Jockey

Alternative titles for this job include

Jockeys are licensed to ride racehorses in races for horse trainers and owners.

Average salary (a year)

Variable

Typical hours (a week)

44 to 46 variable

You could work

early mornings away from home

How to become

Explore the different ways to get into this role.

How to become a jockey

You can get into this job through:

  • an apprenticeship
  • working towards this role
  • switching from amateur to professional racing

Apprenticeship

The first step to a racing apprenticeship is to apply for a residential foundation course. These are designed to see if you have the potential to succeed and for you to see if this is what you really want to do.

The residential training lasts from 14 to 18 weeks and includes how to look after and ride race horses, and health and safety. Training takes place at the National Horseracing College and The British Racing School.

If you do well, you may be offered the opportunity to work in a racing stable and start an intermediate apprenticeship as an equine groom. You would then go on to do a senior equine groom advanced apprenticeship.

Entry requirements

You can apply if you're aged 16 or over and work at least 16 hours a week in a licensed racing stable.

There are no qualification requirements. You'll study English and maths if you do not have GCSEs in those subjects.

More Information

Work

You could start as a stable hand in a training stables and work your way up.

If you're already working in a racing yard, you could talk to your employer about applying for the racing apprenticeship programme.

Other Routes

You may be able to move into professional racing if you've got experience as an amateur jockey. You would need to complete training to get a professional racing licence.

More Information

Career tips

If you're young, you can get an idea of what it's like to race by trying a taster day at your local pony club. The Pony Racing Authority puts on training and races for riders of all abilities.

Further information

You can find out more about becoming a jockey from The British Racing School and careersinracing.

What it takes

Find out what skills you’ll use in this role.

What it takes

Skills and knowledge

You'll need:

  • to be thorough and pay attention to detail
  • ambition and a desire to succeed
  • persistence and determination
  • physical skills like movement, coordination, dexterity and grace
  • the ability to accept criticism and work well under pressure
  • physical fitness and endurance
  • leadership skills
  • patience and the ability to remain calm in stressful situations
  • to be able to carry out basic tasks on a computer or hand-held device

Restrictions and Requirements

You'll need to:

  • be over 16 years of age
  • pass a medical check
  • pass a fitness test

All jockeys need to pass a licence course and renew their licence every year.

Amateur riders need to get an Amateurs Riding Permit.

You also have to meet strict weight requirements which vary depending on whether you are flat racing or a jump jockey.

What you’ll do

Discover the day to day tasks you’ll do in this role.

What you'll do

Day-to-day tasks

On a typical day you could:

  • plan racing strategies with the owner and trainer
  • ride one or more horses
  • keep up a fitness regime at home or in the gym
  • travel to and ride at race tracks around the UK or possibly overseas
  • watch race replays and review your performance

Working environment

You could work at a race track or at a riding stable.

Your working environment may be physically demanding and you'll travel often.

Career path and progression

Look at progression in this role and similar opportunities.

Career path and progression

You could work for one or several trainers or owners as a self-employed jockey.

You could go on to work for stables in countries like Dubai, Japan and the USA.

Current opportunities

Find apprenticeships, courses and jobs available near you.

Current opportunities

Apprenticeships In England

Equine Groom Apprenticeship Level 2

  • Wage: £8,754.20 to £17,290.00 Annually
  • Location: TYSOE ROAD, RADWAY, WARWICK

Level 2 Equine Groom Apprentice (Hurstwood Farm)

  • Wage: £10,004.80 Annually
  • Location: ROYAL OAK LANE, HIGH HURSTWOOD, UCKFIELD

Courses In England

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