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Want to be a Jockey?

Elizabeth Bingler explains how you can become a jockey in the UK.

No-one can deny that horse racing is one of the most exhilarating sports you can watch. However, if you want to do more than spectate from the stands or watch a race from home, you could always train to become a professional jockey. If you have dreams of riding a racehorse at the Grand National, Cheltenham, or Royal Ascot, there are steps you can take to make your dream career a reality. Find out how to become a jockey in the UK.

Complete a Level 2 Diploma

If you want to embrace a professional career as a jockey, you will first need to complete a Level 2 diploma course with either the Northern Racing College or the British Racing School. Both are fully-residential courses, so they will require budding jockeys to stay at their facilities from start to finish of the training program. Either course will commonly take one year to complete, and there are limited spaces available.

Once you have received a diploma, you will then need to complete an 18-month apprenticeship of jockey training, and you will need to apply for a license to ride with other professional jockeys.

Achieve the Correct Weight

Every professional jockey will need to adhere to a weight limit to participate in a race. While the event will determine the weight limit, jump jockeys will need to weigh no more than nine stone while flat jockeys cannot exceed eight stone. Luckily, there are no height stipulations to adhere to, but the average height of a jockey does tend to be between 4 foot 10 inches to 5 foot 6 inches due to the weight regulations.

Learn from the Best

If you want to become the best, you will first need to learn from the best. If you are serious about making it as a jockey, you need to watch some of the best professionals in the sport, such as Frankie Dettori, Kieran Fallon, and Ryan Moore. Oddschecker lists the biggest horse racing events online, so you will never need to miss a moment of the action and can understand more about the importance of form.

Train While You are Young

It is essential to start training for a career as a jockey as soon as possible. The younger you start, the more time you will have to nurture your natural talent and develop your skillset. For this reason, most professional jockeys tend to train for a career from 16 to 22 years old. However, you do not need to despair if you are in your twenties or thirties, as there is no maximum age limit. However, most professional athletes tend to retire between the ages of 40 to 50 years old. So, if you are serious about entering a career in horse racing, the above tips could help you to become a professional jockey in the UK.


Page Reference

If you quote information from this page in your work, then the reference for this page is:

  • BINGLER, E. (2019) Want to be a Jockey? [WWW] Available from: https://www.brianmac.co.uk/articles/article481.htm [Accessed

About the Author

Elizabeth Bingler graduated from the University of Pittsburgh with degrees in English Literature and Fiction Writing. She works as a freelance content writer and editor and has written articles on a wide variety of topics such as technology, sports, business, lifestyle, culture, and travel.