4 Tips On How To Become a Jockey
Whether you’ve watched horse racing or not, chances are that you’ve heard the term, “jockey” before, and know that it’s the athlete that rides the horse as they sprint around the track. Jockeys have been a part of modern horse racing for almost as long as it’s existed, and today it remains a noble and often extremely rewarding profession.
For anyone that loves horses and could one day see themselves riding them as a career, they would need to become a jockey. While some may argue that riding a horse isn’t extremely difficult, the opposite could not be truer, and it, in fact, takes many years of hard work and dedication before you can actually see any real track-time.
For those that are interested in becoming a professional horse racer, there are a few requirements that need to be met. Browsing online, watching races, or following betting sites in Australia, you will have noticed that jockeys tend to be on the smaller size, which brings us to our first requirement: weight.
Being The Right Weight
Weight is extremely important for a jockey, and can mean the difference between winning the race or going home last. While horse are strong animals, they do have physical limitations. Put too much weight on their back, and it slows them down and tires them out faster, which means that the person riding that horse needs to be a certain weight. The ideal jockey needs to weight somewhere between 54 and 65 kgs, depending on the type of racing that they’re doing.
Weighing more than this means that it’s very unlikely that an applicant would be accepted at any training schools.
And The Right Height
Height and weight are linked, and people that are shorted tend to weight a lot less at their optimal weight. This is also why jockeys tend to be on the small size. While not as important as weight, there are some aerodynamics to consider, and smaller people tend to withstand the constant force of riding more efficiently.
Maintaining Diet and Exercise
Jockeys train extremely hard, and being one means that you will spend a good portion of every day ensuring that you’re strong and fit, while also staying as light as possible. This means sticking to a strict diet, and taking great care to never exceed a certain weight, especially if there are racing events on the horizon. This is obviously not a career for anyone that struggles with sustained physical exercise, although the health benefits can be tremendous.
Training schools will start accepting anyone from the age of 16 and up, and while grades are not that important, common sense and an affinity for physical activity is a must. A deep appreciation of horses is also important, and growing up with and around horses is vital.
The jockey career isn’t for everyone, but for those that are interested and want to make the leap, it can be a rewarding and fascinating career path.