The Apprentice Jockeys’ School (AJS) was founded in 1972. In the 70s and 80s when the AJS was first established, it was located at Shan Kwong Road in Happy Valley. The building’s 10th and top floor was the original AJS dormitory. Happy Valley was the only training centre for jockeys. Starting from the 80s, the training base was moved to Beas River in Sheung Shui.
After receiving basic riding training and acquiring equine knowledge, trainees were then sent to stables at Sha Tin Racecourse for their apprenticeships and to hone their riding skills with various racing stables.
The success of the AJS led to the establishment of the Racing Development Board (RDB) in 2005. Apart from providing training to nurture jockeys and work riders, the RDB delivered structural vocational training across the most important functions involved in the care and management of racehorses. The RDB redesigned the apprentice jockey training curriculum and filled the programme with new ideas and values, with the mission to provide racing industry personnel with formal training and a world-renowned qualification.
The Racing Talent Development Stable managed by the Board was opened on 14 March, 2008. The opening of the stable provided a purpose-built facility for racing training and professional development. In 2010 and 2018, six certificate programmes were built for Work Riders, Jockeys, Stable Assistants, Advanced Stable Assistants, and Assistant Trainers. All certificate programmes are accredited by the HKCAAVQ (Hong Kong Council for Accreditation of Academic & Vocational Qualifications). By December of 2021, the Racing Development Board had issued about 1,800 certificates to the AJS trainees and non-riding professionals who had finished their training provided through the RDB.
In honour of the 50th Anniversary of the AJS in 2022, the Racing Development Board is to be rebranded as the Racing Talent Training Centre. The two schools, Apprentice Jockeys’ School and Racing Talent School, deliver riding and non-riding programmes respectively. As a professional teaching institution, it will strengthen connections with Hong Kong and Mainland communities to nurture extraordinary racing talents.