How much do jockeys make?

How much do jockeys make? According to an estimate jockeys earn an amount of about $52,737 each year. The amount earned by a jockey depends upon his expertise as well as the class in which he played. To be a jockey one must possess excellent skills and should be highly patient, motivated, courageous and adventurous so that he could meet up with the challenges of the competition.

How much do jockeys make?

:heart: Every year, it is estimated that horse jockeys earn a total amount of approximately $52,737.

This amount earned by a horse jockey depends on their class in which they are included while participating in a race, the number of races in which they take part, and the place they occupy while being a member of the race.

Jockeys may earn an estimated amount of $28,000 to $184,000 or even more than this amount for just one race only.

A person needs to be patient, dedicated, passionate, skillful and should have an expertise in order to be a jockey.

There are a good number of jockeys who occupy a winning share of almost 20% which means that they are better able to earn a handsome amount of money under the occupied share in most of their competitions.


Jockeys earn an approximate amount of $52,737 every single year. This amount depends upon the competition and their level of expertise otherwise; it could be lower than this amount.

The essentials of being a jockey:

A person requires an expertise of riding a horse by sitting at its back if he or she wishes to be a successful jockey.

Most of the time people join the jockey training school or earn an apprenticeship in order to attain a good experience in racing the horses.

1. Who else can join the jockey training school?

A person should have his/her diploma from high school or an equivalent GED in order to take admission in a jockey training school.

Apart from GED or high school diploma a person should have an experience in horse riding as well to attend a jockey training school; otherwise he or she would not be acceptable to take classes in a jockey training school.

The North American Racing Academy is one of the leading institutions in United States in their level of training they provide to become a good jockey.

The North American Racing Academy provides a reasonable and good amount of courses with limited seats which can be availed by highly passionate people who have a keen desire in learning the horse riding.

Whether students attend a jockey training school or attain an apprenticeship, they are better able to learn all the essentials of being a successful jockey during the time they undergo their training.

People who have a strong body, are more competitive and adventurous in nature, they are better able to suit their own self with all the requirements they have to go through for being a successful racer.

It is only to this extent that a person should be physically strong in order to become a jockey, but it also demands a proper strategy which is to be implemented in the plan of attending the jockey training.

After the time a person has attended his/her jockey training school or has attained an apprenticeship with good experience in horse riding, he is well-capable to gain his/her license as a jockey.

People who have reached an age limit of 18 years or above are eligible to take admission in a jockey training school.

An average weight limit for being a jockey is almost 108 to 118 pounds. Although jockeys usually don’t have any height limit to stand within, most of them are found to be within 4’8’’ to 5’6’’ tall.

It is important for every jockey to keep himself fit, both mentally and physically, so that he could better compete with the requirements of being a successful jockey.

The career in which a jockey practices his work most often demands his presence from earlier in the mornings till late at nights.

He has to work hard 24 hours of the day to keep his performance exceptionally well and up to the mark so that he could gain more expertise. Travelling is the most basic part of a jockey’s career.

His work requires him to visit different places so that he could better know the essentials of each and every tour.

Jockeys, who have a senior rank, are more likely to take part in tourism than their junior ones to be more friendly and known to different places and their key advantages.

The career of being a jockey is more adventurous in a way that it is more exposed to different kinds of injuries through which a jockey goes through while practicing his field and sometimes in later competitions as well.

What is the salary at initial levels of a jockey?

When a person starts his career as a jockey, his salary at the initial level is set to be around $10,049.

This is the estimated amount given to a jockey at the start of his career and increases from this amount later on as soon as he steps down in the field and attains more experience.

As with every career, the profession of jockey demands his experience and takes time till he could rise and prove himself for the senior levels of jockey, and hence the salary increases with the up rise.

Jockeys who are just in the beginning of their career or qualifying the most initial levels are asked to compete in claiming or maiden races.

A maiden race basically involves a horse or horses which haven’t yet qualifies any of the race competition and are examined at just their initial level to check whether they could compete or not.

On the other side, a claiming horse is the one which has been examined initially and are the best competitors to be selected for the horse racing competition.

These horses in a claiming race are sold at their fixed prices to the jockeys who are taking part in a horse-riding competition.

Claiming races are the most common of all the races as they actually involve jockeys competing with each other on their best horses.

Races which offer allowances are more likely to be played by jockeys who have a much higher expertise in their fields.

An allowance race is the one which is higher in its level than the claiming race but is less competitive than the graded stakes. A graded race is the one which is most competitive in its nature than other kinds of races.

Jockeys who are more experienced than others or occupy the senior levels in their categories are more likely to go for the graded races than the allowance races or any other type of race.

Graded races have further division as being a Grade I, Grade II, or Grade III, and so on. These races have their quality that they offer more money than other types of races.

Jockeys who take part in graded races and qualify the race receive more money than taking part in any other race and qualifying for it.

Salary of senior-level jockeys:

There are only a few numbers of jockeys among all, who actually have the potential to move their self up in the top earning people. These top ranking jockeys earn an estimated amount of nearly $271,427 rupees each year.

Among these top-ranking jockeys there are a few people who have a much larger potential than the others and stretch their earnings beyond $2 million rupees in a year.

For a jockey, to make himself being included among the top-ranking jockeys, it demands a high expertise in his field and great talent which he has to showcase.

Jockeys who actually become millionaire through their career performance and hard work are few in number; others actually earn money which is sufficient just to make their living possible.

Jockeys who are listed in the top-ranking people are more likely to compete with others in allowance races and graded stakes.

This is because these races require high expertise as they offer a large amount of money for the person who actually wins the race.

If a jockey takes part in a grade I race, and wins the competition he is awarded with a lot of money which is not as much in the other races as a whole.

There are more than hundred graded races included in the part I in United States and these part I races offer a winning amount of more than 4800,000 rupees just for one racing competition.

How much amount does a jockey get for a single race?

The amount of money generated by a horse jockey when he takes part in a race competition depends upon the money which is set to be awarded to the winning candidate.

When a jockey wins the competition, he is given the 10% share of his money from the actual owner of the horse which was used by the jockey in the race.

For example, if a racing competition offers a winning amount of $100,000 rupees, 60% from this winning amount would go to the owner whose horse has actually participated in the race competition and won it.

So, it would become $60,000 which would actually be given to the owner of the horse. The jockey, who was riding the horse in the racing competition and won it, would receive an amount of $6,000 rupees.

The above instance was about the races which are actually included in the graded stakes or are at much larger scale. Often, races are not made at this larger scale and include small scale races.

For these small-scale races, the winning amount is set to be $10,000 rupees or less than thus amount.

This implies that when a jockey takes part in a small scale race, which is often the most widely played race, the jockey would be able to earn an amount of around $600 only which would hardly meet with his financial requirements.

This is why most of the jockeys earn a smaller amount which hardly fulfills their domestic needs. Only those jockeys who are proficient enough and have much higher talent than the others can make a larger amount of money and thereby become millionaire.

The actual amount of a horse racing competition goes towards the owner whose horse has participated in the competition and won the race.

Second and third-placement earnings of a jockey:

When jockeys play in second and third place in a racing competition they usually receive 5-10 % of the winning amount which goes towards the horse owner.

If a jockey plays in a second-place position in a competition, the owner of the horse used by the jockey in the competition receives an amount of twenty percent which is set for the winner.

When a jockeys plays as a third-place player in the competition, the owner of the horse receives an amount of ten percent which is set for the winner.

So, it can be analyzed that if a racing competition offers a winning amount of $100,000 rupees, the horse which is included in the second position would give its owner $20,000 rupees.

Correspondingly, the jockey who is holding the horse places in a second position would receive an amount in between $1,000 to $2,000.

The horse placed in a third position will give its owner $10,000 rupees and the jockey holding this horse would receive an amount in between $500 to $1,000 rupees.

Mount fees is awarded to each and every jockey who participates in a horse-racing competition. Mount fees is not same for every jockey as it depends upon the tract used by a jockey and his placement in the competition.

Usually, mount fees are in the range of $75 to $135 for a single race.

How much money does Kentucky Derby offers?

Among the most famous races held in the United States, Kentucky Derby comes at the top. In the United States, horses are actually prepared for this demanding competition.

When the time comes, among all the best horses, twenty are selected to go for the Kentucky Derby competition. The competition is named as ‘The Run for the Roses’.

The Kentucky Derby competition being most demanded and high-ranked competition in the whole United States offers an amount of $3 million rupees for the winner.

In the Kentucky Derby competition, the horse which wins the race is given 62% of the awarded amount which comes out to be $1.8 million rupees. The jockey who rides the winning horse receives an amount of $186,000 rupees.

The second and third placed horses in a Kentucky Derby racing competition are given the five percent of the amount which is earned by their horses, which comes out to be $600,000 and $300,000 for both the placements, respectively.

The jockey who plays at the second placement in the Kentucky Derby racing competition wins an amount of $21,000 rupees while the one who plays at the third position receives an amount of $10,500 rupees.

The horse placed at the fourth position receives an amount of $100,000 rupees while the one placed at the fifth position receives an amount of $60,000 rupees.

The fourth placed horse gives its jockey an amount of $7,000 rupees while the fifth placed horse returns an amount of $4,200 rupees to its jockey.

Other riders who take part in a Kentucky Derby racing competition are much likely to be awarded a few hundred dollars only.

Most successful jockeys in the world:

Jockey’s Name Belongs to Earnings Speciality More information
1. Yutaka Take From Japan 83.8 billion yen/649.8 million Pounds Involves in public Married to singer Rayoko Sano, in the year 1995
2. John Velazquez From America $406,464,317 Among the top-most jockeys in United States 33,350 rides and 6,089 wins
3. Javier Castellano Maracaibo Venezuela $332,410,325 Earned the most winning amounts from 2013-16 Moved to United States in the year 1997
4. Christophe Lemaire French Jockey 209,623,954 Pounds Broke Take’s wins record in the years 2017 and 2018 with his excellent 215 wins Did riding in both the countries, Japan and France
5. Bill Shoemaker American jockey $123,375,524 Raced from the years 1994 till 1990 Over 40,000 rides
6. Frankie Dettori Italian jockey Over 147.4 million Pounds ridden in the United States, Ireland Dubai, , Hong Kong, Europe Japan, and many other countries Worked with his companion Sheikh Muhammad for more than 20 years of life
7. Ryan Moore From England 125,456,518 Pounds Has the honor to be the only rider who earned over 8 million Pounds in a single season held in Britain. Mostly rides those horses which are owned by Coolmore Stud.
8. Fred Archer From United Kingdom Expected to have earned almost 10,000 Pounds in a year Considered as the most renowned jockey of 19th century In a tragic situation, he took his own life at the age of 29
9. Sir Gordon Richards From United Kingdom Earned almost 10,000 Pounds in a single year Remained champion 26 times Rode from the year 1921 till 1954
  • John R. Velazquez** **has made a record to be the world’s highest paid jockey up till now with a worth $439,231,021 rupees he earned so far.

:arrow_right: Velazquez began his career as a jockey in the year 1990 after taking classes from an institution in Puerto Rico. He was talented enough, had an expertise in horse-riding which made him to record his name among the highest paid jockeys up till now.

:arrow_right: Up till now, Velazquez has participated in more than 34,000 race competitions out of which he has won more than 6,300 at the starting level.

:arrow_right: Velazquez’s high level proficiency in his career has made him to win the Kentucky Derby race competition four times while he won the Belmont Stakes competition two times.

Moreover, Velazquez has excelled in 18 Breeders’ Cup race competitions and some other stakes of the Grade 1 racing level.

  • The second most well-known personality who has made a record in the field of horse racing is Javier Castellano. Javier Castellano has earned a total amount of $360,048,076 rupees.

  • The third name among the top winning horse-riders is Mike E. Smith who is a triple winner and has a worth of $335,757,413 up till now.

  • The fourth name who has earned a considerable amount of money through his career as horse-riders is Pat Day. Pat Day has earned an amount of $297,914,839 from his career as a jockey.

  • Among the highest paid horse riders, the fifth name is occupied by Jerry D. Bailey who has a total earned amount of $296,113,529.

The most well-known jockey in history:

Among the most popular and well-known jockeys who have struggled throughout their career and earned a good amount of money there comes the name of Eddie Acaro who has earned an amount of $2.2 million rupees in his long career of 25 years.

This earned amount equals to $30,000,000 rupees when converted in today’s currency value.

He has a remarkable position of being included in the foremost jockeys who have crossed the highest mark of earnings in their whole career due to their extreme passion, and utmost desire of achieving the highest levels of proficiency.

Today, there are only a considerable percentage of jockeys who are working in Canada and the United States. Among these jockeys, there are only a few people who have reached the level of excellence in their career by making a good amount of money.

The career of being a jockey is the most demanding career in today’s world as it pays a person beyond his expectations.

The condition is only that a person has to take keen interest if he opts for this career, has to show his skills, talent, and a desire of learning more so that he could take the real advantage of this career.

People who think to go for this career but they don’t want to do much struggle would definitely end up earning an amount which would hardly meet their domestic needs.

To be a jockey of professional level one must has to show patience, constant struggle, should be adventurous, brave and courageous.

People who don’t have the courage to face difficult and challenging situations are not eligible for this position as it demands a high will power and most importantly a high courage.

A jockey has to get through the dangers of horse-riding which a courageous person can only excel.

People who professionally adopt this career really enjoy the horse-riding after they have passed the initial levels of this career as it not only provides them a good worth but also makes their career enjoyable.


The horse-riding competition is divided into different levels which a jockey could opt to play. Each level offers a different winning amount which is often much higher for some, than the others. In order to generate more money a jockey must have to possess excellent skills so that he could go for the best level of the game.

:pencil2: Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs):

People ask a number of questions related to the earnings of a jockey. Some of the most commonly asked questions and their answers are given below:

1. Who has earned the most money as a jockey up till now?

Irad Ortiz Jr. has earned the most money in his career as a jockey up till now.

In the latest estimate as per 2020, Irad Ortiz has recorded his name among the top most paid jockey of 2020, leaving all others behind.

He made a record by riding over 1,260 mounts in which he won more than 300 times and earned a large amount of more than $21 million rupees, which is the highest of all recorded amounts up till now.

As per 2020’s estimate, it is known that the average amount of money earned by a single Blood Horse by the top-most 100 jockeys is about $3.5 million rupees in the whole United States.

2. If a jockey wins the race, how much approximate amount does he/she generate?

In the Kentucky Derby racing Competition, the winning jockey is set to get 10% share of the winning amount.

This implies that in the current year, the winning jockey would get $186,000 rupees. This amount could definitely be changed depending upon the latest decisions taken by the racing authorities.

As far as share of a jockey is concerned, out of the total winning amount a jockey gets his estimate share and the rest goes to the actual owner of the horse who has participated in the racing competition.

3. In each of his ride, how much money does a jockey generate?

As per jockey’s earning of each ride is concerned there is a fixed rule for it that a jockey who has participated in the competition would receive 7% of the winning amount while the one who played in the placement position would acquire 3% of the amount fixed for the placement position.

Jockeys who participate in the jump receive almost 9% of the total winning amount and 4% of the amount set for the placement position.

4. Name the world’s richest trainer of horse.

Bob Baffert

The total Net worth $30 Million
His profession An actor, Trainer of horses

Bob Baffert is the richest trainer of horses throughout the world.

His name is written as a symbol of extreme courage, bravery, passion and the most important of all is his patience with hard-work which enabled him to be the most well-known and richest horse-trainer throughout the world.

In all the race prizes, Bob baffert initially earned just 1 million dollars in a long time period of 12 years. However, he didn’t lose hope and kept on struggling.

His hard-work later paid him off when in the year 1992 he achieved 1 million dollars just for a single race competition.

These were only his struggles which he made to become a leading trainer of horses and preparing them for the race competitions. His horse paid him back what he deserved out to be.

He won the Best-racing Cup which is his major achievement.

5. Are jockeys allowed to talk during a race competition?

Yes! Jockeys are allowed and do talk to each other while a race is going on. The most well-known jockey Greville Starkey used to imitate like a dog in order to put off his opponent’s mount.

6. What is an estimated amount which horse trainers get?

In the United States, an average income or amount generated by a horse trainer is $29,658 for a single year or $14.26 in just one hour.

7. Is there any weight limit for a jockey?

Yes, a jockey has to keep himself physically fit so that he could go for a race.

The weight which most jockeys have is in between 108 and 118 lbs., which in kg., is around 49 to 54 approximately.

Apart from their own weight a jockey must possess energy to handle his horse which is moving at a high speed of 60 kilometres in an hour or 40 mph and weighs around 540 kilograms or 1,190.5 lb.

Although jockey don’t usually have any height limit but they mostly have a short height due to their weight limitations.

8. Who is the highest owner of horses in the world?

According to 2006 estimate, United States is the world’s top-most owner of horses with around 9.5 million horses.

This estimate came out from the report of Global Horse Population from United States’ Food and Agriculture sector.

9. Are jockeys allowed to hit each other?

No, jockeys aren’t allowed to hit one another as it is against the rules of the racing competition.

If a jockey does so, he is expelled from the race. If accidentally some jockey hits another than he’s not expelled.

In case of accident situations, jockeys may hit one another but that is totally a case of accident not by their own will.

10. Why do jockeys stand upright while riding a horse?

By keeping their bodies a little upright, jockeys are better able to keep their balance. Also, it helps their horse to maintain the speed.

Jockeys try their selves to keep them in upright position as it lowers the burden on their horse and it could run faster.

Jockeys try to give their horse as less burden as much possible so that it could run as much faster as it is possible to do.


Jockeys are people who participate in the horse-riding competition so that they could earn a good amount by winning the competition.

Jockeys must possess great expertise in horse-riding, should have the attributes of patience, courage, motivation, challenging, and hard-working so that they could match the requirements of competition.

A horse-riding competition is divided into different levels. Each level offers a different winning amount.

To attain a higher winning amount, a jockey has top select good level. To be selected in a good level, a jockey must show excellent skills.

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Horse Jockey Salary Information - National Average

What does a horse jockey get paid? A jockey is a person who competes in horse racing for a living. Jockeys are typically self-employed, and horse trainers and owners pay them to race their horses in exchange for a fee and a share of the purse earnings.

Pay information for horse jockeys

When a jockey is young, he or she will begin as an apprentice jockey, riding horses for the trainers in the morning. Before being authorized to ride in races, he or she must complete a minimum of 20 barrier trials. For flat racing, a jockey’s weight typically varies from 108 to 118 pounds, yet despite their modest weight, they must be able to control a horse weighing 1200-1400 pounds.


The horse racing industry would be incomplete without jockeys. These are the riders who take part in all of the races.

A jockey uses knowledge and racing tactics to steer the horse through the race. The jockey must ensure that the horse’s rhythm is not broken, that it is encouraged to race faster, and that he does not fall off! The average race is just 90 seconds long.

The jockey meets with the horse’s trainer after the race. They talk about how the race went and how they can better for the next one. Riding is a potentially hazardous activity. Every year, there are 2,500 injuries and two fatalities on average. The biker wears a flak jacket and a helmet for some protection. The horse’s owner is known as “Silks.”

The Derby’s dark side: Jockeys are the most injured, underpaid pro athletes

In every professional sport, jockeys are the lowest-paid and most seriously wounded sportsmen.
They ride thoroughbreds that reach speeds of over 40 mph, which implies paralysis and even death are not unusual.

Many jockeys will receive as low as $28 for riding in a race, despite the great dangers they incur and the amazing amount of money involved in the sport of horse racing.

Riders in the Kentucky Derby, the sport’s most prestigious race, will be paid extra on Saturday. However, unless they place in the top five, they will only receive around $500. The Preakness and Belmont, the next two legs of racing’s Triple Crown, may see riders walk away with as little as $100.



The Tour de France is the sport’s most polished and prestigious production, the shining jewel in its crown. Every year, it is televised to countless millions of people all around the world. It’s a combination of the World Cup, Eurovision Song Contest, and Grand Final in cycling.

But does a large worldwide audience imply a large reward pool?

It all depends on how you view it.

The entire prize fund for the 2021 Tour de France is €2,228,450 (US$2,642,340 / AU$3,516,770), which is roughly €60,000 less than the previous two editions.

That is a substantial sum for mere mortals like you and me. However, in comparison to other major sports, the prize money is somewhat low. Take, for example,

Do Jockeys Matter in Horse Races?

Calvin Borel, who won the Kentucky Derby with Mine That Bird, will ride Rachel Alexandra in the Preakness Stakes on Saturday.

Mine That Bird will be ridden by Mike Smith, another jockey. Does it make a difference which jockey is on which horse?

Yes, but only a fans joke that the jockey is responsible for 10% of a horse’s performance on any given day. While not scientific, it goes to the heart of a jockey’s job: he can’t help a bad horse win, but he can help a good horse win. The best jockeys are aware of an animal’s advantages and disadvantages. Some horses prefer to remain in the background.

What Does a Jockey Do?

When it comes to being a jockey, there’s more to it than meets the eye. Did you know, for example, that they earn an average of $21.19 per hour? That works up to $44,066 each year!

Between 2018 and 2028, the career is predicted to rise by 6%, resulting in 800 employment openings across the United States.

What is the Role of a Jockey?

Many jockeys possess certain abilities that enable them to carry out their duties. We were able to narrow down the most prevalent abilities for someone in this position by looking through resumes. We observed that stamina, teamwork, and hand-eye coordination were all mentioned on a lot of resumes.

When it comes to the most critical talents needed to be a jockey, we discovered that many resumes fall short.


A PRIZE STEED can bring in a significant amount of money each year. What’s the jockey’s opinion? That’s a different kind of horse.

Even America’s highest-paid blue-ribbon riders receive only 10% of what an owner receives. (For example, the Dubai World Cup has a $10 million purse; a first-place horse’s owner receives 60% of the prize money, or $6 million, while the jockey receives $600,000.) Second and third place jockeys receive 5% of the owner’s share, which drops to 20% and 10% for second and third, respectively, and the numbers drop off swiftly after that.

The finest jockeys compensate for their lack of experience by riding in as many as seven or eight races per day. They don’t usually have sponsors because advertising restrictions vary around the world.

Please explain how jockeys are compensated in your country. Please include the monetary compensation amount or percentage for riding fees, as well as the proportion of the purse distribution, if applicable. Please specify how much, if any, each rider contributes to benefits and/or the jockey association out of these payments.

The total cost is $143.65 plus GST and 5% of the prize money. The Jockeys Association receives $1.50 per ride from jockeys and 0.75c from apprentices.

Please let us know if your country has a system of socialized medicine. If not, please detail the health care that is offered to riders and who is responsible for paying for it.

No, not aside from what NZTR provides.