How to become a jockey

| December 3, 2019
How to become a jockey
Many criteria need to be addressed in order to become a jockey

Do you aspire to be a jockey? Maybe you’re just not quite sure how to get on the right track. Either way, you can find out everything you need to know in this post.

Personal Requirements

If you want to become a jockey, then you do have to meet some personal requirements. You will need to enjoy working with horses and you also need to have a very light build. Other requirements include having an athletic stature with a very good sense of balance. If you feel as though you have that then this is great, but there’s more! Steady nerves are crucial, with a competitive personality that will make you really want to get out there and be the best that you can be. You should note that there are some height and weight limits if you want to be a jockey, so making sure that you meet them is really crucial before you delve deep into the world of horse riding.

Education and Training

The education and training requirements will usually vary if you are a jockey. If you want to become a jockey, then you need to make sure that you complete either a traineeship or an apprenticeship. Entry requirements will probably vary here, but you do need to do your research to make sure that you are going with a good course. If you do want to take on work as a jockey, then you need to have a license. The license can easily be obtained from the racing authority in your state or even territory. If you want to go ahead and get licensed, then there’s a high chance that you will need to undergo an assessment. There will also be a minimum age requirement in a lot of cases too, so if you are young then you may need to wait a couple of years before you are allowed to formally progress your potential career.


Everyone who wants to become a jockey dreams of going to the biggest horse races in the world and coming away with a win. Think about the Grand National, Cheltenham and even the Royal Ascot. Sure, all of those are based in the UK but they are seen across the world. If you want to do all of this then you need to make sure that you have the right personality. A lot of jockeys tend to be young, usually between 16 and 22 years of age. This is the prime time for you to be riding horses and getting to grips with the training. More and more women are starting to show an interest in the sport and this is great, but it’s still very much male-dominated.


As mentioned above, it’s super important that you undergo the right training if you want to become a jockey. You will probably have to do some kind of diploma training and you may even need to go to a horse racing school too. Courses tend to be residential which means that you will be staying at their own facility for the duration of the entire course. The process can be lengthy and it can also be tedious too. Sometimes they can take up to a year and if you are lucky you may get in first time. A lot of people struggle with this as the courses can be popular.

The Cost of Training

Usually when you sign up with a course, you will have all of your gear paid for. You will also be able to access a lot of different breeds of horses, and your accommodation will be paid for too. When you are able to start getting an apprenticeship, you can then easily start earning and although it won’t be a lot, it will be enough to keep you going for the time being.

Knowing how to Ride

Believe it or not, you don’t actually need to know how to ride a horse if you want to start your career as a jockey. There are tons of riding schools available for you to choose from and when you do sign up with them, they can easily show you the ropes.

Taking Care of Horses

As a jockey, you will have to know how to take care of your horses. This is part of the training apprenticeship that you can sign up with. As a jockey, it’s so important that you are light, and the general rule is for you to be around 8 stone. Sometimes jockeys can be up to 9 stone, but if you weigh more than this then you may struggle to sign up as a jockey because you will be too heavy for the horse.


A lot of jockeys are self-employed which means that they are given a contract and they are paid per race. If you are professional, then there’s a high chance that you will be given a riding fee. A number of deductions will come from your wage, for example if you have an agent, so you do have to keep this in mind.

Of course, the world of riding horses is vast and if you are willing to put the work in and really help yourself to meet the requirements then there is no reason at all why you can’t get out there and make a career out of it. You never know, you may even end up being able to earn a lot of money so that you can start your own business. This is something that a lot of jockeys have an interest in. If you want to become a jockey, then all you have to do is follow the above tips. When you do, you will soon find that you are able to get well underway and that you end up visiting some of the finest racecourses in the world. This will take some training and you may find that to begin with, the life isn’t glamorous, but the payoffs are worth the wait when you reach the top ranks.

Category: Special interest

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