Meet the Team
We’re here because of the horse. These animals give us thrills, memories, and joy — and we repay them with the best care. Passion is what drives so many in California racing, an industry that employs and supports thousands of people — stable workers and jockeys, trainers and breeders, farriers and veterinarians. Every horse has a team.
Few people know horses better than those who put their hands on our athletes every day — the dedicated hot walkers, grooms, and exercise riders, who, together, are responsible for a horse’s daily care and activity. Grooms do everything for their charges, from mucking out their stalls, to cleaning their feet and brushing their coats, while a hot walker “cools” a horse down after training or racing by walking the horse for 30-45 minutes. The person you see leading a horse in the saddling paddock before a race — that’s the groom, and you can see the great pride they take in their work.
Barns might have one horse or 100. Trainers, aided by assistant trainers, oversee the management of every horse in their care. 43 California-based trainers have won 116 Breeders’ Cup Championship races. Additionally, The Triple Crown has only been won twice in the last 40 years, both times by California trainers. California trainers are represented by the California Thoroughbred Trainers.
Whether it’s for excitement or the investment, Thoroughbred owners get into the sport because there’s nothing like standing in the winner’s circle with your horse. Owners make up the greatest number of licensed participants in California racing, and are represented by the Thoroughbred Owners of California.
Nearly 1,900 California-bred Thoroughbred foals were registered in the state in 2015, testament to the optimism of the hundreds of California Thoroughbred breeders. California-bred horses race at every track in the state, supported by a $30 million incentive program that rewards breeders and owners, and can make their mark at racing’s highest level. California Chrome, born at Harris Farms in the San Joaquin Valley in 2011, earned more than $14.7 million, winning the Kentucky Derby and the Dubai World Cup during his career, and was named the 2014 and 2016 Horse of the Year.
Many breeders are also owners — racing the horses whose pedigrees they carefully plan — and maintain connections to horses they’ve bred throughout their racing careers. California breeders are represented by the California Thoroughbred Breeders Association.