Jockeys are professionals hired by horse trainers to ride their horses in races. They earn their living by receiving a fee paid regardless of the prize money earned by a horse during a race. Jockeys also receive a percentage of their horse’s purse winnings. There is a lot of pressure on jockeys to be lightweight (100-120 lbs) and physically fit to excel.
One of the biggest bones of contention in the horse racing world is the role a jockey plays in winning a race. Some believe that good horses make good jockeys, but it is critical to note that a great jockey cannot make a slow horse run any faster. Others also believe that a jockey has as little as 5% influence on a horse’s performance, while some believe their influence on the result is as strong as 75%.
The truth is that jockey choice is a top factor but great jockeys need great horses to compete at the highest level. Indeed, the pairing of an excellent jockey and a high-quality horse is a match made in heaven, like Ruby Walsh and Hurricane Fly. Jockeys compete fiercely against one another at events, so many racing fans wonder how they relate to each other. Here are some insights into what the relationship between competing jockeys is like.
1. Personality Differences
Legendary female jockey Katie Walsh, speaking to West Ham players Jarrod Bowen, Aaron Cresswell, and Mark Noble in a Betway interview, reviewed that jockeys have different personalities that affect their interpersonal relationships. According to her, some jockeys are naturally extroverted and talkative, while others are quiet and reserved. Therefore, it’s safe to assume that the more outgoing jockeys find it easier to engage one another compared to their introverted counterparts.
2. A Slightly Better Atmosphere in the Men’s Changing Room
Male and female jockeys compete at events, so there are naturally two changing rooms for both genders. Katie Walsh reveals that the women’s changing room always had few ladies since there were always more male competitors at these events. She recalls her active riding years and how the only ladies in the changing room throughout her career were Nina Carberry, Rachel Blackmore, Lizzie Kelly, and a handful more. She admits that although the atmosphere in the ladies’ changing room is good, it pales in comparison to the men’s changing room. However, this is because there are more male jockeys than female jockeys.
Horse racing is an individual sport, but the jockeys race each other pretty often and spend a lot of time with each another. Therefore, jockeys are largely supportive of one another, although on-track competition is intense.
4. Things Can Get Heated But Remain Professional
Horse racing is a cut-throat activity, and the best jockeys must seize winning opportunities to prevail. Things can get very awkward since you will have to share a locker room with a fierce competitor even after an intense battle on the racecourse. Therefore, there are some exchanges in the locker room and occasional petty grudges. However, all jockeys realize it’s just part of the job, and they are professional enough to get over them quickly before the next event.