How Much Do Horse Jockeys Get Paid? (Perfect answer)

That’s still a huge payday in a sport where an average year’s earning can be $30,000-$40,000, according to Career Trend — and as recently as 2018, paid half of North America’s 1,559 thoroughbred jockeys less than $12,000 per year, according to Thoroughbred Racing Commentary, based on horses’ prize winnings.

  • How much do jockeys get paid? On average, horse jockeys in America make $52,737 a year. Their salary is based on the class level of the race they are competing in, how many races they compete in, and what place they take in the race.

How are horse jockeys paid?

Rather than earn a salary, a jockey receives a “mounting fee” (often $50-$110) for each race, riding sometimes eight races per day. The real money for jockeys comes from prize money, if they can ride a horse to finish first, second or third in a race and earn part of the purse. Certainly, the top jockeys do quite well.

How much do jockeys get per ride?

However, as a general rule of thumb Flat jockeys receive around 7% of the advertised win prize and 3% of the advertised place prize. Jump Jockeys receive around 9% of the win prize and 4% of the place prize. The riding fee is negotiated annually between the PJA and the ROA.

How much do jockeys get paid UK?

Self-employed jockeys are paid riding fees on a ride-by-ride basis, at a fixed rate of £120.66, or £164.74, per ride, depending on whether they compete under Flat or National Hunt rules.

Do jockeys make a lot of money?

A top-ranking professional jockey will make an average of $271,427 yearly, with very few making upwards of $2 million a year. To make it all the way to the top takes years of experience and lots of talent. Only a few jockeys will become millionaires during their career, as most will barely make a living wage.

Do jockeys talk during races?

Jockeys do talk to each other during races. The leading Flat jockey Greville Starkey used to do a marvellous imitation of a barking dog and occasionally went into his routine during a finish to put off an opponent’s mount.

Do jockeys whip their horses?

Jockeys aren’t whipping their horses in the last 100m of a race to increase safety or to remind their horse to pay attention. During the last 100m of a race, whips can be used at a jockey’s discretion, which essentially means horses can be whipped most when they are at their most fatigued and least able to respond.

Who is the owner of jockey?

Jockey International Chairman and CEO Debra S. Waller founded Jockey Person to Person to provide women with the opportunity to enjoy a rich family life while making their dreams come true. In India, Page Industries Ltd. is the licensee for Jockey.

How much does a jockey get for winning the Gold Cup?

The winner is set to net £351,687. The rest of the cash will be split among the first eight runners past the post. The winning jockey will pocket around £30,000.

Do apprentice jockeys get prize money?

Apprentice Jockeys are paid a set wage, which increases each year during the apprenticeship. In addition, race rides and barrier trial rides are paid extra, as well as a percentage of any prizemoney earned by horses you ride. Successful jockeys and apprentices may average between 10 and 20 race rides per week.

Does Katie Price own race horses?

“If the charity race goes well, the next step will be competitive racing.” Katie already has a passion for horses and first began riding when she was just seven. These days the 37-year-old is skilled in the art of technical dressage and is the proud owner of five horses.

What is Ryan Moore salary?

All said, he has earned more than 147.4 million Pounds and is still going strong. Ryan Moore has been riding since 2000, and he is the only rider to earn more than 8 million Pounds in a season in Britain.

How much do horse riders earn UK?

If they receive three-quarters of each riding fee, that puts the average gross annual income from riding fees at £26,500. The average Flat jockey, meanwhile, has 300 rides a year. That puts their gross annual income at £27,150.

Here’s how much money the winning Kentucky Derby jockey will earn tonight

The 144th Kentucky Derby takes place on Saturday at Churchill Downs. The event is supposed to begin at 6:46 p.m. ET, but the post time is set for 6:34 p.m. ET. The two-minute race will begin at 6:34 p.m. ET. Justify, the favorite for tonight’s race, will start from post position seven and will be attempting to become the sixth consecutive favorite to win the Kentucky Derby for the first time. In total, 20 horses will compete for the opportunity to win the first leg of the Triple Crown, with prize money also on the line.

The winning horse’s owner receives 62 percent of the payout, or $1.24 million, for his or her investment.

After paying his agent and the valet, who is in charge of putting the jockey’s equipment together, the total will be reduced to approximately $100,000.

Even so, it’s a nice payday for only two minutes of effort on my part.

After costs, their take-home pay will be closer to $14,000 and $7,000, respectively.

According to jockey agent Ron Anderson, their ride is only worth “a couple hundred dollars apiece” in 2010, according to CNBC.

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What Do Jockeys Earn?

If you’ve always wanted to be the first horse to cross the finish line in a horse race, becoming a jockey might be the ideal career choice for you. Working as a jockey necessitates the possession of specific physical characteristics, dedication, and the opportunity to train as an apprentice under a renowned trainer. Although only a small number of jockeys compete in the Kentucky Derby, the United States has more than 50 racetracks, and there are even more around the world. As little as $28 can be earned for a single race, with the possibility of earning as much as $124,000 for a triple crown battle.

Job Description

The job duties of a jockey are far greater than racing a horse. Each day begins very early with a weight check at the track. If a jockey’s weight exceeds 115 pounds, he or she must first undergo a session in the hot box or sauna to loosen up. Some jockeys stick to one small meal per day to maintain their weight. Following the weight check, a jockey prepares a horse for competition. This is referred to as a breeze, and the jockey may choose to run more than one horse in the morning depending on the conditions.

On race days, a jockey will race one or more horses, usually in the evening. Following the race, a jockey collects his or her thoughts from the trainer and then returns home to rest before starting all over again the next day.

Education Requirements

Most jockeys begin their profession at a very young age riding horses and learning racing culture. At the age of 16, the prospective jockey can begin formally working with a trainer or enter an apprentice school. There’s one recognized racing academy in the United States, located in Lexington, Kentucky. In addition to instruction about professional racing, nutrition, communication, horse care, and racing laws, education also includes information on other topics. The classification of senior jockey will be achieved after four years of education.


The compensation for jockeys varies depending on their level of experience and track record of success. In 2015, beginning jockeys earned as little as $28 per race on the low end and as much as $124,000 for winning the top prize in a premier race on the high end. Even in a Triple Crown race, jockeys that don’t finish in the top five make as little as$500. A lot of jockeys are represented by agents who take a cut of their earnings. Most jockeys aren’t making a run for the money but rather are racing for the love of the sport.

Years of Experience

In the world of horse racing, knowledge and experience are everything. As jockeys accumulate a large number of victories, they are referred to as winners. It’s quite improbable that an unknown rider will be selected to ride a horse in a prestigious race of any significance.

Job Growth Trend

Weight limits and the possibility of injury make this a difficult professional field to pursue. Only a small number of athletes meet the minimum size requirements, and only 12 athletes are accepted into the North American Racing Academy each year. Every year, about 2,500 people are injured while participating in horse racing, and 154 jockeys have died while riding since 1940.

The Average Salary of a Horse Jockey

Marlenka/iStock/GettyImages Jocks are essential to the world of competitive horse racing, and they are only briefly in the spotlight when they win the Triple Crown race, which takes place every year in New York. The majority of jockeys do not necessarily make a lot of money. These petite athletes are responsible for riding the horse during the race, and while the most accomplished jockeys make six-figure salaries, the majority of them earn only a few thousand dollars. One of the most important reasons is that a jockey’s success determines a large portion of his income — those who win races with large purses earn significantly more money.

Mounting Fee

Jockeys are often employed as independent contractors by horse trainers, who hire them on a per-job basis. During a race, the amount that a jockey is compensated for riding a horse is referred to as a “mounting fee.” This fee is not always prohibitively expensive — in most cases, it is between $25 and $100. As a result, the income of a jockey is primarily decided by his or her level of achievement, making this a high-risk job with high stakes for every race.

Prize Money

The purse is the real source of money for jockeys who compete for it. The purse is the amount of money that a horse receives as a prize for placing first, second, or third, with the jockey receiving a portion of the money. The size of the purse and the percentage earned by the jockey varies from race to race, but it is always a small portion of the total.

For example, first place may receive approximately six percent of the total prize money, with second place receiving one percent and third place receiving half a percent.


The majority of jockeys make between $30,000 and $40,000 per year, however there are several exceptions to this rule. For example, the top 100 jockeys in the world earned an average of $5.7 million in 2004. However, because of the wide range of prize payouts, these figures are not always reliable and constant. According to the National Rider Association, the best paid jockey received $2.1 million in purse shares in 2008, while the highest earner got $22.2 million in 2004.

Expense and Requirements

Jockeying has a cost associated with it. To be able to ride, jockeys are required to provide their own equipment, such as saddles, helmets, and boots. A percentage of their winnings is paid to agents and valets, which amounts to approximately 30% of their total earnings. Aside from that, they must maintain tight weight restrictions in order to be eligible and competitive – most jockeys weigh between 108 and 118 pounds, on average. Being short is also a common characteristic among jockeys, and while there are no height requirements, having a short stature aids a jockey in maintaining his or her weight.

How do so many jockeys survive when they’re earning so little?

A startling disparity exists in the distribution of jockeys’ earnings, with the top 20% of earners accounting for 80% of total earnings. If you’re a professional jockey, life is nice. You get to ride the best horses in the best races, and you have the potential to make a not-insignificant fortune. But what about those who are on the opposite end of the spectrum? How have they fared thus far? This is the first of two articles that will look at the issue of inequality among jockeys based in the United States, and it is written by Paul von Hippel, associate professor at the University of Texas, who examines some key data.

  • Eddie Arcaro, a Hall of Fame jockey, admitted in a 1957 interview with Mike Wallace that he had earned over $2.2 million throughout his 25-year career, which is the equivalent of almost $30 million today.
  • “The typical rider probably makes approximately $7,500 a year, and considering how much time he spends traveling with his family, I don’t believe he makes enough money to support himself.” Today’s income disparities are at least as severe.
  • This isn’t exactly a secret, but it’s not something the racing industry takes great pride in, and it’s a little difficult to figure out from publicly available information.
  • The amount of prize money won by the horses under the jockey’s saddle is reported instead of the amount of money earned by the jockey himself or herself in the sport of horse racing.
  • Although a simple rule of thumb states that jockeys receive 8% of the total purse, this is only accurate on average.
  • To put this in context, the average purse in a 2017 race was $27,000, with 49 percent of the money going to the winning horse, 24 percent to the second-placed horse, and 12 percent to the third-placed horse.
  • In the average second-place finish, the jockey received $324, while in the average third-place finish, the jockey received $162.

In Kentucky, races with purses of at least $100,000 award the fourth-place jockey a share of the fourth-place prize money equal to five percent of the total prize money. Fourth place horses win an average of nine percent of the purse, though gamblers who place their wagers on them are out of pocket.

The elite fifteen

If a jockey finishes fourth or worse in a poor race, he or she receives a mount fee of $50 to $110, depending on the circumstances. Depending on what the Jockeys’ Guild has agreed to with each state racing association, the amounts vary from one jurisdiction to the next. Nonetheless, it would not be a significant distortion to assert that the Kentucky agreement is applicable statewide. We can get a rough estimate of the cumulative distribution of jockeys’ earnings based on this assumption. It’s a glaring disparity in wealth.

  1. On the other hand, the top ten percent earned more than $155,000, the top five percent earned more than $258,000, and the top one percent earned between $729,000 and $2.1 million, with only 15 jockeys earning more than that.
  2. The amount earned is represented on the horizontal axis, with the highest-paid riders earning $1 million or more represented on the vertical axis.
  3. The 80/20 rule governs the earnings of jockeys, with 20 percent of jockeys getting 80 percent of total earnings.
  4. Six percent of all jockeys earn half of their total earnings.
  5. The proportion of revenue earned is shown by the vertical axis, while the percentage of jockeys earning it is represented by the horizontal axis.
  6. For comparison, the income disparity among big league baseball players, who had a Ginicoefficientof.62 (and a maximum pay of $535,000) in 2017, had a Ginicoefficientof.62 (and a maximum wage of $535,000).
  7. A large number of jockeys are practically minor leaguers, competing on local tracks on a regular basis.
  8. Nonetheless, it may be unavoidable for wealth inequality to be greater in a sport that is based on prize money — such as horse racing, tennis, or boxing — than in a sport such as baseball, where athletes are compensated by the league.
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According to the Gini coefficient in 2000, the median household income was $11,901 and the 95thpercentile was $216,000 (equivalent to $312,200 in today’s values) For the year 2017, the median household income was $11,629, while the 95th percentile earned $258,307; the Gini coefficient was 0.777.

And, with the exception of inflation, it’s possible that not much has changed since Mike Wallace interviewed Eddie Arcaro in 1957.

For the sake of this analysis, the year 1944 was allocated his $2.2 million in wins because it was towards the top of his career at the time, between his two Triple Crown victories.

So, how much does a jockey really earn?

Isn’t it true that jockeys must be loaded? Every week, Frankie Dettori competes in races that are worth hundreds of thousands of pounds. Ryan Moore travels the world competing in the world’s most prestigious competitions. Ruby Walsh takes first place in Grade 1s just for fun. While it is true that riders may make a good livelihood at the top levels of competition, the reality for most is quite different. To put this in context, only three Flat jockeys in the United Kingdom earned as much in riding fees and prize money in 2016 as the 200th highest-earning golfer on the PGA Tour (who earned £215,000.) But how much money does the ordinary jockey make?

  • What’s the long and the short of it?
  • Let’s take it step by step.
  • Fees for riding are the most important source of revenue for jockeys’ earnings.
  • So, for example, an experienced rider with a full book of rides may expect to earn in the region of £1,000 each day.
  • The jockey’s agent receives 10% of the purse, while the Professional Jockeys Association (the riders’ union) receives 3% of the prize money.
  • Valets, who put in a lot of effort behind the scenes, are compensated on a sliding scale.
  • Added expenses include insurance, on-course physiotherapists, and the racing bank Weatherbys, which manages the jockeys’ costs and even charges a 50p fee for each line on the jockey’s account (imagine if your bank did something similar!).

The average jump jockey receives 215 rides per year on average.

The average Flat jockey, on the other hand, gets 300 rides each year.

Prize money and sponsorship are available.

Depending on the race, this percentage is between 8.5 and nine percent of the winning prize money for leaps.

In both codes, they receive three and a half percent of the total prize money awarded to the winners.

When it comes to prize money, flat racing has a higher value than when it comes to jumping, but earnings from prize money are highly variable in both codes, especially for riders outside the handful of stars who make up the sport’s top echelon.

The following year, after suffering an injury that kept him out for part of the summer, his prize money was more than halved.

Stobart, the logistics company, sponsors all riders on their posteriors, which is arguably the most visible part of their bodies.

Many riders have additional sponsors in addition to their main sponsors.

Naturally, the amount of money that each rider receives is determined by their public profile, sporting success, and the skill with which their agent negotiates.

One of the most significant expenses for a jockey is travel, with the average rider travelling 40,000 to 60,000 miles per year at a cost of upwards of £6,000 in petrol.

Taxes must also be taken into consideration, which means paying accountants or spending countless hours reviewing tax returns.

So, how much money do they truly make?

It is not included in the totals below any sponsorship or retainers, which are not available in the public domain, nor any money paid to non-runners (riders get 40 per cent of the riding fee if horses are withdrawn after 9am).

Ais a strong Flat rider who has a slew of major victories to his credit on the Flat.

His share of nearly £2 million in prize money amounted to nearly £100,000 (approximately).

Rider Bis is a top 20 jump jockey who rode about 500 horses in the 2016-17 season.

The final figure is £135,000 before taxes and costs.

Last season, he rode fewer than 200 horses, earning £22,000 in riding fees and another £20,000 in prize money as a result of his efforts.

Jockey Dis is a well-established independent Flat jockey who frequently spends his winters abroad.

Overall, £20,000 before taxes and expenditures is what you get.

In reality, when top owners’ retainers and overseas prize money are factored in, the elite will almost surely make in the seven figures.

The final group of jockeys is the apprentice or conditional jockey, who are subject to a complex system of restrictions that would require a separate page to discuss in detail.

It’s impossible to put a definite number on what jockeys make, but one thing that can be said with confidence is that, in terms of sporting compensation, they receive a fraction of what footballers, cricketers, golfers, and tennis professionals receive in their respective sports.

Michael Steele is a writer who lives in New York City.

We believe it is fair to say that every pound and euro they make is money well earned, especially when you consider the long hours, arduous travel, and physical dangers they face on a daily basis.

If you liked this post, you might be interested in reading the other pieces in our Racing Revealed series.

Horses that travel at high altitudes: How do racehorses get throughout the world?

They’ve all been beaten by a hair’s breadth, but why do so few jockeys sport beards? Is it true that “you never meet a poor bookmaker” is a well-known proverb? The art, regulations, and ugliness of naming racehorses are all discussed here. PUBLISHED FOR THE FIRST TIME AT 5:51 PM ON FEBRUARY 5, 2020

How Much Does a Jockey Earn per Race?

It is one of the world’s most risky vocations to make a life by riding race horses for money. It is estimated that over 90 percent of jockeys will suffer a major injury at some time throughout their careers. Given the high level of risk involved, you would expect jockeys to make a substantial sum of money. The reality is that just a small number of riders in the sport earn six-figure salaries. The vast majority of riders earn far less. Here is a summary of how jockeys are compensated, as well as how much they receive for each each race.

The Jock Mount

Every rider who takes part in a race is guaranteed to get a certain amount of money as compensation for their efforts, regardless of whether they win or lose the event. Known as a jock mount, this little sum is one of the lowest earnings paid to a professional athlete and is among the lowest available. Riders are paid an arbitrary sum if they do not finish first, second, or third, regardless of their position on the leaderboard. The majority of racing courses charge around $50 for this service.

It is necessary for a jockey to sell in large quantities in order to make a living.

On a small racing circuit, it is not uncommon for a jockey to ride in eight or nine races in a single day, depending on the circumstances.

This suggests that they are earning much less than the winner’s share for 80 percent of the time.

How Much A Jockey Makes for A Win

It is assured that every rider who competes in a race will get a quantity of money in compensation for their efforts, regardless of whether or not they win. Known as a jock mount, this little figure is one of the lowest earnings awarded to a professional athlete in the world. Riders are paid an arbitrary sum if they do not finish first, second, or third, regardless of how well they ride. Generally speaking, this is around $50 at most racing tracks. When a jockey takes the field, they are actually risking their life and limb for a sum that is less than the cost of filling up a large number of automobiles with gasoline.

This implies that in order to earn a living, they must ride as many horses as possible in a day.

Generally speaking, the best jockeys are victorious just 20 percent of the time.

Jockey Earnings for Second and Third Place

The earnings a rider earns for finishing in second and third place are also equal to ten percent of the purse money obtained by the owner of the horse. Owners of second-place finishes often earn 20 percent of the prize money. In the case of the third, the percentage is normally 10%. For second and third place results on a tiny circuit, the jockey will normally get a little bonus in addition to the standard jock mount.

As you might imagine, jockeys do everything they can to ensure that their horses finish “in the money” when they compete. An in-the-money finish is one in which the jockey receives additional compensation.

Millionaire Racing Jockeys

According to a Forbes magazine article, just a small number of jockeys earn millions of dollars each year. In 2015, the top five riders received a total of $1.3 million to $2.25 million, ranging from first to fifth place. The majority of them had to compete in well over 1,000 races throughout the year in order to reach the million-dollar milestone. And this just reflects the top five jockeys in the United States, despite the fact that there are literally hundreds of riders in the country. Aside from riding in the most prestigious races in the country, jockeys who make millions of dollars do so as well.

These races are only open to the top riders in the country, and only the best horses are provided for them to ride.

  • The following is the bare minimum yearly rider compensation based on 1,000 races with no victories: $50,000
  • The NFL’s minimum wage is $465,000 per year. MLB’s bare minimum wage is $507,500. The minimum NBA salary is $562,493 dollars, and the minimum NHL salary is $525,000 dollars.

This is an amazing difference between the pay of jockeys and the salaries of other sportsmen. As an example, consider the fact that athletes in the other sports mentioned are statistically less likely than jockeys to have a life-threatening injury.

The Cost of Being a Jockey

When determining how much a jockey makes, it is also necessary to take into account the expenditures that they incur. The first and most significant of these is the compensation a jockey must pay to their agent. The jockey agent is in charge of locating the horses on whom a rider will be riding in a particular race. The smallest commission a jockey’s agent can charge is 10 percent of the jockey’s total earnings. The agent will get $5,000 for every $50,000 earned by the jockey in a given year.

Some agents charge as much as 25 percent of the total transaction.

The jockey’s valet is the next item on the list of expenditures.

This individual can earn between 5 and 10% of a jockey’s total earnings for the calendar year in this position.

Can Jockeys Make Money From Endorsements?

A distinction between jockeys and athletes in other major sports is that they are not normally permitted to have endorsements. California, for example, has lately begun to establish exceptions to this general norm. In California, jockeys can now display the emblem of a sponsor on their racing breeches and get a monetary reward for doing so. A jockey may, of course, be compensated for appearing in an advertising for a product such as a sports drink or a car, but marketing agencies do not employ jockeys for this purpose.

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Can Jockeys Bet on the Races?

A common practice on many racing circuits is that jockeys are not officially barred from placing bets on races in which they are not competing. Betting on races in which they are competing is a serious infraction that might result in their suspension. Some jockeys, on the other hand, have devised strategies to get past this. The jockey can simply instruct his or her agent to place a bet on a race, but doing so is dangerous and could lead to suspicion of the jockey.

Another option is to have a friend or family place the wager on your behalf using an online horse betting service. EZ Horse Betting recommends that jockeys check out the online racebook advised by them for betting options and extra money!

How Much Does a Jockey Earn?

In the United States, the average jockey makes around $40,000 per year in earnings. That is slightly more than double what someone earning the federal minimum wage of $7.25 an hour in the United States would earn if they worked a 40-hour week all year. A jockey’s salary of $40,000 per year barely qualifies him or her for the middle class, and it is little compared to the amount of money they take home. Do you think you’d be interested in becoming a jockey if you knew how much money you’d make?

  1. And this is especially true when one has to ride a moving animal that weighs more than 1,000 pounds and moves at 45 kilometers per hour!
  2. These men and ladies of steel provide us with a great deal of fun.
  3. Check out our Bovada racebook review, our Twinspires review, or even our Betamerica review for more information.
  4. 5Dimes review for everyone in the world!
  • Do Horse Racers Make a Lot of Money? Is Horse Racing a Profitable Business? During a race, a French jockey was savaged by a rival horse.

Here’s How Much Money the Kentucky Derby Winner Gets

Many of the businesses that appear on Money advertise with us. However, remuneration and in-depth research are the factors that influence where and how firms appear on our website. Learn more about how we generate revenue. In 2018, the Kentucky Derby will take place on Saturday, May 5, with the first race set to begin a little after 6:30 p.m. Eastern Time. You can stream the Kentucky Derby on the sport-focused serviceFubo TV, as well as on streaming services such asHulu LiveandYouTube TV, which often include NBC channels in their packages.

  1. ET on your localNBC station, and you can stream the Kentucky Derby on the sport-focused serviceFubo TV, as well as on streaming services such asHulu LiveandYouTube TV What really is at stake?
  2. It is predicted that around $200 million would be wagered legally on the big race day itself, according to the latest estimates.
  3. Given that the Kentucky Derby is now in its 144th year of existence, it’s particularly astounding to realize how massive—and expensive—the event has grown over the course of its history.
  4. Today, around 170,000 people attend the Kentucky Derby in person, while more than 16 million people watch the race on television.
  5. General admission tickets for today’s edition of the Kentucky Derby start at approximately $75, while some of the most expensive “Millionaires” section seats may fetch upwards of $6,000 or more.

Naturally, the amount of money gambled on the event has increased significantly over time. Similarly, the amount of money awarded to Derby winners has increased significantly over the years. Listed below is a breakdown of the awards awarded to Derby winners and riders in 2018.

How Much Does the Kentucky Derby Winner Get?

In 1913, the winner of the Kentucky Derby was awarded $5,475. The purse had reached $100,000 by the 1950s, had climbed to $1 million by 1995, and is currently valued at roughly $2 million. The winner of the Kentucky Derby does not get the entire prize money. The prize money is divided among the top five finishers, with the winner earning around $1.24 million and the four fastest other teams receiving between $60,000 and $400,000 in cash and prize money. After the horse’s racing career is complete, its owners can earn even more money through stud fees, which continue to accrue for years after the horse’s racing career is ended.

American Pharoah earned a total of $8.7 million in prize money throughout his career, and he has since retired, he has been paid a $200,000 fee for each healthy foal he has sired.

How Much Money Does the Jockey Get for Winning the Kentucky Derby?

Jocks receive 10% of the total prize money from races in which their horses win or place, on average. As a result, the winning jockey in the Kentucky Derby would get a gross salary of around $124,000. A jockey, on the other hand, is required to pay around 30% of his earnings to his agency and valet. Everyone is also responsible for paying taxes on this money. Even once the money is distributed, the net takeaway for Kentucky Derby winning jockey is significantly less than $100,000, with the net takeaway for the winner being closer to $50,000 than it is $100,000.

A rider might earn as low as $28 to $100 for riding in a race in which his or her horse does not win or finish in the top three positions.

Athletes, including professional jockeys such as Victor Espinoza, who rode American Pharoah to the Triple Crown in 2015, ride in many races on major race days such as the Kentucky Derby.

Espinoza earned a total of $1.68 million in gross earnings that year, but he had to compete in roughly 500 races to achieve that number.

How Much Money Is Bet on the Kentucky Derby?

On Derby Day in 1908, the audience placed a total of $67,570 in wagers, with $18,300 of that amount going into the Derby event itself. In 1984, spectators placed approximately $19 million on the Kentucky Derby, breaking the previous North American record for betting on a single horse race. According to the Kentucky Derby’s official history, considerably over $130 million has been wagered on the event each year in previous years, and the total legal gambling for all of the day’s races has surpassed $200 million in recent years.

It should be noted that these statistics do not reflect the large sums of money that were illegally wagered on the event.

Horse Jockey Salary Information – National Average

What does a horse jockey make on a daily basis? A jockey is a person who rides horses for a living, generally as a career. Jockeys are typically self-employed, and they are hired by horse trainers and owners to race their horses for a fee, as well as a share of the purse profits. They are paid on a commission basis. When a jockey is young, he or she will begin working as an apprentice jockey for the trainers, riding horses in the mornings for the trainers. Before being able to compete in races, he or she must complete a minimum of 20 barrier trials with flying colors.

A racing quarter horse may reach a high speed of nearly 55 miles per hour, while a racing thoroughbred can maintain a pace of 40 miles per hour for more than one mile.

What is a horse jockey?

Horse racing is a popular sport in the United States. The majority of jockeys are trained to ride a certain type of race. For varying amounts of time, riders in thoroughbred and quarter horse racing circle the track in an oval formation on horseback. Horses may also compete in obstacle races, which entail jumping over obstacles. The rider’s primary goal is to be the first to cross the finish line with his horse (winning jockey). The best jockeys are very proficient riders who also maintain a high level of physical fitness.

  • Jockeys do more than only ride horses; they also encourage them to go as quickly as they possibly can.
  • Every horse is different, and the jockey works closely with each one to ensure that they give their best performance in the race.
  • A jockey will also spend time researching the history of the race track, as well as the horses and other jockeys who will be racing on the day of the competition.
  • Horses who are going to be raced later in the day are frequently warmed up by their jockeys before the race.
  • The steam chamber can also help you lose one to two pounds before a race by removing toxins from your system.

Depending on where their horse finishes in the race, a rider will get a percentage of the purse, which is the money granted to the horse owner in exchange for allowing their horse to compete in the race (first, second, or third).

How much does a horse jockey earn?

The following is an estimate of how much the majority of jockeys make. Depending on where you live, horse jockey salaries in the United States may range from $10,049 to $271,427 per year, with a mean income of $48,880. Horse jockeys earn between $48,882 and $123,036, with the top 86 percent earning $271,427 a year. The total amount of compensation might vary based on the amount of prize money awarded for each race.

Horse jockey pay in India

An Indian horse jockey makes an average of $1.93 per hour, according to PayScale. On average, this equates to around $4,022.60 each year. Those with more than 8 years of experience, on the other hand, may make up to $4,860.46 per year on average.

Highest paid jockey in history

During his career, he raced in over 34,000 races and won 6,289 of them. With more than 1,260 horses and about 300 victories, Irad Ortiz Jr. was the highest-paid rider in the United States in 2020, earning somewhat more than $21 million. Ortiz was the highest-paid rider in the world in 2015. Approximately $3.5 million is expected to be earned by the top 100 jockeys in the United States in 2020, according to BloodHorse.

Race and prize money

Assuming that the most popular race is the Triple Crown race, the following is the distribution of the prize money. Twenty horses will compete for the first leg of the Triple Crown, which will take place on May 4th. A total of $2 million is up for grabs, and the top five finishers will each receive a portion of the prize money. The winning horse’s owner receives 62 percent of the total prize money, or $1.24 million, as a cash payout. In addition to receiving a 5 percent share of their owner’s earnings ($400,000 and $200,000, respectively), the second and third place jockeys each receive a $20,000 reward and a $10,000 check, respectively, for finishing second and third, respectively.

In Kentucky, races with purses of at least $100,000 offer the fourth-place jockey a share of the fourth-place prize money equal to 5 percent of the total prize money.

How to become a horse jockey

Only a small number of athletes meet the minimum height and weight requirements, and only 12 are accepted into the North American Racing Academy each year (NARA). To become a jockey, you must possess two qualities: a strong desire to ride and the appropriate physical build. Start learning to ride and care for horses as soon as possible; this is the most efficient way to gain experience. Working with horses allows aspiring riders to have a better understanding of how horses behave, which will be beneficial when it comes to race preparation.

Height and weight requirements

Horse jockeys must also adhere to strict weight restrictions in order to be eligible to compete (typically between 108 – 118 pounds). Given the fact that a jockey must be physically fit in order to handle such large animals, this can be challenging.


Gaining experience at a racetrack or a stable is an excellent next step for anyone who enjoys working with horses and wants to pursue a career as a rider.

Starting off grooming horses or ‘exercising’ horses, which is galloping a horse around a track as a practice run, is a great way to get your foot in the door.

Training and Education

There are a variety of otherJockey Training Programs to choose from. Students learn about everything from horse anatomy to racing tactics, as well as how to groom and bandage a horse’s legs and clean the stalls.

Favorite Resources

The following are some of our favorite resources.

Job interview resources

  • Employers should be prepared for behavioral interview questions, according to Marquette University
  • Preparing for job interviews, according to the University of Kansas
  • And preparing for job interviews, according to the University of Kansas. CSUCI has published a Mock Interview Handbook, while Lebanon Valley College has published an Interview Guidebook.

Resume and cover letter resources

  • Resume and cover letter writing tips from the University of Southern California
  • Resume writing tips from the University of Wisconsin-Madison
  • And a guide on writing a resume and cover letter from Harvard University

Job search resources

  • UC Berkeley’s Building and Engaging Your Network
  • UC Berkeley’s Career Ready Assessment
  • And UC Berkeley’s Career Readiness Assessment

Interview Question and Answer Guide (PDF)

Download our comprehensive guide to interview preparation. Complete includes sample responses to typical interview questions and ones specific to your industry. You can have it for free. There is no need to send an email. Obtain a PDF version of this document.

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How Jockeys Choose the Horse They Ride: All You Need to Know

Any links on this page that direct you to things on Amazon are affiliate links, which means that if you make a purchase, I will receive a compensation. Thank you in advance for your assistance — I much appreciate it! The fact that jockeys ride many horses is probably not news to anyone who has ever visited a horse racetrack. Isn’t it always interesting to see how they chose which horse to ride? The agent of a jockey arranges for the jockey to ride a horse. The booking of a racehorse is contingent on the agreement of the horse’s owner and trainer.

Good riders, on the other hand, are in high demand and frequently have their choice of horse.

Making the best decision necessitates the consideration of several aspects.

Jockey agents are instrumental in matching a horse with a jockey

When we purchased our first racehorse, we thought that it would be ridden by one of the greatest jockeys in the world. We were familiar with the riders, and we offered our trainer the name of the rider that we wanted to use to train our horse to ride. The choice of a jockey, on the other hand, is not solely in the hands of the owner. Currently, two parties are collaborating to place a jockey on a horse. On one side of the equation, you have the horse trainer and owner, and on the other side, you have the jockey agency and the jockey himself or herself.

Jockey agents operate on behalf of jockeys and are compensated as a proportion of the earnings generated by their riders.

In the life of a jockey, the agent is an extremely important figure.

Jockey agents are paid a percentage of the jockeys’ fee.

One of the most important responsibilities of a jockey agency is to place their jockeys on horses that will offer them the best chance of winning races. A successful agent must have excellent people skills as well as the ability to make sound horse selections. They must also have a strong understanding of horse racing. Many agents provide advice to jockeys on the specifics of the horses’ racing style as well as what they think to be a successful approach for winning a particular race. The jockey agent works as a horse scout, and he gets up early in the morning to watch morning exercises.

The time he has available allows him to analyze horses and establish connections with horse owners and trainers. Because agents gain money when their jockeys win races, they must place their riders on excellent horses.

It’s critical that a horse fits a jockeys’ riding style.

Horse owners and trainers are looking for the greatest jockey to ride their horses. Distribution of the track condition book is the first step in the selection of a rider for the competition. The condition book contains a list of all of the races planned for a specific period of time, which is often a two-week session. It’s usually issued two or three weeks before the event, depending on the year. You may view an example of this by clicking here. The jockey agent begins his work as soon as he has the condition book in his possession.

He then begins making phone calls to trainers and owners, inquiring about available rides, and if they accept, the jockey is scheduled to ride that particular horse.

They frequently have a favorite jockey for a specific horse or distance that they prefer.

A Jockey can change horses before a race.

The agent must make every effort to keep all parties satisfied; this is the moment for diplomatic efforts on the side of the jockey agent. Without a doubt, he wants to put his rider on the greatest horse possible, but he also doesn’t want to damage his relationship with a stable that he may need in the future. It is a conundrum that agencies and jockeys are frequently confronted with. If a better ride becomes available before the race, a jockey can simply transfer horses before the race. Changing horses before a race is not unheard of, but it is not something that happens very frequently.

A Jockey can improve the racehorses’ chance of winning.

Of all, asking if jockeys are important in horse races is like to asking whether Tom Brady is important to the New England Patriots. The Patriots club may be able to function without Tom Brady, but they are much improved as a result of his presence as quarterback. Jockeys must be intelligent, athletic, and brave in order to succeed. They must be familiar with their horse as well as the competition. They get familiar with the horses’ habits and are able to make modifications in split seconds. Good riders know when to urge their horse to work a bit harder and when to allow him to relax into a comfortable pace on the track.

All of this is accomplished while riding on the back of a 1100 pound horse moving at 40 mph while balancing on their toes.

In a horse race, every tenth of a second counts, and a rider’s performance might be the difference between winning and finishing second or third.

Jerry Bailey has taken over for jockeys and transformed losers into winners in the racing industry. The jockey was the only thing that had changed. Read this article to learn more about how jockeys impact a horse’s pace.

Jockeys typically ride their horses prior to a race.

The decision of whether or not a jockey will ride a horse before a race is based on the class of the race and the rider’s previous riding experience. If the event is a low-cost claiming race, it is rare that the horse had previously been ridden by a talented jockey of distinction. Younger riders who do not have many mounts, on the other hand, will most likely ride the horse during its morning sessions. Sometimes riders become friendships with trainers and work with all of his horses on the track.

Horses entered in allowance or stakes races are frequently ridden by their race day jockey during their formal workouts before to the race day itself.

A good jockey rides in seven or eight horseraces per day.

The money that jockeys make comes from a portion of the purse. The only way for them to make a reasonable livelihood is to ride as many horses as they can. Riders are charged a nominal mount fee, which is often $50.00. The majority of their profits are derived from the purse. Jockeys are paid a percentage of the money collected by the horse’s owner, which is 10% of the total purse. The average jockey makes roughly $40,000 per year in salary and benefits. They pay their expenditures out of their revenues.

Additionally, they must pay for travel and other expenditures on top of the compensation to the agent and valet.

It is past time for the horse racing business to take steps to improve the earnings of jockeys on the track.

Jockeys are athletes.

Jockeys keep their bodies in top condition by engaging in strenuous exercise and adhering to a tight diet. If they need to lose a modest amount of weight, they may do so without compromising their overall power. In order to prepare for a given race, jockeys research their horses’ previous performances and may ride the horse during the morning sessions before the race. Riding in the mornings allows the horse and rider to get a sense of each other’s personalities. The opposition is also taken into consideration by the jockeys.

Just before a race, the jockeys dress in the appropriate colors for the horse they will be riding.

Related articles:

  • What is the fastest a horse can run? a list of horse racing records
  • How tall are jockeys and how much do jockeys weigh are two important questions to ask. The source of the purse money in horse racing is not well understood. What is the significance of silks on jockeys’ uniforms?

How Much Do Jockeys Earn?

The great majority of horse racing enthusiasts prefer to only tune in when there is a significant event taking on. It goes without saying that many find festivals such as Cheltenham, Royal Ascot, and the Grand National to be more appealing and memorable than a Tuesday afternoon meeting at Fakenham. As a result, casual viewers are accustomed to seeing helicopters or tiny private aircraft in the backdrop of television coverage, leading them to believe that people participating in the Sport of Kings are all extremely wealthy.

Some jockeys have made good money since retiring from the sport, but the majority of them are in a precarious financial condition.

Rich Jockey Poor Jockey

At the pinnacle of the sport, there is little doubt that it is financially rewarding; Frankie Dettori, for example, is a global superstar for a good reason. He rides top-class horses in the most prestigious races all over the world in front of large television audiences, and he receives a salary that is more than adequate for the work he does. There isn’t much in the way of a middle ground either. In addition to receiving a portion of the enormous prize money awarded for winning the finest races in the world, Dettori, Ryan Moore, William Buick, and the like are frequently paid retainers by a top trainer and/or a high owner.

The scenario, on the other hand, is extremely different for the great majority of racing riders.

As a result, they are relying on winners for money, which is difficult to come by considering the amount of food, beverages, and especially travel expenses they incur.

A Breakdown of a Jockey’s Earnings

Riding costs in the United Kingdom are established at £120.66 for flat riding and £164.74 for riding in the National Hunt sphere, respectively. If a rider is in good shape, has a good agent, and is riding on the flat during the height of summer when he can attend meetings in the afternoon and evening (and there are a lot of “ifs”), he or she can ride a total of ten horses for a total of £1206.60 in riding fees (and there are a lot of “ifs”). Most people think that sounds reasonable, but freelancers and other self-employed individuals who are reading this will quickly see that this is only half of the picture.

  1. The valet who is in charge of the equipment receives 10% of the first riding fee of each day, 7.5 percent of the second, and 5 percent of the third riding price of the day.
  2. Weatherbys even charges 50p for each line on a jockey’s statement that is shown!
  3. Most people would consider it to be a decent livelihood, but keep in mind that this is during the height of the season, IF the jockey is in good shape and well-liked by trainers, and they will not be doing this on a daily basis.
  4. Even when a flat jockey is working as hard as he possibly can and earning as much as he possibly can, it is still very much a seasonal job.
  5. Using averages, a normal flat jockey will ride 300 times each year, according to the data.
  6. Normal deductions will reduce this to around £27,000, which puts the jockey squarely in line with the average UK income before tax, but not any higher than that.
  7. As a result, the incentives that are offered are based on a proportion of the prize money that has been earned.

When it comes to leaps, the percentage is higher (8.5 percent), but the total reward money is more on the flat (more than double). Whatever portion of the prize money is awarded, the agent will receive a ten percent commission on it as well. Keeping up with the Joneses?

Winning Prize Money

People in the United Kingdom enjoy rooting for the underdog, which makes it understandable why, if you are familiar with the ins and outs of jockey earnings, they enjoy seeing tough handicaps. They are a major show, and bettors take great delight in predicting the winner of a 30-runner race. Additionally, the winning jockey may not be one of the famous names, so collecting their 6.9 percent share of a pot of perhaps £100,000 is a huge pat on the head from the horse racing community. A jockey, on the other hand, cannot rely on this in any manner.

A jockey may win a lot of high-profile and lucrative races, resulting in a substantial amount of prize money; yet, the next year, they may only earn a fraction of that amount.

The average jockey will spend more than £5,000 in gasoline expenditures every year simply to go to the races, which is another significant chunk of money that will be deducted from their earnings before they even consider about net earnings.

I believe you will agree that that is not a large wage.

Riding work is essentially the act of riding horses in their training, which allows them to receive rides from appreciative trainers in exchange for their efforts.

The jockey is required to pay tax when everything has been tallied up, subtracted, and calculated in every way.

More money to be spent!

A great jump jockey may make up to £135,000 per year, yet a normal pretty popular and hardworking flat rider living in the United Kingdom can earn less than £20,000 per year before costs and tax.

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