The Scottish Racing Academy(SRA) was formed in 2019 to enhance horseracing education and training provision in Scotland and the north of England.

Its vision is to nurture sustainable talent to meet the needs of world class racecourses and trainers.

The SRA is a collaboration between Scottish Racing, Scottish and British horseracing partners and educational institutions to overcome the challenges in recruiting and retaining high quality, skilled racing staff.

It aims to provide learner-based training for people wishing to pursue a career in racing as well as supporting those already working in the industry who wish to upskill their knowledge and expertise.

Building on existing good practice and assets, the SRA has created a series of innovative new qualifications which have been written to provide choice to learners whilst nurturing talent.

Its formation reflects the importance of Scottish horseracing to the global sport and its contribution to the British and Scottish economies.

The Scottish Racing Academy has been supported by the Racing Foundation which is committed to investing in skills and education.

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Mission Statement

The Scottish Racing Academy aims to implement inclusive, sustainable education and training programmes
that can provide opportunities within horseracing by identifying gaps in provision, promoting mutual support
and up-skilling current stable staff.

The ultimate aim is to encourage more staff into the industry and develop the existing staff.


The long-term vision is to create a sustainable education and training to improve recruitment, skills and staff retention in Scotland, and consequently help the sport flourish and grow in Scotland.

The work of the SRA will also benefit people across Britain who will have the opportunity to access education and training in Scotland. It will also benefit the industry more broadly, with Scotland playing its part in attracting, developing and retaining racing staff.

Ethos and Values 

The Scottish Racing Academy sees itself as:

  • Caring and respecting people’s individuality
  • Promoting people’s individual learning styles
  • Enabling and empowering people to consider working with horses within Scottish horseracing
  • Valuing all learner and employer contributions to the provision
  • Demonstrating how enjoyable and fulfilling a career in horseracing can be
  • Independent of statutory services
  • Seeking and gaining the respect of professional colleagues
  • Working collaboratively
  • Open, transparent and communicative
  • Knowledgeable, with a ‘can-do’ approach to problem solving
  • Committed to safeguarding individuals

“ We have a lot of people in Scotland who love horses and riding but don’t know how to get into racing - with the SRA, they can now learn at every level. ”

  • Lucinda Russell
  • Trustee
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Our Training Partners

Borders College

The Scottish Racing Academy has partnered with Borders College to deliver specialist racehorse qualifications.

Borders College operates from three main sites Galashiels, Hawick and St. Boswells and is the regional college for the Scottish Borders.


The Scottish Racing Academy has partnered with Scotland’s Rural College to deliver the SCQF Level 5 National Progression Award in Racehorse Care from its Oatridge campus.

Oatridge campus stands on its own 283-hectare estate in the West Lothian countryside and is home to the Scottish National Equestrian Centre (SNEC) - a new state of the art venue for equestrian sports and activities.

Our People

Eleanor Boden MRes, BSc, PCGE, FHEA
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Eleanor Boden is responsible for Managing the Scottish Racing Academy and its education provision which includes recruitment strategies and employer engagement. Previously, Eleanor was a Senior Lecturer at Myerscough College where she earned the Fellowship of the Higher Education Academy status as well as multiple nominations for her outstanding teaching delivery. Eleanor is currently completing her PhD at Durham University and researching the experiences of females from different education streams and employment in the horseracing industry.

Hannah Farrell
Communications and Promotional Event Team
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Hannah has a Level 3 apprenticeship qualification in horse care and management.
She started working at a busy pony trekking yard when she was still at school and from there began her apprenticeship.

Hannah began her career working with Cumbrian based trainer, Dianne Sayer – firstly undertaking yard work and later progressing to riding out. Her favourite part of the job is taking horses to the races.

She enjoys spending time with her own retrained racehorse, Sarge, and is involved with the charity, Racing to School.

Delly Innes
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Delly Innes is founding Chair of the Scottish Racing Academy. She has been Manager of Scottish Racing since 2016 following her position as Head of Political Research for the Countryside Alliance and its Wessex Regional Director from 2004 to 2010. She also sits on the British Horseracing Authority’s Public Affairs Steering Group which develops and implements agreed racing industry strategy on political engagement in both Westminster and Holyrood.

Nicola Clanachan
Marketing and Administration
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Nicola obtained an HND in Equine & Business Management at SNEC Oatridge College. Her racing career started in Newmarket for trainer William Haggas where she stayed for six years. Here she developed a passion for physiotherapy and on leaving Newmarket trained with the late veterinary physiotherapist Mary Bromiley obtaining an Itec Diploma in Equine Sports Therapy & Rehabilitation. Nicola has travelled to New Zealand, America, France and Ireland with racing.

As well as continuing professional development as an equine sports therapist, she has a keen interest in farming and gardening.

Morag Gray MBE
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Morag Gray, MBE, has worked in sports administration for over 25 years. She was the first female Clerk of Course in Britain and was Chief Executive of Hamilton Park Racecourse for four years. She is Chair of the horse racing community programme, Racing Together which she has been involved with for more than 30 years. Morag chairs the Welfare Committee at Racing Welfare and was Chair of the BHA Welfare and Training Group. Morag was a non-executive director of the British Horseracing Authority for seven years.

Jonathan Garratt
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Having ridden in point-to-points at an early age, Jonathan developed a passion for horse racing that continues to grow. He has managed the racecourses at Worcester, Fontwell Park, Cartmel and Kelso and is a Director of Racecourse Media Group as well as operating his own company, Making Great Tracks.

Lucinda Russell OBE
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Since 1995 Lucinda Russell has been training National Hunt horses including more than 700 winners and nine graded winners and winners at the Cheltenham and Aintree Festivals. Lucinda trains in the beautiful Kinross countryside near Edinburgh with her partner Peter Scudamore MBE, an eight time champion jockey who rode 1,678 winners in a record breaking career. Together they have formed a partnership which has produced the most successful racing yard in the history of Scottish jump racing.

Dena Merson
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Founder of Simply Racing, Dena has extensive experience in coaching and mentoring in the horse racing industry, working with CEOs and management as well as executives across the sport. She devised and developed the Women In Racing mentoring programme and runs courses for senior and aspiring managers. A former Managing Director at Credit Suisse, Dena grew a breeding and bloodstock business before starting her own executive coaching business working in the City and with the military. She sat on the Racehorse Owners Association Executive and Council, various racing committees and was on the Board of Thoroughbred Owner and Breeder. Dena blends a keen understanding of horseracing politics with business expertise and specialisation in leadership.

Ken McGarrity
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Ken McGarrity is a Chartered Accountant and a highly regarded member of the racing community. He holds the Scottish seat on the council of the Racehorse Owners Association (ROA). Ken has extensive financial knowledge and leadership experience through director positions at Nairns Oatcakes, Lothians Racing Syndicate and Queen Margaret University. Ken brings together a fusion of education and horseracing knowledge with a specialism in finance.