(Edited press release)
The North American Racing Academy will have a graduation race for its students May 17. The race will take place during the 43rd running of the High Hope Steeplechase at The Kentucky Horse Park in Lexington.
The graduation race will be the second for NARA since the academy was established in 2006. The race will also be the first time each of the students has competed in an actual race.
NARA is the brainchild of Hall of Fame jockey Chris McCarron, who relocated to central Kentucky for the sole purpose of establishing the academy.
“It’s been a dream come true," McCarron said. Young people needed a place to learn about the racing industry. At NARA we teach them all aspects of the business, not just riding a Thoroughbred at 40 miles an hour."
Post time for the NARA race is scheduled for 5:45 p.m. (EDT). It is the fifth race of the day.
NARA provides students with the education, training, and experience needed to become skilled in the art of race riding, proficient in the care and management of racehorses, and knowledgeable about the horse racing industry. After completing the two-year program, students receive an associate degree in equine studies.
NARA is an equine program of the Kentucky Community and Technical College System (KCTCS) and is the first college-affiliated horse racing academy in the United States. KCTCS facilitates the development of NARA by providing direction for academic courses that lead to certifications.