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OEEEP Opening Doors to Careers in the Horse Industry

Posted in Equestrian News, Home Page articles, horse-racing

OEEEP Opening Doors to Careers in the Horse Industry

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The Ontario Equine Education and Employment Program (OEEEP) educated Can-Am attendees.

Wandering around Can-Am at Ancaster Fairgrounds is a great way to gear up for a summer of enjoying all the horse industry has to offer.  Amongst all the shopping and wonderful educational clinics stood a booth offering an amazing opportunity to enter the horse industry as a career.  The Ontario Equine Education and Employment Program (OEEEP) booth was there and past participants as well as facilitators of the program had great success stories to share.  They were ready to open doors for more people considering careers with horses and wasted no time explaining the completely free 6-week virtual training course that is followed by a practical hands-on experience.

Brian Tropea and Gayle Ecker at the EquiMania Booth at Can-Am Ancaster 2024

OEEEP facilitator, Brian Tropea offered a welcoming smile and explained the program is back for a third year because it has been a positive experience for both employers struggling to find enthusiastic, reliable help and for those with a passion for horses looking for a way to get started.

A frequent question was ‘how does the placement at the end of the course work?’  

Tropea said, “Once you have completed the online portion of the program, staff from VPI and OHHA will assist in finding a job placement.  We work with you to find a job in the discipline that you prefer.  You will identify opportunities in your geographic area.  Equine facilities are required to sign up and be approved in order to accept employees from the program and qualify for up to $5,000 in incentives while training their new hires.”

Applicants must be a minimum of 15 years of age, unemployed or under-employed, residents of Ontario and eligible to work in Canada.  Participants receive training in job preparedness and job interview skills from VPI employment services and participate in 6 weeks of online learning from Equine Guelph before the placement program begins, matching potential employers with new participants. 

The Equine Guelph booth was placed right beside the OEEEP display for those keen to learn more about Equine Guelph’s award-winning programs and their participation in the OEEEP program.  Equine Guelph, director Gayle Ecker and her team were on hand to explain how they would learn about horse health, welfare and facility safety as well as other important topics covered through live presentations, videos, discussions, and extra resources. 

OEEEP training sessions  will be offered from April 22 until September 2024. 

Employers can learn about the program on the Ontario Equine Education and Employment Program website and contact Brian Tropea for more information.
Participants can sign up for one of the four offerings in 2024 at

Story by The Rider

Employer information:
Free training for participants: 
Brian Tropea email:

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