Home Curiosity Do You Have What It Takes to Be a Jockey?

Do You Have What It Takes to Be a Jockey?

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If you feel as though you have the commitment and drive needed to become a jockey, then it could be a viable career path. With that in mind, there are a few other essential requirements you need to meet so you can become eligible for a race.

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Jockeys are usually avid riders, but handling a strong-willed thoroughbred horse is a whole new level. It’s also very different to the average hackout. Jockeys have to be able to gallop for up to six furlongs at a time and demonstrate that they can monitor pace and control while cantering. Although the requirements for becoming a jockey are steep, the reward of being able to work with some of the finest trainers and horses in the world makes it all worthwhile. Some of the finest jockeys in the world have even had slot games and movies made in their honor. For example, now you can play the Ruby Walsh Slot at Paddy Power, or you can watch the movie Jockey, which stars Scott Stevens, Logan Cormier and G. R. Carter, who are all experienced riders. 


Professional jockeys have to meet very strict requirements to ride. If you don’t meet the minimum riding weight, you face disqualification from the race. Some races have a maximum weight, which is usually agreed upon before the race. This weight always includes the necessary kit, as The Jockey Club explains. In the same way as MMA fights, jockeys need to make sure that they come in under the weight limit, or else they risk not making it past the first theoretical hurdle. Weight is also taken after the race, to confirm that the horse did carry the allowed weight. When a jockey’s been weighed, it’s not uncommon to hear the racecourse commentator announce it to the audience. Although these requirements are strict, they are an integral part of keeping horse racing fair. 


Even though jockeys have to meet certain weight requirements, they also have to be able to steer and control an athletic horse. Jockeys have to demonstrate that they have the endurance and strength required to do this over a period of time, and as such, need to train regularly. Jockeys often undergo fitness tests, including strength exercises, and cardiovascular workouts. There is always a cutoff point with assessments, and if you fall below the benchmark, you will not be able to progress with your jockey qualification. Although fitness is the way of life for a jockey, some muscle groups can only be worked by riding horses. For this reason, jockeys have to ride horses on a daily basis. They will have to ride different horses in different situations, described more in an article at Equestrian Movement, to ensure that they are knowledgeable about how to handle a horse when riding in both wet and dry conditions. Slippery conditions can also affect a jockey’s ability to maintain control, so preparing for instances such as this is crucial if a rider is to compete at a professional level.

Becoming a professional jockey isn’t easy, but if you’re driven and dedicated, it’s a rewarding career path with plenty of room for progression.