Jockey
Overview
 
A jockey is an athlete who rides horse
Horse
The horse is one of two extant subspecies of Equus ferus, or the wild horse. It is a single-hooved mammal belonging to the taxonomic family Equidae. The horse has evolved over the past 45 to 55 million years from a small multi-toed creature into the large, single-toed animal of today...

s in horse racing
Horse racing
Horse racing is an equestrian sport that has a long history. Archaeological records indicate that horse racing occurred in ancient Babylon, Syria, and Egypt. Both chariot and mounted horse racing were events in the ancient Greek Olympics by 648 BC...

 or steeplechase
Steeplechase (horse racing)
The steeplechase is a form of horse racing and derives its name from early races in which orientation of the course was by reference to a church steeple, jumping fences and ditches and generally traversing the many intervening obstacles in the countryside...

 racing, primarily as a profession. The word also applies to camel
Camel
A camel is an even-toed ungulate within the genus Camelus, bearing distinctive fatty deposits known as humps on its back. There are two species of camels: the dromedary or Arabian camel has a single hump, and the bactrian has two humps. Dromedaries are native to the dry desert areas of West Asia,...

 riders in camel racing
Camel racing
Camel racing is a popular sport in India, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Bahrain, Jordan, Qatar, United Arab Emirates, Oman, Australia, and Mongolia. Professional camel racing, like horse racing, is an event for betting and tourist attraction...

.
The word is by origin a diminutive of "jock", the Northern English
Northern England
Northern England, also known as the North of England, the North or the North Country, is a cultural region of England. It is not an official government region, but rather an informal amalgamation of counties. The southern extent of the region is roughly the River Trent, while the North is bordered...

 or Scots
Scottish people
The Scottish people , or Scots, are a nation and ethnic group native to Scotland. Historically they emerged from an amalgamation of the Picts and Gaels, incorporating neighbouring Britons to the south as well as invading Germanic peoples such as the Anglo-Saxons and the Norse.In modern use,...

 colloquial equivalent of the first name "John," which is also used generically for "boy, or fellow" (compare "Jack
Jack (name)
Jack is a male given name, although in very rare cases it can be used as a female given name, and sometimes as a surname.In English it is traditionally used as the diminutive form of the name John, though it is also often given as a proper name in its own right.The name Jack is unique in the...

", "Dick
Richard
The first or given name Richard derives from German, French, and English "ric" and "hard" , therefore it means 'powerful leader' as well as 'King's Court'...

"), at least since 1529. A familiar instance of the use of the word as a name is in "Jockey of Norfolk" in Shakespeare's Richard III.
Encyclopedia
A jockey is an athlete who rides horse
Horse
The horse is one of two extant subspecies of Equus ferus, or the wild horse. It is a single-hooved mammal belonging to the taxonomic family Equidae. The horse has evolved over the past 45 to 55 million years from a small multi-toed creature into the large, single-toed animal of today...

s in horse racing
Horse racing
Horse racing is an equestrian sport that has a long history. Archaeological records indicate that horse racing occurred in ancient Babylon, Syria, and Egypt. Both chariot and mounted horse racing were events in the ancient Greek Olympics by 648 BC...

 or steeplechase
Steeplechase (horse racing)
The steeplechase is a form of horse racing and derives its name from early races in which orientation of the course was by reference to a church steeple, jumping fences and ditches and generally traversing the many intervening obstacles in the countryside...

 racing, primarily as a profession. The word also applies to camel
Camel
A camel is an even-toed ungulate within the genus Camelus, bearing distinctive fatty deposits known as humps on its back. There are two species of camels: the dromedary or Arabian camel has a single hump, and the bactrian has two humps. Dromedaries are native to the dry desert areas of West Asia,...

 riders in camel racing
Camel racing
Camel racing is a popular sport in India, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Bahrain, Jordan, Qatar, United Arab Emirates, Oman, Australia, and Mongolia. Professional camel racing, like horse racing, is an event for betting and tourist attraction...

.

Etymology

The word is by origin a diminutive of "jock", the Northern English
Northern England
Northern England, also known as the North of England, the North or the North Country, is a cultural region of England. It is not an official government region, but rather an informal amalgamation of counties. The southern extent of the region is roughly the River Trent, while the North is bordered...

 or Scots
Scottish people
The Scottish people , or Scots, are a nation and ethnic group native to Scotland. Historically they emerged from an amalgamation of the Picts and Gaels, incorporating neighbouring Britons to the south as well as invading Germanic peoples such as the Anglo-Saxons and the Norse.In modern use,...

 colloquial equivalent of the first name "John," which is also used generically for "boy, or fellow" (compare "Jack
Jack (name)
Jack is a male given name, although in very rare cases it can be used as a female given name, and sometimes as a surname.In English it is traditionally used as the diminutive form of the name John, though it is also often given as a proper name in its own right.The name Jack is unique in the...

", "Dick
Richard
The first or given name Richard derives from German, French, and English "ric" and "hard" , therefore it means 'powerful leader' as well as 'King's Court'...

"), at least since 1529. A familiar instance of the use of the word as a name is in "Jockey of Norfolk" in Shakespeare's Richard III. v. 3, 304.

In the 16th and 17th centuries the word was applied to horse-dealers, postilion
Postilion
A postilion rider was the driver of a horse-drawn coach or post chaise, mounted on one of the drawing horses...

s, itinerant minstrel
Minstrel
A minstrel was a medieval European bard who performed songs whose lyrics told stories of distant places or of existing or imaginary historical events. Although minstrels created their own tales, often they would memorize and embellish the works of others. Frequently they were retained by royalty...

s and vagabonds, and thus frequently bore the meaning of a cunning trickster, a "sharp", whence the verb to jockey, "to outwit", or "to do" a person out of something. The current usage which means a person who rides a horse in races was first seen in 1670.

Physical characteristics

Jockeys must be light to ride at the weights which are assigned to their mounts. There are horse carrying weight limits, that are set by racing authorities. The Kentucky Derby, for example, has a weight limit of 126 lb (57.2 kg) including the jockey's equipment. The average weight for a jockey is around 115 lb (52.2 kg). Despite their light weight, they must be able to control a horse that is moving at 40 mph (64.4 km/h) and weighs 1200 lb (544.3 kg).

The role of the jockey

Jockeys are normally self employed
Self-employment
Self-employment is working for one's self.Self-employed people can also be referred to as a person who works for himself/herself instead of an employer, but drawing income from a trade or business that they operate personally....

, nominated by horse trainer
Horse trainer
In horse racing, a trainer prepares a horse for races, with responsibility for exercising it, getting it race-ready and determining which races it should enter...

s to ride their horses in races, for a fee (which is paid regardless of the prize money the horse earns for a race) and a cut of the purse winnings. In Australia, employment of apprentice jockeys is in terms of indenture to a master (a trainer); and there is a clear employee/employer relationship. When an apprentice jockey finishes his apprenticeship and becomes a "fully fledged jockey", the nature of their employment and insurance requirements change because they are regarded as "freelance", like contractors. Jockeys often cease their riding careers to take up other employment in racing, usually as trainers. In this way the apprenticeship system serves to induct young people into racing employment.

Jockeys usually start out when they are young, riding work in the morning for trainers, and entering the riding profession as an apprentice jockey. It is normally necessary for an apprentice jockey to ride a minimum of about 20 barrier trials successfully before being permitted to commence riding in races. An apprentice jockey is known as a "bug boy" because the asterisk that follows the name in the program looks like a bug. All jockeys must be licensed and usually are not permitted to bet on a race. An apprentice jockey has a master, who is a horse trainer, and also is allowed to "claim" weight off the horse's back (if a horse were to carry 58 kg, and the apprentice was able to claim 3 kg, the horse would only have to carry 55 kg on its back) in some races. This allowance is adjusted according to the number of winners that the apprentice has ridden. After a 4 year indentured apprenticeship, the apprentice becomes a senior jockey and would usually develop relationships with trainers and individual horses. Sometimes senior jockeys are paid a retainer by an owner which gives the owner the right to insist the jockey rides their horses in races.

Racing modeled on the English Jockey Club spread throughout the world with colonial expansion.

Racing colours

The colours worn by jockeys in races are the registered "colours" of the owner or trainer who employs them. The practice of horsemen wearing colours probably stems from medieval times when jousts were held between knights. However, the origins of racing colours of various patterns may have been influenced by racing held in Italian city communities since medieval times. Such traditional events are still held on town streets and are remarkable for furious riding and the colourful spectacle they offer.

Getting white breeches and bib, stock or cravat known as "silks" is a rite of passage when a jockey is first able to don silken pants and colours in their first race ride, and it has a parallel in how lawyers are spoken of as "taking silk". At one time silks were invariably made of silk, though now synthetics are sometimes used instead. Nevertheless, the silks and their colours are important symbols evoking emotions of loyalty and festivity.

Awards

Various awards are given annually by organizations affiliated with the sport of thoroughbred racing in countries throughout the world. They include:
  • United States
    United States
    The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

    • George Woolf Memorial Jockey Award
      George Woolf Memorial Jockey Award
      The George Woolf Memorial Jockey Award has been presented by Santa Anita Park in Arcadia, California, annually since 1950 to the thoroughbred horse racing jockey in North America who demonstrates high standards of personal and professional conduct, on and off the racetrack.The award was created...

    • Isaac Murphy Award
      Isaac Murphy Award
      The Isaac Murphy Award is an American honor presented annually since 1995 by the National Turf Writers Association of the United States to the thoroughbred horse racing jockey with the highest winning percentage who has ridden in a minimum of 500 races during the year...

  • United Kingdom
    United Kingdom
    The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern IrelandIn the United Kingdom and Dependencies, other languages have been officially recognised as legitimate autochthonous languages under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages...

    • BHB Champion Jockey Award
      British flat racing Champion Jockey
      The Champion Jockey of flat racing in Great Britain is the jockey who has ridden the most winning horses during a season. The list below shows the Champion Jockey and the number of winners for each year since 1840...


Risk factors

Horse racing is a sport where jockeys may incur permanent, debilitating, and even life-threatening injuries. Chief among them include concussion, bone fractures, arthritis, trampling, and paralysis. Jockey insurance premiums remain among the highest of all professional sports. Between 1993 and 1996, 6,545 injuries occurred during official races for an injury rate of 606 per 1,000 jockey years. In Australia race riding is regarded as being the second most deadly job, after offshore fishing. From 2002 to 2006 five deaths and 861 serious injuries were recorded.

Eating disorders (such as anorexia
Anorexia nervosa
Anorexia nervosa is an eating disorder characterized by refusal to maintain a healthy body weight and an obsessive fear of gaining weight. Although commonly called "anorexia", that term on its own denotes any symptomatic loss of appetite and is not strictly accurate...

) are also very common among jockeys, as the athletes face extreme pressure to maintain unusually low (and specific) weights for men, sometimes within a five pound (2.3 kg) margin. The bestselling historical novel Seabiscuit: An American Legend
Seabiscuit: An American Legend
Seabiscuit: An American Legend is a non-fiction book written by Laura Hillenbrand published in 2001 about the thoroughbred race horse, Seabiscuit. It won the William Hill Sports Book of the Year and was made into a feature film in 2003. It has also been published under the title: Seabiscuit - The...

chronicled the eating disorders of jockeys living in the first half of the Twentieth century. As in the cases of champion jockey Kieren Fallon
Kieren Fallon
Kieren Francis Fallon is a professional flat racing jockey and has been British Champion Jockey six times....

 and Robert Winston, the pressure to stay light has been blamed in part for jockeys suffering agonies of thirst from dehydration while racing. Sports Dietitians Australia warns:"Dehydration and energy depletion may compromise concentration and coordination."

Australia and New Zealand

During the 1850s amateur “ladies only” events were held in Victoria, Australia but women were not permitted to ride as professional jockeys or on professional tracks.

Although women jockeys were barred from riding at registered race meetings, in the mid-1900s Wilhemena Smith rode as Bill Smith at north Queensland
Queensland
Queensland is a state of Australia, occupying the north-eastern section of the mainland continent. It is bordered by the Northern Territory, South Australia and New South Wales to the west, south-west and south respectively. To the east, Queensland is bordered by the Coral Sea and Pacific Ocean...

 racecourses. She was nicknamed Bill Girlie Smith because she arrived on course with her riding gear on under her clothes and did not shower on course. It was only at the time of her death in 1975 that the racing world was officially told that Bill was really Wilhemena. Subsequent inquiries revealed that William Smith was actually a woman who had been born Wilhemena Smith in a Sydney hospital in 1886. In an era when women were clearly denied equality, she had become known as a successful jockey in Queensland country districts as 'Bill Smith'.

During the late 1960s restrictions against female trainers were lifted in Australia, but female jockeys were still confined to “ladies only” events, which were held on non-professional tracks.

The Victoria Racing Club
Victoria Racing Club
The Victoria Racing Club was founded in 1864. It was formed following the disbanding of the Victoria Turf Club and the Victoria Jockey Club. A legacy passed from the Victoria Turf Club was the annual “race that stops a nation”, the Melbourne Cup, which was first contested in 1861.From its...

 in 1974 permitted female jockeys to be registered for professional “ladies only” events.

In 1978 racing rules in New Zealand were amended to permit female jockeys.

In Australia Pam O’Neill and Linda Jones, in 1979, were the pioneers that forced jockey club officials to grant women the right to compete on an equal footing in registered races against men. They were unquestionably the first women jockeys to be licensed to ride in the metropolitan areas of Australia. Previously women had been riding against men in Australia at the unregistered “all-height” meetings. Pam created a world record for any jockey, male or female, when she rode a treble at Southport on her first day’s riding.
Australia's top woman jockey, Bev Buckingham, became the first female jockey in the Southern Hemisphere
Southern Hemisphere
The Southern Hemisphere is the part of Earth that lies south of the equator. The word hemisphere literally means 'half ball' or "half sphere"...

 to win 1,000 races. In 1998, in a fall at the Elwick Racecourse (Hobart), she broke her neck. She was confined to a wheelchair but regained her strength and mobility and was able to walk again without assistance.

In 2004-05 Clare Lindop won the Adelaide jockeys’ premiership and became the first women to win a metropolitan jockeys’ premiership on mainland Australia.

Lisa Cropp won the 2006 New Zealand jockeys’ premiership for the second consecutive season.

In 2005, Andrea Leek became the first woman to ride the winner of the Grand National Hurdle (4,300 m) at Flemington when she won aboard Team Heritage.

Women today account for 17% of jockeys in Victoria. But, they receive only 10% of the rides, and are often overlooked in favour of male jockeys, especially in the cities.

In some regions of Australia about half of the apprentice jockey intakes are female.

United Kingdom

The first decade of the 21st century has seen the profile of female jockeys rise considerably in UK Flat racing. In 2005 Hayley Turner
Hayley Turner
Hayley Turner is a professional jockey based in the United Kingdom. She was born on 3 January 1983.Turner is widely considered to be the first woman to achieve a sustained, day-in, day-out, successful career as a professional jockey in the UK...

 became Champion Apprentice rider, before becoming the first female to ride 100 winners in a UK season in 2008. Also in 2008, Kirsty Milczarek
Kirsty Milczarek
Kirsty Milczarek is a professional jockey, riding in thoroughbred horse races. She is of Polish descent but was born in the UK, where she is based in Newmarket.-Riding career:...

 became the first woman to ride three winners at a single UK race meeting, at Kempton in February. Kirsty Milczarek
Kirsty Milczarek
Kirsty Milczarek is a professional jockey, riding in thoroughbred horse races. She is of Polish descent but was born in the UK, where she is based in Newmarket.-Riding career:...

 rode 71 winners that year. This period has seen the total number of female jockeys in UK Flat racing rise significantly. This change has not applied in National Hunt racing, though amateur riders Nina Carberry
Nina Carberry
Nina Carberry is an Irish female National Hunt jockey. She hails from a racing family and is the daughter of jockey Tommy Carberry. In 2011 she won the Irish Grand National on Organisedconfusion which was trained by her uncle Arthur Moore and became only the second woman rider to win the race...

 and Katie Walsh (sister of Ruby Walsh
Ruby Walsh
Ruby Walsh is the reigning Irish National Hunt champion jockey. He is the second child, and eldest son, of former champion amateur jockey Ted Walsh and his wife Helen.-Success:...

) have gained success in Ireland and ridden winners at the Cheltenham Festival
Cheltenham Festival
The Cheltenham Festival is one of the most prestigious meetings in the National Hunt racing calendar in the United Kingdom, and has race prize money second only to the Grand National...

.

United States

In 1969, Diane Crump was the first female rider ever registered to ride in a Thoroughbred race in the United States. This event was at the recently closed Hialeah Park Race Track
Hialeah Park Race Track
The Hialeah Park Race Track is a historic site in Hialeah, Florida. Its site covers 40 square blocks of central-east side Hialeah from Palm Avenue east to East 4th Avenue, and from East 22nd Street on the south to East 32nd Street on the north. On March 5, 1979, it was added to the U.S...

 in Florida
Florida
Florida is a state in the southeastern United States, located on the nation's Atlantic and Gulf coasts. It is bordered to the west by the Gulf of Mexico, to the north by Alabama and Georgia and to the east by the Atlantic Ocean. With a population of 18,801,310 as measured by the 2010 census, it...

. Others soon followed suit and American women jockeys have proved their ability with Mary Doser winning six races on a card at Great Lakes Downs and at least four others riding more than 1,000 winners each.

Robot jockeys

To replace child jockeys whose use had been deplored by human rights organizations, a camel race
Camel racing
Camel racing is a popular sport in India, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Bahrain, Jordan, Qatar, United Arab Emirates, Oman, Australia, and Mongolia. Professional camel racing, like horse racing, is an event for betting and tourist attraction...

 in Doha, Qatar for the first time featured robots at the reins
Robot jockey
A robot jockey is commonly used on camels in camel racing as a replacement for human jockeys. Developed since 2004, the robotic jockeys are slowly phasing out the use of human jockeys, which in the case of camel racing in Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, United Arab Emirates, and Qatar, often employs small...

. On July 13, 2005, workers fixed robotic jockeys on the backs of seven camels and raced the machine-mounted animals around a track. Operators controlled the jockeys remotely, signalling them to pull their reins and prod the camels with whips.

See also

  • List of jockeys
  • U.S. National Museum of Racing and Hall of Fame
    National Museum of Racing and Hall of Fame
    The National Museum of Racing and Hall of Fame was founded in 1950 in Saratoga Springs, New York, to honor the achievements of American thoroughbred race horses, jockeys, and trainers...

  • Thoroughbred horse racing

External links

The source of this article is wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.  The text of this article is licensed under the GFDL.
 
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