Have you ever wondered what it is like to ride some of the fastest horses in the world in front of thousands of screaming fans? There are just a few women who know what this is like. Women jockeys make up less than 10% of all jockeys in the US according to the Jockeys’ Guild.
Before we meet some female jockeys, we need to understand what it takes to be a jockey. To be a jockey one needs to enjoy working with horses. Physically a jockey should be of light build and athletic, with a good sense of balance. It certainly helps to have steady nerves and be highly competitive. Depending on the type of race and horse, age and weight limits generally apply for jockeys. There is also extensive education & training for a jockey. To become a jockey, you usually have to complete an apprenticeship or traineeship.
A jockey’s time is usually split between early morning trackwork and riding at race meetings. Apprentice jockeys often live at the stables and may initially be required to perform the same work as stable hands. Jockeys must pay careful attention to diet and exercise, as they have to keep their weight down. Lastly, to work as a jockey, you must be licensed. In the United States, the Jockeys’ Guild advocates for safe working conditions, bargains collectively for its members, and provides disability benefits and life insurance.
So, what does it take to become a jockey? Most jockeys receive instructions from trainers and owners before races. They ride horses during exercises, race trials and races. They need to judge the abilities of each horse and the best tactics to use to win each race. It is important for a jockey to report anything that may have affected the horse’s performance in a race to stewards and other racing authorities. They also study videotapes of races to improve their own performance and to determine the best way to ride certain horses, after discussion with the trainer. In addition, jockeys must maintain their own riding equipment, including saddles and boots, maintain a high degree of expertise in horse riding and attend regular practice sessions to maintain the required standard of fitness.
These ladies know that is like. Let’s meet some female jockeys.