Jockeys are well-known for their short stature, but actually, how short are they?
We will explore how tall are jockeys and see why size matters in the world of horse racing.
So get on the saddle and prepare for a ride.
What Is a Horse Jockey?
A horse jockey is a professional athlete who rides horses in a steeplechase and/or horse racing. In the United Kingdom, there are two types of jockeys, Apprentice jockeys for Flat racing, and Conditional jockeys for Jump racing.
Jockeys are usually chosen by the horse’s trainer for races and are paid a jock mount fee, which is a fee for each horse they ride. Aside from the fee, jockeys receive a percentage of the prize based on where they finish.
To achieve the best results, the jockey must be physically fit and understand how to use his strength to make the horses run as fast as possible. Having a strategy is also essential.
Did you know that the first time female jockeys were allowed to race against men was in 1972 when Meriel Tufnell became Britain’s first female rider to win an official horse race?
How Tall are Horse Jockeys?
There are no requirements when it comes to jockeys’ height, and the average Flat jockey stands between 1.47 and 1.67 metres.
But, despite the fact that there are no height requirements, why are the most famous horse jockeys so short? Jockeys are typically shorter because they must adhere to extremely strict weight requirements and are weighted in and weighted out of each horse race.
According to the most recent research on horse jockey height in the UK, we can see an increasing trend of Flat jockeys reaching an average height of 1.66 metres.
As for the conditional jockeys, the average height of a jockey in National Hunt races is consistent, ranging between 1.72 and 1.75 metres.
Conditional jockeys are taller than flat jockeys, which is due to the fact they require more strength to control their mounts and resistance to complete longer Jump field races.
Related: Best horse racing systems
How Much Does a Horse Jockey Weigh?
Before each horse race, jockeys are weighed. The jockeys’ weight, as well as the weight of their saddle and kit, must be within the weight limits.
Professional jockeys are athletes who face strict weight restrictions to qualify the horses and compete. Every jockey must weigh less than the maximum of 69.85 kg with the kit.
However, there are weight differences between apprentice jockeys and conditional jockeys.
A conditional jockey competing in the National Hunt in the United Kingdom weighs between 64.3 kg and 66.2 kg on average.
The weight of the average flat jockey is less than that of the conditional jockey. Flat Jockeys in the United Kingdom weigh between 55.7 kg and 56.2 kg on average.
Some jockeys follow a strict diet of no more than 1,500 calories per day to stay within the weight limits. Also, using saunas and steam rooms before races helps jockeys lose weight.
To be a successful jockey, whether male or female, you must be able to ride and control a horse much bigger than you.
Jockeys are not only gifted athletes, but they are also excellent communicators with their horses. By understanding the anatomy and physiology of horses, jockeys can better compete in races and win more often.
And while jockeys come in a variety of heights, we can conclude that most of them are on the shorter side.
How tall is the tallest jockey?
Manute Bol holds the record for the tallest jockey height in horse racing history, standing at 2.31 metres. Jack Andrews, the current English jockey, has the highest standing at 1.93 metres.
How do jockeys stay so small?
Because they must stay within weight limits, most professional horse riders are small. Although jockeys cannot control their height, they use various methods to lose weight, such as diets and saunas.
Do jockeys have a height limit?
As we mentioned in our guide on how tall are jockeys, there are no height restrictions in horse races. Therefore, they are typically very short in order to meet the weight requirements.