"Interestingly, we've received inquires from young people who are sophomores, juniors, and seniors in high school, who are thinking well in advance of what career path they may want to take," said McCarron. "We're pretty thrilled about that." Initially, students will be participating in the Equine Management Program already in place at the Horse Park. The approximate $21,000, two-year school will include 18 months of classroom learning, followed by a six-month internship with trainers who will give students a crash-course in the racetrack routine. McCarron named Tom Proctor, Richard Dutrow, and Todd Pletcher as three trainers that had already expressed an interest in mentoring a NARA student. McCarron said students who enter the NARA and decide they would rather pursue different aspect of the industry can refocus their efforts into courses KCTCS will offer for grooms, exercise riders, and other career paths. The school's basic curriculum includes classes on personal finances, communication skills, nutrition and fitness, rules of racing, equine science, racehorse care, riding racehorses, equine physiology, and racehorse lameness and therapy. In addition to having access to 16 stalls in the main barn and use of the training track and indoor arena, McCarron said he will negotiate a lease with the Horse Park to develop additional facilities on 40 acres of currently unused land.
"I need to raise the funds to build a full-fledged campus, complete with a five-furlong track, indoor track, 60-stall barn, administration building, and dormitories," McCarron said, adding the projected cost for the project to be about $20 million.The Kentucky state budget signed by Gov. Ernie Fletcher included $300,000 to KCTCS in 2006-07 for the operation of NARA. Private funds raised for NARA will be received by the KCTCS Foundation.McCarron's goal is for the 40 acres to be fully developed in time to display the new facilities to visitors in town for the World Equestrian Games that will take place at the Horse Park in 2010. In addition to the NARA, McCarrion has other long-term objectives of increasing the minimum standards required for an individual to receive jockey's license, and helping obtain worker's compensation for jockeys in future legislation.