Unit of competency details

RGRPSH209A - Attend horses at race meetings and trials (Release 1)


Usage recommendation:
Supersedes RGRH209A - Care for horsesNew unit replaces part of RGRH209A. 23/Sep/2008
Is superseded by and equivalent to RGRPSH209 - Attend horses at race meetings and trialsUpdated to meet Standards for Training Packages. Minor changes to performance criteria to strengthen safety. Prerequisite added. 04/Jul/2018

Release Status:
ReleaseRelease date
1 1 (this release) 24/Sep/2008


SchemeCodeClassification value
ASCED Module/Unit of Competency Field of Education Identifier 050105 Animal Husbandry  

Classification history

SchemeCodeClassification valueStart dateEnd date
ASCED Module/Unit of Competency Field of Education Identifier 050105 Animal Husbandry  24/Sep/2008 
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Modification History

Not Applicable

Unit Descriptor

Unit descriptor 

This unit of competency specifies the outcomes required to prepare horses for race meetings and trials, attend race meetings and perform post-race meeting duties.

To undertake this unit the candidate will be able to apply safe horse handling skills and workplace OHS standards. It is recommended that RGRPSH201A Handle horses be delivered in conjunction with or before this unit of competency.

This unit of competency operates in workplace environments of racing stables, paddocks, yards, racecourses and public areas.

Licensing, legislative, regulatory or certification requirements may apply to this unit. Check with your State Principal Racing Authority for current license or registration requirements.

Application of the Unit

Application of the unit 

This unit of competency supports stablehands, strappers, trainers and others authorised to strap horses for race meetings and trials.

Competencies attained in this unit apply to the harness and thoroughbred codes of the industry. Consequently when performance criteria are applied they will relate to the harness or thoroughbred code and statements of attainment will reflect this distinction.

This unit can be contextualised for other industries while also maintaining the integrity of the unit.

Licensing/Regulatory Information

Refer to Unit Descriptor


Prerequisite units 

Employability Skills Information

Employability skills 

This unit contains employability skills.

Elements and Performance Criteria Pre-Content

Elements describe the essential outcomes of a unit of competency.

Performance criteria describe the performance needed to demonstrate achievement of the element. Where bold italicised text is used, further information is detailed in the required skills and knowledge section and the range statement. Assessment of performance is to be consistent with the evidence guide.

Elements and Performance Criteria



Prepare horses for race meeting or trial.

1. Horses are prepared  prior to race meeting or trial according to instructions.

2. Race gear  is selected and packed according to instructions.

3. Workplace requirements for personal presentation  are followed.

Attend race meetings or trials.

4. Instructions from officials are followed.

5. Pre -race or pre -trial duties  for care of horses are demonstrated.

6. Horses are groomed prior to race or trial.

7. Assistance is provided in saddlingor harnessing horses.

8. Horses are paraded  prior to race.

Provide post-race or post-trial care of horses.

9. Post -race or post -trial procedures  are completed according to race result.

10. Horses are inspected for injury  and cooled -down  according to stable routine.

11. Horses and gear are prepared for return to stables  according to instructions.

12. Horses are returned to stables  and re-checked for post-race injury.

Required Skills and Knowledge


This section describes the skills and knowledge required for this unit.

Required skills 

  • assisting with saddling or harnessing process
  • applying safe handling and work practices when dealing with horses
  • caring for horses
  • cooling down horses
  • communicating with employer, supervisor, trainer, co-workers and others using assertive communication techniques to gather and relay information related to attending horses at race meetings and trials
  • following instructions of trainer and working autonomously when necessary with regard to attending horses for race meetings and trials
  • following stable procedures
  • grooming horses
  • identifying race gear
  • identifying and using grooming tools
  • identifying irregularities with horses
  • parading horses
  • preparing horses for race meetings
  • performing post-race procedures
  • reading and interpreting workplace documentation, including relevant rules of racing
  • relating to people from a range of social, cultural and ethnic backgrounds and with varying physical and mental abilities
  • reporting irregularities with horse or gear to trainer.

Required knowledge 

  • communication procedures within stable and wider racing industry
  • common racehorse behaviour traits
  • common race injuries
  • effective working relationships, including teamwork
  • industry terminology
  • irregularities with horses and gear
  • personal presentation
  • post-race procedures
  • pre-race duties
  • racing industry animal welfare requirements
  • racing industry safety requirements, including safe operating procedures
  • race gear
  • relevant rules of racing
  • saddling or harnessing procedures.

Evidence Guide


The evidence guide provides advice on assessment and must be read in conjunction with the performance criteria, required skills and knowledge, range statement and the Assessment Guidelines for the Training Package.

Critical aspects for assessment and evidence required to demonstrate competency in this unit 

The evidence required to demonstrate competency in this unit must be relevant to workplace operations and satisfy all of the requirements of the performance criteria, required skills and knowledge and the range statement of this unit and include evidence of the following:

  • knowledge of the requirements, procedures and instructions that are to apply when strapping horses for race meetings and trials
  • implementation of procedures and timely techniques for the safe, effective and efficient attendance of horses at race meetings and trials
  • working with others to undertake and complete strapping duties that meet required outcomes.

Evidence should be collected over a period of time using a range of racehorses of different ages and sexes in racing stable and track environments.

Context of and specific resources for assessment 

Competency must be assessed in a racing workplace that provides access to the required resources. Assessment is to occur under standard and authorised work practices, safety requirements and environmental constraints. It is to comply with relevant regulatory requirements or Australian Standards requirements.

Assessment of the practical components of this unit will be by observation of relevant skills.

The following resources must be available:

  • a variety of harness or thoroughbred horses
  • materials and equipment relevant to assessing candidate's ability to attend horses at race meetings and trials
  • safe handling areas at racing stables, racetracks and race meetings
  • work instructions and related documentation.

Method of assessment 

Assessment methods must satisfy the endorsed Assessment Guidelines of the Racing Training Package.

The suggested strategies for the assessment of this unit are:

  • written and/or oral assessment of candidate's required knowledge
  • observed and firsthand testimonial evidence of candidate's application of practical tasks.

Evidence is required to be demonstrated over a period of time, therefore where performance is not directly observed any evidence should be authenticated by supervisors or other appropriate persons.

Holistic assessment with other units relevant to the industry sector, workplace and job role is recommended, for example:

  • RGRCMN201A Follow OHS procedures and observe environmental work practices
  • RGRPSH201A Handle horses.

Guidance information for assessment 

Assessment methods should reflect workplace demands (e.g. literacy and numeracy demands) and the needs of particular target groups (e.g. people with disabilities, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, women, people with a language background other than English, youth and people from low socioeconomic backgrounds).

Range Statement


The range statement relates to the unit of competency as a whole. It allows for different work environments and situations that may affect performance. Bold italicised wording in the performance criteria is detailed below.

The range statement provides details of how this competency can be used in the workplaces of the racing industry to attend horses at race meetings and trials. Workplaces include harness and thoroughbred stables and racecourses, training tracks and public areas.

Horses are prepared  prior to race meetings by:

  • checking horse for illnesses or injuries
  • checking feed and water intake
  • checking manure quantity and quality
  • fitting floating bandages, boots and tail guards
  • grooming
  • mane pulling as directed
  • picking out feet
  • shampooing as directed
  • tail trimming as directed.

Race gear  may include:

  • anti-rearing bit and double clip lead (selected)
  • bandages, elastoplast and vetwrap
  • blinkers, pacifiers, tongue ties and nosebands as needed
  • buckets
  • colours
  • cotton wool or gamgee wraps
  • grooming kit
  • needles, thread and tape
  • race bridles
  • rugs
  • shampoo
  • spare leads
  • stencils for quarter marks
  • sulkies
  • towels.

Personal presentation  may include:

  • dress
  • grooming
  • jewellery
  • personal behaviour.

Instructions from officials  will relate to:

  • changing order of place in parade ring
  • giving unruly horse over to clerk of course
  • holding horse for identification check
  • holding horse for presentation following race
  • taking horse to swab box
  • walking horse for inspection.

Pre -race or pre -trial duties  will include:

  • attendance to animal welfare in stalls
  • assisting in swabbing process
  • preparation of horses for racing, including:
  • applying quarter marks
  • bridling at appropriate time
  • grooming
  • keeping horse calm
  • shampooing
  • taping or bandaging
  • warming up.

Parading  horses will include:

  • adhering to safe work practices
  • awareness of other horses in enclosure or birdcage
  • following directions from officials
  • holding horse for jockey or driver to mount
  • identifying potential hazards, including:
  • horses
  • other people
  • gear and equipment
  • physical environment
  • unsafe work practices
  • keeping horse calm
  • listening for mount-up instructions
  • leading horse onto track and unclipping lead promptly
  • maintaining safe space between horses
  • parading in numerical order
  • walking in correct direction.

Post -race or post -trial procedures  may include:

  • assisting with swabbing
  • cooling horse down
  • holding horse for presentation or photos
  • leading horse from enclosure
  • observing semaphore for placing and meeting horse and rider in correct location
  • observing horse for signs of heat stress
  • walking horse in quiet area while presentation preparations are made.

Injury  may include:

  • cuts and wounds
  • heel or sole injury from shifted or sprung plates
  • jarring up
  • muscle damage
  • tendon or ligament damage.

Horses may be cooled down  by:

  • allowing small drinks of water
  • hosing down
  • placing towel or quarter sheet on loins
  • scraping to remove excess water
  • walking horse for up to 30 minutes.

Horses and gear may be prepared for return to stables  by:

  • collecting and packing gear
  • ensuring horse is properly cooled down before being loaded for transport
  • fitting bandages and boots.

Returned to stables  procedures may include:

  • checking again for illness, injury or distress
  • checking shoes
  • feeding and watering horse according to stable routine
  • reporting irregularities
  • rolling and hosing horse, depending upon climate
  • rubbing down
  • rugging horse
  • storing gear
  • walking horse after floating if horse is boxed.

Unit Sector(s)

Unit Sector 

Harness and thoroughbred racing codes

Co-requisite units

Co-requisite units 

Functional Area

Functional Area 

Racing performance services