Interesting Facts About Jockeys

Horse jockeys are tiny in size but fierce. They have to sit on an animal that far outweighs them and have complete control.

How Much Does A Jockey Weigh? 

Jockey on horse

The average horse jockey weighs no less than 108 pounds and no more than 118 pounds. This is the typical weight of both male and female riders.

Weighing In and Out

Before the race, the jockey has to weigh in wearing all of the gear he will wear.

The jockey will also hold the saddle that will be used so the exact weight of the rider and gear can be confirmed.

The horse the jockey is riding will have a set amount of weight they are supposed to carry in that race, and the jockey and gear have to have a total weight that equals the horse’s carry weight.

If the jockey is too light, small lead weights will be added to their uniform and gear to weigh the desired amount.

When the jockey weighs in and exceeds the weight limit by four pounds, another jockey will usually be told to ride the horse.

If the jockey is slightly overweight, it may be possible to swap some of their gear and reduce their weight.

Jockey Height

The average jockey is less than five feet tall. There have been instances where the jockey was as tall as 6 feet, but that is very rare.

The very tallest jockey ever measured stood 7 feet and 7 inches.

Most jockeys are shorter because it is easier for the shorter jockey to meet the weight limit.

Jockeys can be male or female, but there are a limited number of female riders.

Why Are Horse Jockeys So Small?

Horse Jockey

A horse can only support a certain amount of weight.

The racehorse has to support the saddle and tack plus the rider’s weight. The jockey needs to be small and light, so the horse does not lose much weight.

The more miniature jockeys allow the horse to be able to run faster. If the jockey is heavier, the horse has a more challenging time carrying them, which slows the speed at which the horse can run.

Did You Know?

The horse jockeys are not allowed to place any bets on the races?

Being a horse jockey is a dangerous occupation. The jockeys have to wear headgear, but more than 100 riders have died in North America alone due to head injuries.

Most jockeys are under the age of 40. 

A thoroughbred horse may travel up to 40+ miles per hour during a race.

Jockeys do not sit in the saddle while in a race. They position themselves, so they hover above the seat. The crouching position the jockey gets in reduces the wind resistance and increases the speed at which the horse can travel.

Jockeys wear more than one pair of goggles during a race. They do this to pull a couple off if they become dirty or dusty. It increases their visual abilities during the race.

One jockey can ride up to 6 horses in one day. Many horse owners choose to hire a dedicated jockey that works with the horse during training and rides them on race day.

A goat is often kept in the stall with a racehorse, so the horse will remain calm and not be lonely. 

Frequently Asked Questions

How Much Do Jockey Riders Weigh?

The typical weight of a horse jockey is between 108 lbs. and 118 lbs.

What’s The Maximum Weight of A Jockey?

The maximum weight of a horse jockey is 118 pounds.

How Much Does A Female Jockey Weigh?

The female jockeys typically weigh close to 108 lbs. 

What Is The Lightest Weight of A Jockey?

108 lbs. is the low average weight for the jockey.

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