Texas Racing Commission Announces Revisions to Horse Trainer Examinations

Charla Ann King, Executive Director of the Texas Racing Commission, announced that significant revisions to the horse trainer examination process effective July 1. Major revisions have been made to both the written and practical test. In conjunction with these new tests, the Texas Racing Commission (TxRC) has published a comprehensive study guide to assist prospective trainers in preparing for the examination.

“An effective testing process ensures that a trainer protects the health and safety of the racehorses and racing participants. It also helps ensure the integrity of the sport for the wagering public,” said King.

The changes follow an in-depth TxRC staff review of the testing process, including assessing other states’ processes as well as getting input from the industry. Representatives from the Texas Horsemen’s Partnership, including Tooter Jordan, Terry Blanton, Wanda O’Banan, and Tami Hare, participated in developing the study guide, the practical exam, and the testing schedule. Additionally, 15 licensed trainers assisted in conducting mock practical exams.

The revised written test covers pertinent areas of the Texas Racing Act, Rules of Racing, general racing terms, the anatomy of a horse, trainer responsibilities, drug testing, pari-mutuel wagering, equipment, veterinary policies, condition books, and the claiming process. An applicant must pass the written test before the practical exam may be taken.

The revised practical exam consists of a three-part “hands-on” test, administered by a panel composed of a Commission Steward, a Commission Veterinarian, and a Texas Horsemen’s Partnership representative. The test is designed to test the prospective trainer’s hands-on barn and horse knowledge and includes topics such as wraps, bandages, tack, saddling, and leads. The prospective trainer must display knowledge of Commission medication rules and labeling requirements and show a working knowledge of the care and treatment of a horse, including examining a horse for bucked shins, bowed tendons, thrush, and other common equine conditions.

To apply for a new trainer license, an applicant must first pass both the written and practical exam and have horse papers on file at the racetrack.

The Race Horse Trainer Study Guide is now available at the TxRC Licensing offices and the Texas Horsemen’s Partnership offices at all horse racetracks and is also available on the TxRC website at www.txrc.state.tx.us.

All tests must be scheduled in advance by contacting the TxRC Licensing Office at Lone Star Park at Grand Prairie, Retama Park in Selma, or Sam Houston Race Park in Houston. The tests will be administered during live race meets at these tracks.

For more information, contact the Board of Stewards, the Licensing Office at one of these tracks, or contact the TxRC’s Austin office at (512) 833-6699.

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