How Big Are Horse Jockeys? (Perfect answer)

Despite their light weight, they must be able to control a horse that is moving at 40 mph (64 km/h) and weighs 1,190.5 lb (540.0 kg). Though there is no height limit for jockeys, they are usually fairly short due to the weight limits. Jockeys typically stand around 4 ft 10 in (147 cm) to 5 ft 7 in (170 cm).

  • How Big Are Horse Jockeys? Jockeys typically stand around 4 ft 10 in (147 cm) to 5 ft 7 in (170 cm). How much do you have to weigh to be a jockey? There is no one standard for weight in racing, only a recommendation that a jockey not carry less than 118 pounds, according to the Association of Racing Commissioners International.

What is the average weight and height of a jockey?

On average, a horse jockey weighs between 108 to 118 Pounds & their Average Height Is 4’10” to 5’6 ″ It takes a lot of hard work and discipline for a rider to maintain weight. Jockeys have to meet minimum weight requirements to make sure all horses in a race are fairly matched.

Do all jockeys have to weigh the same?

Each horse in a race has to carry a certain amount of weight. To make sure that it does so, all jockeys must weigh out before a race to make sure they and their kit (including the saddle) are the right weight. After the race the jockey must weigh in with all his kit, to confirm that the horse carried the right weight.

What is the salary of a jockey?

The salaries of Horse Jockeys in the US range from $10,049 to $271,427, with a median salary of $48,880. The middle 57% of Horse Jockeys makes between $48,882 and $123,036, with the top 86% making $271,427.

Why do jockeys have weight limits?

But why do they get weigh between each race? Race track personnel set minimum weight requirements each horse must carry for a race. To ensure compliance, with this mandate, jockeys weigh before and after each run.

How do jockeys stay so small?

The need to keep weight low week after week has caused some jockeys to turn to extreme measures to control weight including severe dieting, laxatives, appetite suppressants, and the use of saunas, hot baths and diuretics to facilitate fluid loss.

Can a jockey own a racehorse?

Can jockeys own racehorses? No, jockeys are not allowed to own a horse they ride. Too much gambling money at stake, and even the appearance of impropriety is avoided.

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.

Why are there no girl jockeys?

There’s a host of reasons why those numbers are so low, jockeys say. In interviews with NBC, five female jockeys described what they say is a long and persistent history of gender discrimination in the sport. Some say their careers have been deterred by sexual harassment and bullying.

Who was the tallest jockey ever?

Manute Bol technically became the tallest jockey ever licensed by the Indiana Horse Racing Commission when he suited up in jockey gear in a fund-raising effort at Hoosier Park in Indiana back in 2003 (Bol also experimented with hockey and boxing).

Who is the best female jockey?

The Top Female Jockeys of All Time

  • Hayley Turner. Most racing experts will agree that England’s Hayley Turner is the most successful and famous female jockey of all time.
  • Julie Krone.
  • Rosie Napravnik.
  • Nina Carberry.
  • Michelle Payne.

Do jockeys have to be short?

Though there is no height limit for jockeys, they are usually fairly short due to the weight limits. Jockeys typically stand around 4 ft 10 in (147 cm) to 5 ft 7 in (170 cm).

Why do jockeys have to be light?

A lightweight jockey lessens the workload of their horse and helps the horse increase its speed. The jockey’s weight directly affects the racehorse while racing; therefore, a heavy jockey carried by a racehorse makes it harder to run as fast as the horse is required to run to win the race.

How much does a jockey saddle weigh?

Overall, these saddles weigh on average 1 lbs. The racing saddle is lightweight so as to not add any excess weight during the race. The only reason the saddle is used in the first place is to allow stirrups for the jockey to get into position.

What happens if a jockey is overweight?

If the rider is too heavy, he may be replaced by another rider, or be permitted to carry ‘overweight’, which will always be announced on the racecourse before a race begins. However, no rider is allowed to weigh out at four pounds or more over the weight he is set to carry.

Horse Jockeys: How Big Are They & Their Fight to Make Weight

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! While watching a horse race recently, my thoughts began to wander to the size of the jockeys, and I began to wonder how tall they are and how much weight they must be carrying. As a result, I conducted some study on jockey sizes. A horse jockey weighs between 108 and 118 pounds on average, and their typical height ranges from 4’10” to 5’6 ′′.

To ensure that all horses in a race are evenly matched, jockeys are required to adhere to minimum weight restrictions.

Average Male (US) Average Male Jockey Average Female (US) Average Female Jockey
Height 5’9″ 5’2″ 5’4″ 5’2″
Weight 200 lbs 113 lbs 170 lbs 107 lbs

Why Jockeys Can’t Be Big?

Given the little stature of some of the jockeys, I’m often concerned about their ability to control a thoroughbred hurtling down the racecourse at breakneck speed. This leads to another question: why can’t jockeys be as huge as they want to be? There is a minimum weight requirement for each horse in a race, which is normally 115-116 pounds inclusive of equipment. There are no minimum height criteria for horses competing in races. A tall individual, on the other hand, will find it nearly hard to attain the requisite weight while still maintaining the strength to ride and control their horse.

  1. To guarantee that the exact quantity is obtained, the jockey must walk on the scales and weigh himself while holding his equipment (including saddle).
  2. Once the race has concluded, all of the jockeys must go through the same procedure again.
  3. During the race, a horse is weighed to check that he is carrying the appropriate amount of weight for the distance.
  4. They feel that when the horse is on a living body, the weight is carried better by the horse than when the animal is carrying extra weights in a bag.
  5. For anyone interested in learning about the life of a jockey, I recommend that you visit this website.

How do jockeys stay so small?

“Some riders will go so far as to saw their legs off in order to stay below the limit.” Eddie Arcaro is a retired jockey who is a member of the Hall of Fame. Racehorse owners usually prefer a lightweight jockey to ride their horses, because jockeys only earn money while they are on the track.

Riders were permitted to weigh as little as 95 pounds, including the weight of their equipment, in 1929. Over the years, jockeys have employed a variety of strategies in order to achieve their weight objectives.

Weight loss methods used by jockeys

The following is a list of the most popular weight loss strategies employed by jockeys, in no particular order:

  • Flipping is a word used by jockeys to describe vomit that they have experienced. It became such a prevalent practice that “flipping bowls” were erected in the jockey quarters to prevent it from happening again. The practice of “flipping” has continued to be practiced despite the removal of the bowls over the years
  • The Chicago Rehabilitation Institute conducted a study on jockeys’ health and discovered that 69 percent of the jockeys missed meals in order to lose weight
  • This is consistent with other studies. These drugs are often used to aid in the stimulation of bowel motions. They’re used as a constipation treatment as well as a popular weight-loss method in many cultures. There are several various types of laxatives, and each one works in a different way to stimulate bowel motions. To decrease water weight, jockeys use diuretics, which they utilize to dehydrate themselves. It is not just diuretics that cause a person to ‘lose water,’ but they also do so in a variety of ways, one of which is by impairing the kidney’s capacity to reabsorb salt. Laxis is another drug that jockeys utilize to reduce water weight, which they do in saunas and hot baths. To shed weight rapidly, athletes would wear in rubber suits or thick sweatshirts and run in place of their normal clothing. Cigarette smoking: The usage of tobacco is utilized to suppress one’s hunger. Dietary Supplements

Jockey, like other sportsmen who must fulfill rigorous weight standards, subjected their body to a grueling physical test. Not only do they need to drop a significant amount of weight, but they also need to maintain a level of health that allows them to ride and control their horse. The lighter a rider is, the greater the number of horses he or she may ride.

Jockeys suffer serious health problems make weight.

The struggle to gain weight that jockeys face has both short- and long-term consequences for their health. Their efforts to reduce weight have had negative consequences, including tooth erosion, dietary inadequacies, menstruation irregularity, low bone density, dehydration, and heat stress, among other things. Any of these factors might have a negative impact on the rider’s performance on race day. As we all know, the typical weight of a jockey is between 108 and 118 pounds, and the usual height of a jockey is between 4’10” and 5’6″, with the average being 5’2″.

The average weight of a fit female 5’2 is 125 lbs according to the standard Height to Weight Ratio Chart.

Aside from increasing the amount of weight that horses must carry during a race, it makes sense to include more female jockeys because fit ladies naturally have less weight to drop in order to ride in a competition.

Despite the fact that nutrition alterations are beneficial, the most efficient adjustment is to raise the amount of weight horses bear.

Jockeys bones become fragile because of their constant dieting.

Long-term food misuse causes a decrease in bone density, which increases the probability of fracturing a bone when compared to the average person of their height and weight. Falling off a horse while standing six feet tall and running 45 miles per hour is dangerous for the typical human. Adding to this equation the fact that the rider is a fragile boned and malnourished individual, and you have a formula for disaster on your hands. The severe diets followed by the jockeys continue to have a deleterious impact on their long-term health.

Other side effects include abdominal bloating and distress, low potassium levels, irregular or absent menstrual periods, swallowing difficulties, esophageal damage, and in some severe cases, rupture of the esophagus as well as weak rectal walls.

When it comes to racehorses, Lasix is a medication that is widely used to minimize fluid retention and limit the amount of bleeding that happens in the lungs. Many jockeys, on the other hand, employ Laxis to eliminate that final bit of water weight that is necessary in order to make weight.

Jockeys use Lasix to drop weight.

The use of laxatives might force the kidneys to work too hard, which can result in irreversible kidney damage and dysfunction. Every one of these health problems arises in order for these sportsmen to shed a few additional pounds before their competitions. Furthermore, not only does their weight diminish, but so does their strength and ability to protect themselves as well. It is necessary to raise the weight restrictions. A rider who maintains his or her normal weight will have greater muscle and denser bones.

When it came to making weight in the 1920s and 1930s, the jockeys were willing to go to any length to do it.

Sunny Greenberg steamed in a Turkish bath, drank Epsom salts mixed with jalap, boarded a boat from Detroit to Windsor and vomited the entire trip—then donned a rubber suit over several layers of heavy clothing and ran around and around the track to lose enough weight to ride a horse in Windsor, Canada.

He awakened in a pool of perspiration and tried to clear his head by downing a half-ounce of whiskey to help him get back on track.

It was all for nought, as they say.

He handed the mount to someone else and left the country shortly after.” View a race from the perspective of a rider

Why Are There Weight Restrictions for Jockeys?

The basic response is that the horse’s health is paramount. Throughout the years, owners and trainers have maintained that a lighter jockey can exert more control over the horse while also reducing the stress on the horse. They feel that raising the weight of the rider will result in a greater number of breakdowns in the racing horse’s performance. In particular, they anticipate that bearing the higher weight will result in more leg injuries. I published an essay regarding the rate of horse fatality on race tracks that you might find interesting if you’re interested in knowing more about racehorse injuries.

The majority of exercise riders weigh between 150 and 160 pounds, and there have been no reported harmful effects on health.

Steeplechase jockeys often weigh 135 pounds on average.

Steeplechase horses are subjected to tremendous amounts of strain on their legs. Not only are they sprinting at top speed, but they are also jumping high into the air. What makes you think a racehorse galloping on a level track will be able to withstand the weight of these thoroughbred athletes?

Have There Ever Been Any Tall Jockeys?

When we go to the racetrack, there is one really tall rider that stands out from the crowd, yet he is probably just 5’7.” After seeing him on our most recent visit to the track, I began to wonder whether there have ever been any jockeys who were very tall. There have been some really tall jockeys in the past. Stuart Brown, who stood over 6 feet 3 inches tall, was the world’s tallest rider when he competed in his home nation of Australia. Despite the fact that he was particularly tall and had to work hard to maintain the proper weight, he had a long and successful professional career.

  • Richard Hughes from the United Kingdom, who stands at 5’10”, is the world’s tallest male jockey who is currently actively competing.
  • She stands at a towering 6’1″ and weighs just 112 pounds, making her the world’s tallest jockey.
  • He has a height of 7 feet 7 inches.
  • He utilized this as a means of raising finances and bringing attention to the condition of his native Sudan, which he had fled as a child.
  • How much do jockeys make per hour?
  • Nevertheless, the compensation for a race might be as little as $28 per race or as much as $124,000 for a triple crown tournament.
  • Is it possible to find female jockeys?
  • Diane Crumpin was the first female jockey to compete in the Kentucky Derby, which took place in 1970.
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Related articles:

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  • The average lifespan of a racehorse is five years. What causes certain racehorses to carry an extra amount of weight? What Causes Race Horses to Be So Young? In a race, does age make a difference
  • What is the purpose of race horses wearing masks and other protective gear? What is the most desirable horse breed? (The top three breeds in terms of activity)
  • To learn more about what horses wear during a race, please visit this page.

How Tall Are Horse Jockeys? How Much Do They Weigh?

Have you ever sat through a horse race and pondered what it takes to be a jockey on a horseback? Then you’ve arrived to the correct location. Here, we will address all of your concerns concerning the physical qualities of successful jockeys in one comprehensive essay.

What Is a Horse Jockey?

A jockey is a person who makes their living by riding horses in races. They are often self-employed and race for the benefit of horse owners and trainers in exchange for a fee. In addition, they are often paid a portion of whatever winnings the horse generates. Generally speaking, jockeys specialize in a particular type of horse racing. Races in which the horse must gallop around an oval track, leap over obstacles, and do other tasks are examples of such activities.

There is no difference between the types of races in that the aim is to get the horse to reach the finish line first, before any other horses do. Image courtesy of grahamlkemp and Pixabay.

How Much Does a Horse Jockey Weigh?

The average weight of a horse jockey is between 108 and 118 pounds. Because race commissioners specify the maximum amount of weight that a single horse may carry, including equipment, there is minimal fluctuation in the weight of jockeys and their horses. When feasible, racehorses are saddled with the lightest riders possible to give them the best potential advantage. The less weight a horse must bear, the quicker it will run. The health of the horse is frequently stated as a justification for severe weight restrictions, with some claiming that carrying too much weight might cause the horse to suffer damage.

With a weight restriction of 126 pounds, the Kentucky Derby is one of the most liberal races in the country.

How Tall are Horse Jockeys?

The height of a horse jockey is a little more varied, often ranging between 4’10” and 5’6″ in height. This is due to the fact that racing commissioners do not impose a minimum or maximum height requirement. Horse jockeys, on the other hand, are often shorter than the general population since it is extremely difficult and often harmful for a taller individual to maintain such a low body weight. The fact that the majority of jockeys are male makes the extremely low weight standards all the more dramatic.

Image courtesy of Pixabay

How Fit Do Horse Jockeys Need to Be?

In addition to satisfying strict physical requirements, jockeys must be in excellent physical condition. Jockeys must be both nimble and strong in order to maintain control of a powerful horse weighing at least 1,000 pounds. A jockey’s career might be jeopardized if he or she fails to do well in this area. When it comes to becoming a jockey, you must have powerful legs and a very strong core in order to maintain control of the horse while being balanced on the saddle. Furthermore, you must possess considerable endurance.

Jockeys are known to resort to diets and rapid weight-loss techniques such as sauna sessions in order to ensure that they weigh in at or below the maximum weight allowed for a given race.

Image courtesy of dreamtemp and Pixabay.

Final Thoughts

Horse racing is not only physically demanding for the horses, but it is also physically demanding for the riders. Simply being present on the racecourse is a high-risk endeavor due to the possibility of falling from the horse and receiving significant injuries. When they are not racing, jockeys must make a conscious effort to maintain their fitness level and race weight in order to ensure that they will be able to compete in the future. A career as a horse jockey is not for everyone, and it is important to evaluate the physical demands and hazards involved, as well as the amount of devotion required to be successful in the profession.

He has a bachelor’s degree in zoology from the University of Adelaide (who declined to be pictured).

Original from the United States, Ollie possesses a master’s degree in wildlife biology and relocated to Australia for the purpose of pursuing his job and interest. Ollie has since discovered a new passion for working online and blogging about animals of all kinds.

How Much Do The Kentucky Derby Jockeys Weigh? There Are Strict Rules

Jocks, like wrestlers, must adhere to rigorous weight limitations, which frequently necessitates them keeping a careful eye on their physical condition. If you watch the Kentucky Derby on Saturday in Louisville, you’ll undoubtedly notice that the jockeys who will be competing are all rather diminutive in comparison to the horses they will be riding. The exact amount that Kentucky Derby jockeys weigh, on the other hand, may surprise you, as the famed race has a very low weight limit. For each race, the regulations are slightly different.

  1. The Kentucky Derby is on the heavier end of the spectrum, with a maximum weight of 126 pounds.
  2. The fact that the vast majority of jockeys are male makes the low limit all the more egregious.
  3. As a result, they have petite athletic builds that allow riders to ride racehorses without impeding the animals’ ability to move quickly.
  4. Thirty percent of jockeys vomit up to reduce weight, 69 percent skip meals, and 14 percent use laxatives to drop weight, according to a 1995 research on jockeys’ health conducted by the Chicago Rehabilitation Institute.
  5. The bowls, which were often a square porcelain bowl with a hole that was higher than a toilet, were removed from the Kentucky Derby’s Churchill Downs track ten years ago, but the incidence of bulimia in the sport has not been completely eliminated.
  6. Horse racing is highly opposed by animal rights organizations because of the toll it takes on the animals.

The former rider Jeff Johnston told CNN’s Sheena McKenzie in 2012 that “we’re simply in the process of teaching jockeys on healthy diets and raising up minimum weights.” “In that regard, the United States lags far behind Europe.”

Average Jockey Height & Weight (Why Limit?)

Anyone who has ever seen a horse racing will be able to identify jockeys very immediately. Because they are frequently dressed in a noticeable manner, it is not difficult to identify them when they are near horses or on the horse track. However, until you get up close and personal with one, it is hard to determine their exact height and weight. Typically, these characteristics will differ significantly based on the horse breed they ride and the sort of horse racing they participate in. In the majority of cases, however, it is easy to calculate the typical jockey height and weight.

Let’s take a deeper look at what’s going on.

Why Does the Jockey Size Matter?

To be able to compete in horseracing, jockeys must adhere to severe weight restrictions. They can differ from one race to the next, but only within certain parameters. As you may expect, the jockey’s height and weight are closely proportional to the health of the horse. Carrying a heavier jockey, in other words, can have a substantial influence on the animal’s capacity to participate in future races. Prior to every race, the commissioners assess the amount of weight that each horse is capable of carrying.

The math is straightforward.

Average jockey height and weight

Average body size Height Weight
Male 69 inches (1.75 m) 200 pounds (90.7 kg)
Male jockey 62 inches (1.57 m) 113 pounds (51.3 kg)
Female 64 inches (1.63 m) 170 pounds (77 kg)
Female jockey 62 inches (1.57 m) 107 pounds (48.5 kg)
Flat jockey 58 to 66 inches (1.47 – 1.68 m) 108 to 118 pounds (49 – 53.5 kg)

Short jockeys are often more popular than tall jockeys in the professional racehorse industry, despite the fact that there are no height restrictions in the industry. The majority of horse trainers believe that greater weight in a smaller body is healthier for the horse. It is also considered that jockeys who are shorter in stature have better control over their horses during a horserace. As a result, when two jockeys of same weight are available, you will see that trainers frequently choose the shorter of the two riders.

Weight Limit for Jockeys

Weight limitations for jockeys are determined by two considerations. The first factor to consider is the size of the horse and the amount of weight that it can carry on its own. The second one is determined by the type of horserace.

Racing type

The secret to winning flat races is to increase the pace as quickly as possible, making it more practical for shorter and lighter riders to ride. Because of this, they will be more successful than others who are bigger and taller than they. Jump racing, on the other hand, necessitates the use of greater muscle and endurance in order to maintain control of the horse. As a result, jockeys’ weight is just as important as their ability. A taller and heavier jockey is required for this race type, who should weigh between 108 and 118 pounds (49 to 53.5 kg) on average.

For example, the Kentucky Derby has a weight restriction of 119 pounds for the horses competing (54 kg).

In the United Kingdom, jockeys competing in flat races must conform to the 112 pound weight limit, which is the least allowed (51 kg). National Hunt jockeys, on the other hand, will not allow riders weighing more than 140 pounds (64 kg).

Weight control at horse racing

Most racehorses are capable of carrying roughly 118–122 pounds (53–55 kg), although it is vital to include equipment weight in their carrying capacity. The fact that the weight requirements are so rigorous during horseraces is one of the reasons behind this. Nowadays, all jockeys must weigh in both before and after a race, and this is standard practice. It also contains the weight of the equipment. If a jockey’s weight is less than the stipulated requirement, the organizers will give little lead weights, which will be attached to the jockey’s saddle.

The jockeys must also check their weight again after the race is over, as a final precaution.

Height Limits for Jockeys

As previously stated, while weight restrictions are important in horseracing, there are no restrictions on height in the sport. However, this does not imply that you will be able to discover jockeys of all shapes and sizes. On the contrary, the majority of jockeys stand between 58 and 67 inches (1.47 and 1.70 m) tall on average. In both the United States and the United Kingdom, the average height of a man jockey is 69 inches (1.75 m). To put it another way, most professionals are shorter than the typical guy in height.

Aside from that, they are stronger as a result of the better proportions of their bodies.

Unfortunately, in the vast majority of situations, it will have a detrimental impact on their health.

Tall jockeys often weigh more than short riders, which allows them to have the extra stamina required for this sort of horseracing.

Exceptions that confirm the rule

As is typically the case, there are exceptions to the norm, and there are a few successful jockeys who are significantly taller than their competition. Patrick Sankey, who won the point-to-point race in 2019 is an example of someone who has recently achieved success. Considering his vocation, his height of 79 inches (2 m) is completely unexpected and out of the ordinary for someone in his position. Stuart Brown, a professional Australian jockey who died in a car accident, stood 74 inches (1.88 m) tall.

One of the most popular theories is that his weight problems were one of the contributing factors.

After winning the Welsh Grand National, the American became the youngest jockey in history to win the English Grand National, which he did in 1938. This remarkable guy stood at 73 inches (1.85 meters) in height.

Extreme Methods Jockeys Take to Stay Small

In order to maintain the necessary weight and remain competitive in the sport, jockeys must adhere to strict dietary regimens and frequently engage in drastic weight-loss regimens. They run the danger of losing their contract and compensation if they don’t. At times, jockeys must take drastic steps in order to keep their weight within the prescribed limits. It is not uncommon to come across people who employ specialized techniques to limit their growth. The unfortunate reality is that such mistakes frequently result in major health concerns down the road.

Irregular eating

Several elite jockeys choose to forgo meals when they believe their weight will be an issue in a specific horserace. This is especially true in the few days leading up to important and well-known events that provide large sums of money to the winners. The diet will be determined by the jockeys themselves in this situation. Some people will eat less than they normally would, while others will skip the entire meal.

Dehydration through diuretics

In horseracing, diuretics are becoming an increasingly serious concern. Jockeys frequently use tablets to help them expel excess water from their body and, as a result, shed water weight. Unfortunately, diuretics have a negative impact on the amounts of other minerals in the human body. Therefore, repeated usage will have a negative impact on their health over the course of time.


Flipping is one of the most harmful ways of training that jockeys do. They make themselves puke before a weight-loss race in order to reduce weight. The technique of flipping became so popular among jockeys that organizers decided to put so-called flipping bowls in their locker rooms. Despite the fact that these bowls are no longer available, the practice of vomiting a few hours before a race is still common among professional riders.

Other Requirements

Professional jockeys are sometimes likened to freelancers due to the fact that they change horses and clubs on a regular basis. They also have to constantly promote themselves to different groups and horse owners to ensure that they are successful. The physique and stature of the jockey are the most distinguishing qualities of the sport. As sportsmen, they must treat their body with the utmost respect, just like any other professionals in other sports. Despite the fact that the upper body is typically the primary emphasis in this activity, having strong lower body components is essential.

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They must also pass a variety of fitness tests and weigh-ins before they can enter into new contracts.

Nowadays, a large number of jockeys choose to complete a comprehensive education. The North American Racing Academy, which is located in the United States, is the greatest option for them because it provides a two-year curriculum. To join, you simply need a high school diploma or equivalent.


Horseracing may be a dangerous sport, both on and off the racetrack. Being a professional jockey is a difficult career that takes a great deal of discipline, endurance, athleticism, and mental fortitude. In addition, jockeys must maintain their weight on a regular basis in order to be under the rigorous weight limitations established by race commissioners. Competitions are not open to jockeys who do not adhere to the weight limits set by the organization. Unfortunately, certain weight-loss strategies might cause serious health concerns if they are not used properly.

How Big are Horse Jockeys? Weight, Height and Famous Jockeys

When it comes to the sport of horse racing, there are several laws and regulations in place, with one of the most crucial governing the amount of weight that the horses are permitted to carry. Consequently, horse jockeys are required to fulfill minimum weight limits in order to ensure that all horses competing in a race are evenly matched against one another. In other words, how much do they weigh and how tall do they stand. Horse jockeys are generally of tiny size, and each race has somewhat different standards, with weight restrictions often ranging from 112 to 126 pounds, plus 7 pounds of gear on the horse, depending on the competition.

Although there are no standards governing jockeys’ height, they tend to be on the shorter side as a result of the weight limitations, with most standing between 4ft.10 in and 5ft.6 in tall.

Why are Horse Jockeys So Small?

The stature of the jockey can have an impact on the pace of a horse during a race. Racquet horse trainers feel that riders who are as near to the allocated weight as feasible to the horse have an edge over those who are on the heavier side of the spectrum. A horse racing commission is responsible for determining the amount of weight that each horse is obliged to carry during a particular race. Keep in mind that each race has its own set of qualifications to fulfill. The weight of a horse jockey must be increased if he or she is less than the minimum weight necessary for the event.

  • Using saddle pads with thin lead weights in them
  • Using a specific saddle fabric with thin lead weights in it

Every race requires the horse jockey to stand on the scales with his or her equipment in hand (including the saddle) and formally weigh in to guarantee that the horse on which he or she is riding will be able to bear the prescribed weight. Following the conclusion of the race, all of the jockeys must don their riding gear once more and be weighed. In order to confirm that the horse carried the appropriate amount of weight during the race, a second weighing is performed. So, if a horse must carry 130 pounds, and the jockey’s weight is 123 pounds, it is likely that he will weigh in with his equipment at 130 pounds on the scale — regular racing gear weighs 7 pounds.

To illustrate, horse trainers want jockeys who weigh as near as possible to the designated weight of their horses.

Although this may be true in part, researchers investigated the association between race timings and jockey riding styles in 2009.

While in this stance, jockeys are able to isolate themselves from the movement of their horse, allowing the horse to gather up speed and carry a lighter load.

Far when performed correctly, the riding position can be exceedingly physically demanding for jockeys, and adding any additional weight to the equation makes it even more difficult to maintain.

How Do Horse Jockeys Stay So Small?

Given that horse jockeys are obliged to weigh themselves prior to participating in a horse race, it follows that they must maintain a high level of self-discipline in order to remain in the necessary weight range. It is both physically and psychologically demanding to maintain the fitness and diet requirements of a horse jockey. Everyone handles their nutrition and exercise plan in a unique way, but there is a general opinion among jockeys that the job is a continual fight to ensure that they do not gain too much weight.

Skipping Meals

An investigation on jockeys’ health conducted by the Chicago Rehabilitation Institute discovered that 69 percent of jockeys skip meals in order to lose weight. In the days preceding up to a race, many jockeys are known to reduce their food intake (or, in extreme situations, cease eating completely) in order to conserve energy.


Techniques for dehydration that are regularly utilized include:


Diuretics, commonly referred to as water pills, are medications that cause diuresis, or the increased output of pee, in the body. Diuretics, in addition to causing the human body to lose water, can also have an effect on the amount of specific minerals present in the body. The ability of the kidney to reabsorb salt is inhibited by several diuretics, for example.

Saunas and Hot Baths

Jockeys also enjoy using saunas and taking hot baths, which help them lose water weight by stimulating the sweat glands and causing them to emit excessive amounts of perspiration.


Heavy sweat suits or rubber suits are worn by certain jockeys when they work out to help them lose weight by sweating away the extra.


These are medications that are used to aid in the stimulation of bowel motions in people who are constipated. Some jockeys use them as a weight-loss technique to help them lose weight.


When it comes to exercising, jockeys follow a rigorous regimen that guarantees that they not only satisfy the weight criteria but also acquire the power necessary to handle horses while riding them.


Smoking can be a problem for certain jockeys because it affects their appetite by lowering their metabolic efficiency and absorption of energy.


Among the most drastic tactics employed by some expert riders is the flipping of the horse. It’s the place where a jockey vomits to get rid of surplus food. Flipping was so common that specially built heaving basins were put in the jockey rooms to prevent it from happening again. Despite the fact that these bowls have been removed throughout the years and that new race tracks normally do not build them, the habit of flipping continues to remain popular.

Is There a Weight Limit for Horse Jockeys?

Weight restrictions for riders vary based on the amount of weight that horses are expected to carry in a race. It also depends on the type of race – flat jockeys are typically lighter in weight and shorter in stature to allow for greater speed on the flat, whereas jump jockeys are typically slightly heavier and taller to allow for the additional strength and stamina that is required over obstacles in jump racing.

To give you an example, the Kentucky Derby has a jockey weight restriction of 119 pounds. When you include the saddlebags, it makes a total weight of 126 pounds.

Do Horse Jockeys Stunt Their Growth?

The severe weight limit places a great deal of pressure on horse jockeys to remain significantly smaller than the norm, which may lead some jockeys to go to extraordinary measures to suppress their growth in order to maintain their position. The attempts of jockeys to maintain their weight can result in both short- and long-term health concerns. The following are some of the negative consequences of their struggle to lose weight:

  • Inadequate consumption of some nutrients, which results in nutritional deficiencies
  • As a result of forced vomiting, you may develop gum disease, cavities, and tooth erosion. Inconsistent menstrual cycles in female jockeys
  • The presence of low bone density as a result of malnutrition increases the chance of bone breaking. Dehydration
  • Heat exhaustion
  • Depression, anxiety, and stress are all examples of mental health issues.

How Many Female Horse Jockeys are There?

Horseracing has always been a male-dominated activity, with only a few of female participants over the years. In the United States, female jockeys account for just around 8 percent of the approximately 1,500 licensed jockeys, according to the Jockey’s Guild. According to popular belief, the sharp disparity might be due to the fact that women were formerly forbidden from participating in the sport and had to struggle against archaic traditions in order to even be allowed to do so.

Has There Ever Been a Female Jockey in the Kentucky Derby?

The Kentucky Derby is the most well-known race in the American thoroughbred season, although it has only had a few female competitors in its history. They are as follows:

  • Diane Crump was the first female jockey to participate in the Kentucky Derby when she did so in 1970
  • Patti “P.J.” Cooksey was the first female jockey to race in the Kentucky Derby when she did so in 1984
  • Andrea Seefeldt competed in the Kentucky Derby in 1991
  • Julie Krone was one of only two women to compete in the Kentucky Derby twice, in 1992 and 1995
  • Rosemary Homeister competed in the Kentucky Derby in 2003
  • Rosie Napravnik competed in the Kentucky Derby in 2011 and 2013
  • Andrea Seefeldt competed in the Kentucky Derby in 1991
  • Julie Krone competed in the Kentucky Derby in 1992 and 1995
  • Andrea Seefeldt compete

Famous Horse Jockeys

  • Born on December 29, 1946
  • Career victories: 9,530
  • Main circuit: United States
  • Earnings: $237,120,625
  • Nationality: American

Bill Shoemaker

  • In his professional career, he has earned $237,120,625 in earnings. He was born on December 29, 1946, in the United States.

Lanfranco “Frankie” Dettori

  • Born on December 15, 1970
  • Has over 3,000 career victories
  • Races primarily in Europe
  • Has earned over £155 million.

Lester Piggott

  • Born on November 5, 1935, with 4,493 career victories on the main circuit in the United Kingdom.

Russell Baze

  • He was born on July 8, 1958, with 12,842 career victories, and his main circuit is the United States. His earnings total $199,334,219 dollars.

Jerry D. Bailey

  • Born on August 29, 1957
  • Career victories total of 5,893
  • Main circuit: United States
  • Earnings total of $296,113,529

How Much Does a Horse Jockey Make a Year?

Some outliers exist, with the majority of jockeys earning between $30,000 and $40,000 per year. In 2004, the top 100 competing jockeys earned an average of $5.7 million, according to the National Jockeys Association. As a result of the broad range in prize payouts, it’s important to point out that. The most successful jockeys may earn more than a million dollars per year, but the least successful jockeys can earn less than a thousand dollars per year.

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Some outliers exist, with the majority of jockeys making between $30,000 and $40,000 per year. In 2004, the top 100 competing jockeys earned an average of $5.7 million, according to the National Jockeys’ Association. Given the vast range of prize money, it’s important to point out that. The most successful jockeys may earn more than a million dollars per year, and the least successful riders can earn less than $20,000 in a single year of racing.

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10 Things You Never Knew About Horse Jockeys

To horse jockeys, there is a lot more to them than meets the eye. Sure, while you are watching them ride around the track, whether in person or on television, those who are winning races appear to be doing it effortlessly. All of the finest professional athletes, on the other hand, do. With our list of the top 10 facts you didn’t know about horse jockeys, we’re taking the lid off the world of horse racing.

1. There Is No Maximum Height For A Jockey, But Being Small Helps

Jockeys can be as tall as they like, as long as they are able to maintain the weight requirements for the horses on which they ride. Taller jockeys are more likely to battle with their weight – especially as they become older – despite the fact that there is no upper limit to their height in the sport. Due of this, Donnacha O’Brien, a two-time Irish champion Flat rider who stood near to 6ft (1.82m), decided to resign from the saddle at the age of 21 and join his famed father Aidan and elder brother Joseph in the racehorse training business.

The height of a normal horse jockey ranges from a modest 4ft 10in (1.47m) to a tall 5ft 6in (1.91m) in height (1.67m). As a result, size does important, but even though riders are often little, they must be powerful in order to maintain control over their horses.

2. The Tallest Ever Jockey Was 7ft 7in (2.31m)

Manute Bol, a former NBA player, took his hand at becoming a jockey in a charity race in Indiana, and it went well. Standing at 7ft 7in (2.31m), he holds the record for being the tallest jockey to ever ride under rules. In Australia, the late Stuart Brown, who died at the age of 43 despite being 6ft 3in (1.87m) tall, was still able to win races in the saddle. A horse race between the flags in Wales was won by Patrick Sankey, a 6ft 7in (2.01m) British point-to-point rider who stood at 6ft 7in (2.01m).

This demonstrates the difficulties taller motorcyclists have when compared to their smaller counterparts.

Greater-height jockeys are just at a disadvantage in this sport.

3. There Are No Height Restrictions, But Jockeys Must Weigh A Certain Amount

The conditions of the race affect how much weight a rider should carry on his back. There may be predetermined weights, or, if the horse is competing in a handicap race, the jockey’s weight is decided by the horse’s rating in relation to the other competitors. The horse with the highest rating is the one who bears the most weight. If a jockey weighs in too light after a race, he or she will be disqualified from the competition. However, it is not just themselves who are subjected to a weight check on the scales.

  1. The jockey has to bear the additional weight of all of that equipment.
  2. Amateur and conditional jockeys are entitled to allowances, which they can deduct from their starting weights.
  3. A jumps horse jockey is considered to have “ridden out” his claim after they have won 75 races in the saddle and are no longer able to lift any more weight off their mount’s back.
  4. Although it may appear sexist, female riders in France are permitted to claim a gender allowance, which provides them with a competitive edge over their male counterparts in certain circumstances.
See also:  How Much Sweet Feed To Feed A Horse? (Correct answer)

4. Jockey Weights For Flat And Jumps Races Are Different

Flat horse jockeys must be significantly lighter than their counterparts who ride over jumps on their horses. Flat races with no barriers to leap can have a weight structure as low as 8st if no obstacles are encountered (51kg). To be able to make bottom weight, a Flat jockey must weigh around 108lbs (49kg) when the saddle and gear are taken into consideration. No horse should be allowed to carry more than 10st on the Flat (63.5kg). However, in National Hunt horse racing over jumps, 10st is the minimal weight that must be carried.

For National Hunt races, heavier saddle cloths are utilized, typically with lead sheets woven into the fabric of the saddle cloth.

Even with the added weight of their gear, it is still crucial for jumps jockeys to maintain a healthy weight and be in shape. National Hunt jockeys may have lengthier careers than their Flat counterparts since the weights are not as harsh as they are on the Flat. This is provided they avoid injury.

5. Jockeys Get Less Than 10 Percent Of Winnings From A Race

Horse jockeys are not highly paid for directing their mounts in a race after putting their lives and limbs on the line to join them in the competition. When it comes to jumping competitions, which are, after all, more dangerous than flat racing, the rider earns between 8 and 9 percent of the prize money. You are in no better shape than a racehorse trainer, with the owners pocketing the lion’s share of wins, which amounts to around 80% of total winnings. Many people, on the other hand, are generous enough to offer a bonus to the handlers, jockeys, and grooms.

With placed reward money, regardless of the code, the rider receives a pitiful 3.5 percent of the total prize money.

In addition, expenditures, agent’s fees, and a variety of additional deductions are deducted from horse jockeys’ earnings.

6. A Jockey’s Use Of The Whip Has Strict Rules And Limits

Although this is a contentious subject, horse racing authorities have always taken into consideration the concerns of animal welfare organizations when it comes to a horse jockey use the whip. There are well defined guidelines to obey, and any rider who is discovered to have violated them will face serious repercussions. In a Flat race, a jockey is not permitted to use the synthetic material whip with foam padding and air cushioning more than seven times. A fine and/or a suspension for excessive use will be imposed on them if they do not refrain from doing so.

The maximum number of times you can leap is eight times.

If a horse does not respond to the whip, which is one of the stated goals for employing it, then a rider must evaluate the welfare of their mount, which is a difficult decision to make.

7. Horse Jockeys Aren’t Allowed To Place Bets

Horse jockeys making bets are frowned upon by the racing officials, who consider it to be a serious violation of the regulations. Long-term bans can be imposed, as was the case with Hayley Turner, who was suspended for three months when it was discovered that she was betting while still in possession of a riding license. By comparison, this is a rather lenient sentence. In Australia, any horse jockey who is proven to have violated betting regulations faces a statutory two-year suspension. This serves as a significant deterrence, and the authorities in Australia are not afraid to be even more punitive in their sentencing than they are already.

He put two A$500 wagers on horses that he rode, and therefore backed himself into a corner. Because horse jockeys have inside knowledge, the authorities must be firm in dealing with them.

8. Hundreds Of Jockeys Have Died Or Suffered Life-Changing InjuriesAs A Result Of Horse Racing

Horse racing is a risky sport, and while fatalities are fortunately few and far between, life-altering injuries and deaths can occur on occasion. However, more than 100 riders in North America have died as a consequence of injuries sustained while competing since 1950, despite the fact that all jockeys are supposed to wear protective helmets. According to studies, the fatality rates of jockeys in California have considerably dropped since 1980. However, despite significant efforts in areas where horse racing is popular, the risk to both equine and human athletes will never be completely eliminated.

Recent years have seen a rise in the use of thin body shields, which horse jockeys can claim as part of their equipment, in order to protect the spine while racing.

9. You Won’t See Many Riders Over The Age Of 40

Many horse jockeys retire from the saddle beyond the age of 40, citing the fact that it gets increasingly difficult to maintain a healthy weight as they grow older. Riders that continue to ride above the age of 50 are extremely unusual, however there are notable exceptions. Lester Piggott, the legendary British Flat jockey, has come out of retirement at the age of 54. He was 58 years old when he partnered his final winner in the saddle, similar to American rider Bill Shoemaker. That is out of reach for most jockeys, who often retire in their late 30s or early 40s after a long and fruitful career in the sport.

Frankie Dettori will also achieve that milestone in the near future, but the weighing rooms of the globe are significantly different from the ones in which any of these current professional horse jockeys began their careers.

10. Gender Equality Has A Long Way To Go

The sport of horse racing is overwhelmingly controlled by men. There are significant outliers, of however, and much has been done in recent years to bring female jockeys to the public’s attention. With everything from Lizzie Kelly’s first Grade 1 ride on Tea For Two at Kempton to Bryony Frost’s victory in a prestigious race at the Cheltenham Festival to Holly Doyle’s recent exploits on the Flat in the United Kingdom, there is something for everyone to be inspired by. Many of these major race triumphs, on the other hand, are noteworthy because they represent firsts for female athletes.

With her historic double at Ascot, Doyle made history as the first female Flat horse jockey to win a race on British Champions Day and a Group 1 race in the same day.

When female jockeys are questioned, they frequently state that they feel discriminated against in the industry.

When it comes to equal opportunity, horse racing is a little behind the times. For further information about horse racing, see the following:

How Big are Horse Jockeys (Read This First!)

When I first turned on the television to watch a horse race, I was intrigued by what it took to be a horse jockey. It appeared to be both entertaining and perilous. I was drawn to it because of the excitement. It would bring me much joy and enjoyment if I were to do this. I compared it to electric bull riding, where all you have to do is grasp the handle tightly with one hand, press your legs against the bull, and keep your upper body flexed to keep the bull from charging you. Also, I saw that there were no heavyweight horsemen or women in sight, which was surprising to me.

  1. This made sense to me since a horse jockey cannot be heavier than the horse itself, as far as I was concerned.
  2. And how would you deal with a racehorse if you are too little and frail to manage one?
  3. This sparked an interest in learning more about what it takes to be a jockey.
  4. What should your ideal weight be?

Misconception on Height

Given their short stature, one of the lesser-known facts about jockeys is that they are commonly believed to have a maximum height limit, which is incorrect. People assume that being a horse rider necessitates being of little stature. Due to the fact that small individuals tend to be underweight while remaining physically powerful, this is a common misunderstanding. Because it is low in weight, the horse has to perform less effort because it does not have to bear as much weight on its back. It is significantly faster for the horse to run if he is carrying less weight.

  1. Judging by their appearance, horse jockeys appear to have grown to be around the size of an adolescent child.
  2. When it comes to horse racing, there are no height restrictions as long as you match the weight requirements.
  3. For example, in the Kentucky Derby, a jockey has a weight limit of 126 pounds.
  4. Is it true that if you are taller than the average jockey (between 4 foot 10 inches and 5 foot 6 inches), you will be unable to work as a jockey?
  5. For example, Stuart Brown, who was the tallest in Australia’s history, had a height of 6 feet 3 inches.
  6. Johnny Sellers (Johnny Sellers) is the tallest jockey ever to win the Kentucky Derby.
  7. Other tall jockeys include Richard Hudges from England, 5’10” tall, Louise Moeller from Denmark, 6’1″ tall, and former NBA player Manute Bol, 7’7 inches tall.

In history, the world’s smallest jockey was a 15-year-old Kenneth Glover. He was so tiny that the bundles of straw he carried to the nearby stables to feed the horses would nearly bury him. He was only 4 feet tall. This proves height is not a factor in being a professional jockey, but weight is.

Weight On and Off the Horse

You must be interested in what occurs when a jockey increases or decreases his or her weight during a race. Do you give up your position as a rider and sit on the sidelines with the rest of the crowd? Is it the end of one’s professional life? When the weight of a rider rises during the start of a race, it indicates that the horse is being put under too much strain. This can induce momentary lameness or even muscular discomfort in the animal, which results in the horse’s pace being lowered. This is a straightforward application of physics.

  1. In order for the horses to be able to carry a given amount of weight during a race, they are allotted a specified amount of weight.
  2. Before riding the horse, the horse jockey will go on the scales to see how much they weigh in comparison to the horse.
  3. Weight addition might also take the shape of saddles and pads to make up for the lack of weight in the rider’s legs.
  4. The importance of weighing the horse before and after a race may have escaped your notice.
  5. Sometimes the difference is less than one pound, which is not uncommon.
  6. If the jockey’s weight is more than a pound above or under what he or she should have weighed in the first place, you will be reported to the Clerk of the Scales, and the horse will be disqualified from the race and the rider will be fined accordingly.

Keeping Weight at Bay

When it comes to horse racing, jockeys must weigh themselves before to the start of a race to ensure they are of sufficient heft to compete. This means they must exert considerable effort while exercising extreme health prudence and discipline in order to keep the weight required. Because they are required to maintain their extremely low weight, the majority of jockeys are reported to suffer from an eating issue. Using low-calorie diet pills, saunas, and intense exercise regiments in order to maintain the generally necessary weight is not uncommon among this group of people.

  • Flipping is a technique in which the athlete vomits into a bowl in order to expel extra food consumed. Skipping meals – In order to shed weight, the jockeys skip meals. A laxative is a drug that is used to aid in the stimulation of bowel motions. Diuretics are medications that dehydrate the body and cause it to lose water weight. Cigarette smoking – I have never seen a rider who did not have a cigarette in his mouth. They are constantly ready to light up a cigarette. By lowering metabolic efficiency and calorie absorption, tobacco is used to help people lose weight and lessen their hunger.

Athletes who flip their meal into a bowl do so to get rid of the surplus food they’ve consumed. Skipping meals – In order to shed weight, the jockeys skip meal s. A laxative is a drug that is used to aid in the stimulation of bowel motions; Diuretics are a method of dehydrating the body and shedding water weight; nevertheless, they are not without side effects. Using tobacco – I have never seen a rider who did not have a cigarette in their mouth.

When it comes to smoking, they are always ready. Tobacco is used to suppress their hunger by decreasing their metabolic efficiency and absorption of calories, among other things.

Female Jockeys

My research revealed that female jockeys are not as frequent as male jockeys, which was surprising to me. During my travels, I came across a 27-year-old woman who is driven to be at the top of her game in a society dominated by males. Sammy Jo is a huge believer in the power of dreams. Being 112 pounds and competing in the world’s most prestigious horse races is a huge task for anybody, but being a woman means she needs to work even harder and make sacrifices in order to further her career. Long hours in the saddle, going out until late at night, and getting up extremely early in the morning are just a few of the sacrifices that must be made.

Females must overcome additional difficulties in order to make a breakthrough in male-dominated sports, such as possessing the sheer strength necessary to be a jockey.

In order to provide support and balance, racehorses are taught to lean on the reins.

Successful jockeys are characterized by their tenacity and tenacity.

Wrap Up

When you look at a jockey physically, you may tell he or she is weak, petite, or little. Being such an athlete, on the other hand, needs tenacity, strength, and a lot of force. Horse racing is not a game for children, even if you are aware of the weight restrictions. The jockey must be slender, powerful, and flexible in order to perform well. According to popular belief, jockeys are the most appropriate athletes on the planet. They must not only be physically powerful, but they must also possess the necessary abilities to handle the entire horse during the course of the race.

Ride at high speeds should be a risk they are not afraid to take.

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