From an early age, Christopher Chatters saw horseracing through the eyes of his racing family, spending many early mornings with his uncles Maynie and Benard, both trainers in the family's native Louisiana.
During the six-week Rillito Park winter meet, he saw racing through a camera lens high atop the first turn of the Tucson racetrack as part of the PariBet Racetrack Industry Student Experience. Chatters is in his first semester of the University of Arizona Race Track Industry Program (RTIP), turning his passion for horse racing into a career.
“Growing up, I was always the smallest in my class, and for the longest time I thought I wanted to be a jockey. But, with a mama who was having no part of that, those feelings eventually faded,” said Chatters. “After getting away from racing a little because of soccer and school, I realized that I missed waking up early and the feeling of being around the barn that I fell in love with at a very young age. So, I decided to come to the University of Arizona and join the RTIP.”
Chatters' job at Rillito Park kept him somewhat isolated in his perch.
“It's kind of lonely up there,” said Chatters, “but the opportunity to be at the racetrack and experience race days from a different perspective was very beneficial. Rillito is a small track and there's a strong sense of community. Although I worked behind the camera, I was still able to observe and learn so much about the other departments.”
Christopher Chatters is on track to a career in horse racing, and his options are plentiful.
“After graduating, I plan to follow in the footsteps of my two uncles and be a trainer. But in my first semester, I've already been introduced to many other aspects of the industry. So, I may want to also delve into other areas, such as sales and breeding. I've loved everything about the program, including listening to and interacting with our guest speakers, and just being surrounded by so many other people who share the same passion. I'll just see where the horses take me.”
PariBet LLC, an advanced deposit wagering service, is again partnering with Rillito Park Racetrack to sponsor students in the University of Arizona's Race Track Industry Program to work in various positions at the track during its 2018 winter season. In turn, the students contribute a wealth of enthusiasm and expertise to the meet.
To learn more about the Race Track Industry Program, visit ua-rtip.org.
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