Jockeys are sports professionals who ride racehorses for trainers and owners, they will work with trainers to establish strategies to help them win, they will also be responsible for riding their mounts in training exercises, maintaining riding equipment, providing feedback to trainers or owners about how the horse is performing and spending time getting to know the strengths and weaknesses of each horse that they ride.
You could get into this job through an apprenticeship or by starting as a stable hand and working your way up.
You can apply to do a residential foundation course at the British Racing School (BRS) in Newmarket or the National Horseracing College in Doncaster, these are designed to see if you've got the potential to succeed and it also allows you to find out if this is really for you.
The residential training lasts from 14 to 18 weeks and includes how to look after and ride race horses as well health and safety. If you do well, you may be offered the opportunity to work in a racing stable and start an intermediate apprenticeship in racehorse care. You would then go on to do an advanced apprenticeship in racehorse care and management.
There are no set qualifications required, but you will study English and maths if you don't have GCSE's in these subjects.
Anyone aged 16 or over, who works at least 16 hours a week in a licensed racing stable, can apply.
Work based route
You could start as a stable hand and work your way up.
If you're already working in a racing yard, speak to your employer about applying for the racing apprenticeship programme.
Careers In Racing has more information about becoming a jockey.
Although this job role does not require formal qualifications, we highly recommend that you try to achieve at least a grade 4 (C) in English & Maths. Achieving this minimum grade in these subject will increase opportunities in the future and help with your career development and prospects.
If you don't achieve the minimum grades, you will be supported to continue to study English and Maths throughout your full-time education or an apprenticeship.
Career Path and Progression
You could work just for one trainer or owner, or ride for several as a self-employed jockey.
You could go on to work for stables overseas in countries like Dubai, Japan and the USA.
Related careers you may be interested in:
- Sports professional
- Sports agent
- Horse riding instructor
- Riding holiday centre manager
- You will need to be a very skilled rider
- Determination to succeed
- You will need to be fit, strong and have stamina
- You will also have to be prepared to be outside in all weathers