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Pilot Program for Groom School Launched!August 2005

Equine Guelph will launch the pilot Groom course to help train newcomers for entry level positions in the racing industry. The program, which quickly sold out, will train 20 new grooms following the two-day pilot to be held in Puslinch, Ontario at Sunrise Therapeutic Riding and Learning Centre.

"There is a need for more grooms in the industry. Sunrise Therapeutic Riding and Learning Centre has kindly allowed us to use their specially-trained horses for this orientation program." said Gayle Ecker, Senior Manager of Equine Guelph. "It is critically important that we have safe horses to begin the learning process for the well-being of the participants."

Following the two-day program, the participants will be assisted in finding jobs within the industry. An online educational program will be launched as the second phase of this program which culminates with a skills test and a Certificate of Completion. The expected duration of the online portion and accompanying job training is 6 months.

"Help is needed from the industry to identify employment positions." said John Walzak, COO of the Ontario Harness Horse Association. "By assisting with this program an employer is making a commitment to our industry’s future." Jobtrack, Equine Guelph's online job posting centre is available for both potential employers and grooms to assist with making the match.

Pilot program students from diverse backgrounds and locations (including Toronto, Mount Pleasant, Guelph, Hamilton, St. Catherines, Trenton, Simcoe and Tillsonburg) will have two full days of skills teaching and horse care instruction, including a night of entertainment at Mohawk Racetrack.

For more information, contact Gayle Ecker, Equine Guelph (519-824-4120, ext. 56678) or John Walzak, OHHA and Chair, Equine Guelph Education Committee (905-858-5854).