How to Become a Professional Jockey

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Being a jockey requires a mix of genetic good fortune, a love of horses, and determination. To race professionally, a jockey will generally be 49 – 50Kg, however this doesn’t mean they’re not incredibly strong. Despite their small stature they are required to control half a tonne of horse travelling at more than 60Km/h. This is the genetics part of the equation and while there is no height limit, if you’re 6’4” then the chances are you won’t be light enough.

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Get some experience

Being a jockey requires being a horse person through and through. You must live and breathe horses, horse racing and horse care. The chances of your jockey dreams being realized are far greater if you have grown up around stables and have learnt the basics from an early age. A jockey’s apprenticeship is served mucking out stalls, grooming, tacking up and un-tacking, and learning how to behave around horses. This early education is vital for developing a passion and growing your confidence around these large and, to the unfamiliar, intimidating creatures.

Apply to the racing academy

Once you have the basics down, it is time to get to the hard work of learning the craft. Your learning will focus on a range of core skills, from riding and handling at different levels and under different conditions, to personal health and fitness. You will learn essential skills such as first aid, as well as more practical elements of running a business, conflict resolution, and more. Due to the stringent environment horse racing operates in, the academy aims to produce graduates who have a wide range of skills to cope with a variety of situations.

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Find a place in a yard

Often graduates will be snapped up by different yards to become a part of their roster of jockeys. However, there is no harm in getting a head start and looking at the different ones yourself. The larger ones have the benefit of more money and often better facilities, but the downside is you will probably be one of many jockeys vying to get ahead and make a name for themselves. The smaller yards provide the better chance of getting regular race time and being seen by more horse owners, however you need to be more self-motivated without the competitive atmosphere. You can more information from horse racing news website

Persevere in the face of all discouragement

Being a jockey is hard and only the very best get anywhere near the top. You need to be the most motivated, skilled and enthusiastic, the best at building a rapport with a horse in a short space of time, as well as building one with people. It is a tough job that offers incredible rewards for the successful ones. It will be the ultimate test of your abilities and determination.