The Hard Work Jockey’s Put In For A Racing Partnership
As the sun rises you blow by the 1/8th pole at 35mph on a 2 year old colt that after weeks of breezing is finally showing he can focus. This is the 5th worker of the morning already and its only just now 6:30am. But you know that working horses every day in the morning will get you the respect and good reputation with both thoroughbred partnerships and trainers. And not to mention the fulfillment of watching a young horse grow and mature into a top class athlete down the line.
The life of a jockey is one that is constant with few off days. Mornings are spent on the track breezing and jogging horses. When the track is closed for training at about 9:30am, its then time to hit the gym and make sure that their strength and weight is under control. For some jockeys it’s a constant struggle to maintain the appropriate weight and fitness, and for others is can be a daily battle. The pressures of the game are demanding, but can be very rewarding for those who make it to the highest levels.
Furthermore, regulations restrain jockey’s to maintain a weight of 125 pounds or less to be licensed as a jockey. In addition, apprentice riders also known as bug boys gain a 5 pound weight advantage when first starting out as a rider. The name “bug boy” comes from the bug shaped asterisk that denotes the weight difference in the program. With such tight weight restrictions and regulations it can be a challenging task for a new rider to the area or a bug boy to break through the ranks.
When it’s time for racing, Jockeys can have a mount in almost every race on the days card if they are popular enough among racehorse partnerships and trainers. This means that after an early morning of working 5 horses then a couple hours at the gym, a jockey must be able to compete at his highest level in 5 to 8 races that are only thirty minutes apart. Not only must a jockey be physically fit, they must also be mentally fit. Countless quick decisions must be made over the course of a race that lasts less than 2 minutes, and traveling at speeds of up to 40 mph on a thoroughbred. So much is riding on each race. From the hopes and dreams of the horse racing partnerships to the trainer to the jockey who are all trying to win each race, and for the jockey, earn a living along the way.
For jockeys they are compensated small flat fees for training horses in the mornings but they really only get paid substantially if they win. They receive 10% of the winning purse from each race they win. Running second and third also gets them 5% of the second and third place purse earnings. And finally if the jockey fails to run in the money they receive a small fee for riding in the race. Ultimately, a jockey must perform in order to succeed financially, which is a tough balancing act to maintain throughout a season which for most in the horse racing industry has no off season.
At Blinkers On Racing Stable, our dedication and work ethic are second to none among thoroughbred horse racing partnerships. And because of this, we aim to ride jockeys who share in our dedication for the sport. We value a jockey’s honesty and hard work ethic that eventually lead him to become the best prepared for each race he rides for us.
Blinkers On Racing Stable, a leader in thoroughbred horse racing partnerships, brings together the finest in thoroughbred horse racing expertise with the best in business know-how, and above all, a team of people you can trust, to manage your investment. We are committed to helping you experience the joys of thoroughbred horse ownership. For more information on thoroughbred partnerships visit our website or request an information package about our partnership. Keep up with horse racing in California by reading our Blog, finding us on Facebook, following us on Twitter, checking us out on LinkedIn, or visiting our YouTube Channel!