the Japan Racing Association' s school for professional riders. He was very impressed with the program offered by the JRA, which consisted of riding lessons as well as academics such as math, science, and language.
Two years later, while recuperating from an accident from which he sustained two broken legs and a broken arm, Chris began to wonder what he would do after his riding career was over. After discovering that virtually every country in the world that offers Thoroughbred racing except the United Sates requires its jockey license applicants to attend and complete courses at a recognized school for jockeys, he knew what he wanted to do. When Chris finally retired from the saddle, he started the planning process to establish a top-class school for jockeys. However, he was sidetracked twice—once while he was working on the production of the feature film Seabiscuit and then as general manager of Santa Anita Park.
Chris has engaged the assistance of several people experienced in the business side of the racing industry and has assembled a very impressive board of directors. The end result is a demonstration of industry-wide support for this very much-needed program of formally teaching the future stars of the riding colonies in North America and potentially the world.
For more information about NARA, please visit our FAQ page or contact us online or (859)293-0209.