For most professional jockeys, the path to qualification starts at a very young age. In fact, many of today’s top riders began riding horses competitively before they could even walk. But while some people are born with an innate talent for horsemanship, others have to work much harder to succeed. And yet in order to be considered for any given race meet or event, all potential jockeys must pass through three rounds of rigorous testing in order to qualify. How do they do it? That’s what we’re going to discuss below!
One of the first requirements for a rider to qualify for a horse race is that they are at least 16 years old. If you’re under the age of 16, it’s highly unlikely that anyone will hire you as a jockey. The next requirement is that riders are not taller than 5’3″ (160 cm). Riders need to be very light, so this cutoff ensures that most people who are taller than average can’t be jockeys. Finally, all riders must weigh less than 150 pounds (68 kg).
To begin qualification, potential riders have to study for and pass a written exam. If they do well on the exam, they will be invited to complete the “ride test”.
A ride test is a timed event in which the potential jockey rides around a track on a horse that has been made ‘wild’ by being deprived of food and water for 24 hours beforehand. The rider must “stick” to the horse to avoid being thrown off. If the rider does well, they are usually hired to ride at least one race during meet days.
The written exam is not easy. It consists of math, geography, and history questions as well as basic horse knowledge. You must study for this test very hard or you will not pass!
Most people consider a jockey to be a professional because all of the riders work extremely hard to qualify for races. Riders are only able to make money if they are riding in races, so it requires an enormous amount of time and effort to be successful. Jockeys are considered professionals because their job is difficult and takes skill, which is why they receive expensive salaries to compete.
To be a jockey, you need experience, skill and luck. There is no such thing as a “racing school” for aspiring jockeys. The best way to get the right training is to start out riding in local competitions and then move on from there. If you are serious about horse betting, then having knowledge on the experience of the jockey may influence your final decision. Either that, or you can check out bookmaker offers for a more swift decision making process.
The first step in becoming a professional rider is to get your Intermediate Riders’ Test – this will be either a written or practical exam that establishes that you have the basic knowledge of horse care and handling needed to qualify as a professional rider. You’ll then need to get your National Certificate of Professional Competence which you must pass before being able to apply for an apprentice’s license from Britain’s Jockey Club.
While it may seem like a lot of work to qualify as a jockey, once you make the commitment, the rewards are many.