The Elite Program, Inc. through its Groom Elite Education programs has opened registration for two April classes open to the public. A critical current topic in racing is the lack of qualified help to fill open positions in the racing industry. For the third year in a row, The Jockey Club, Magdalena Farm, National HBPA and Keeneland are sponsoring Groom Elite’s Basic Grooming 099 (BG099) April 22-26 at Keeneland and Magdalena Farm in Lexington, Ky.
Basic Grooming will provide anyone wanting to work with racehorses some basic skills necessary to work safely with regal Thoroughbred athletes. Those meeting minimum skill levels in haltering, leading, brushing and picking feet are virtually assured of being offered a job. If you have a strong work ethic, are physically able to walk several miles a day and are willing to start work at 5 AM you will be offered a position with opportunity to move up rapidly from entry level hotwalker to groom, senior groom, shedrow foreman and even assistant trainer if that is a goal. Previous BG099 graduates (with minimal previous horse experience) have become shedrow foremen within 4 months of completing this class. Tuition is only $99 and many employers will reimburse that tuition after the first month of employment. Tuition assistance is available (request an application) for those seriously seeking a job in the racing industry. Class size is limited to 20, so sign up right away to guarantee your spot.
Also, April 15-17, the 18 th Lone Star Park Trainers’ Exam Prep Class will be offered at the Grand Prairie Track. For anyone interested in the Rules of Racing, this class is 3 days of discussion, demonstrations and practice of barn test skills (bandaging) as well as an intensive review of the law under which racing is conducted. With constantly changing rules, particularly medication and claiming rules as well as other rules regarding the welfare and safety of racehorses, this class provides information helpful to owners and others desiring to understand the rules of racing whether they plan to take a trainer’s exam or not.
Class size is limited to 12 to facilitate opportunity for questions and maximum participation. Tuition is $299 if paid online or $330 at the door.
For information or to register, go to or Anyone without internet access may call Dr. “Mac” at 859-321-4377 and sign up over the phone.
The Elite Program, Inc. and Purple Power Racing Services owner C. Reid McLellan, PhD announced a full schedule of classes for the end of winter and beginning of spring. Two Trainers’ Exam Prep Classes, a first-of -its-kind one-day horse behavior and handling clinic and the second annual Horsemen’s Workforce Development at Magdalena Farms in Lexington, Ky highlight the schedule.
Horse Behavior & Handling – A One-day Clinic. For the first time, Dr. Mac will be teaching the foundation lessons of every Groom Elite, Owner Elite and Trainer Elite classes that he teaches. “ “Understanding how the pressure from predators molded the conformation and instinctive behavior of horses enables horsemen to develop a harmonious, peaceful, productive relationship between horse and handler”, stated McLellan. This one day clinic, held at Johnson’s Folly Stables, 5135 Conklin Drive, Delray Beach, FL 33484 has a low tuition of $99 and will possibly reach its participant limit.
Trainers’ Exam Prep Classes – A special Trainers’ Exam Prep Class is scheduled at Gulfstream Park February 22-24. With several from the Groom Elite 101/201 classes at Gulfstream Park aspiring to be assistant trainers, Dr. Mac offers this rules of racing class from 10 AM to 3PM. When asked about the shorter class time, Dr. Mac explained, “Most attendees of this class have completed Groom Elite classes. I go right into the rules of racing and don’t have to spend as much time on the barn test materials since we have covered that in the Groom Elite classes” Due to support from Florida HBPA and Gulfstream Park, tuition for this class is the “early bird” rate of $299 with Groom Elite graduates receiving a special scholarship rate of $150.
18th Lone Star Park Trainers Exam Prep Class scheduled April 11-13. This is the class that “started it all” as in 1998 the first such program at Lone Star Park sold out. Even with racing’s constant struggle for existence in Texas, Lone Star Park continues to be a popular venue for this class. Limited to enrollment of 12, recent classes in 2015 and 2017 sold out. Offered immediately following the Texas Thoroughbred Association’s Two-year old in Training Sale at Lone Star Park (April 10) classes are conducted Wednesday 8:00 AM to 4:00 PM; Thursday 7:30 AM to 3:30 PM and Friday 8:00 AM to 2:00 PM. In addition to barn test requirements, Dr. Mac spices up the lectures with philosophy and methods of training. Each year, McLellan updates the 120 page text to keep up with the regular changes, particularly claiming as more states change their claiming rules. Medication is always a concern as states work toward a uniform medication policy. As requested by stewards McLellan emphasizes rules regarding trainers’ daily responsibilities and activities to help cut down on procedural violations. Early bird tuition of $299 through March 17 and afterwards tuition advances to $349.
Second Annual Basic Horse Handling and Care (Basic Grooming -99) Workforce preparation class co-sponsored by Kenny McPeek’s Magdalena Farms will be held April 16-20. Through a developing partnership between Groom Elite and the Kentucky Horseshoeing School, classroom sessions will be held at KHS campus 3612 Lexington Road, Richmond, KY 40475. Hands-on barn sessions will be at Magdalena Farms 2651 Russell Cave Road, Lexington, KY 40511. Following the 2017 class every participant that was interested in employment was offered a job shortly after
The Elite Program, Inc.
completing the program. This class is designed to prepare people for entry level jobs in the racing industry. Principles learned may be applied to any situation in which horses are handled daily. Also targeted are individuals that may have recently acquired a retired racehorse (or other equine) and are interested in learning the basics for horse handling and care. Experienced horsepeople interested in learning how to teach others to work with horses are invited to attend. A special evening session will be scheduled to discuss those teaching principles. Program format is an hour and a half of classroom instruction followed by 2 hours of demonstrations and practice with live horses. On Friday, those interested in obtaining a job will be evaluated and counseled with recommendations and referral to individuals seeking employees With support from The Jockey Club, NTRA and HBPA, tuition for this spring class is only $99. A $25 deposit will hold a spot until April 2 when the balance would be due. (Tuition assistance is available for those looking for employment.)
The Elite Program, Inc. is a 501(C)3 non-profit that provides equine education classes through it’s Groom Elite™ curriculum. With its initial primary mission (in 2001) to provide education to grooms and hotwalkers or Thoroughbred and Quarter Horse Racehorses, Groom Elite continually adapts and updates it’s programming that now includes courses for grooms and owners of OTTB show horses and welcomes owners and grooms of any breed. One of it’s more notable programs is its Second Chances Groom Elite curriculum taught in five adult correctional facilities in partnership with the Thoroughbred Retirement Foundation and it’s local affiliates in which participants learn life lessons while developing an employable skill working with retired racehorses.