Why Limit Yourself? Average Jockey Height & Weight

Anyone who has ever attended a horse race can certainly recognize jockeys quickly

However, it is impossible to measure their precise height and weight unless you meet one up close

Typically, these characteristics will vary slightly, depending on the breed of horse they are riding and the type of horse race

However, it is possible to determine average jockey height and weight in most cases

The strict limitations on size exist for many reasons, but the health of the horse is decisive in this case

Table of ContentsWhy Does Jockey Size Matter?Weight Limits for JockeysHeight Limits for JockeysExtreme Methods Jockeys Take to Stay SmallOther RequirementsSummary

Why is jockey size important?

Jockeys must follow strict weight requirements to compete in horse racing

As you can guess, the height and weight of the jockey are directly related to the health of a horse

In other words, carrying a heavier jockey can significantly affect the animal’s ability to compete in future races

Before each race, the commissioners calculate how much weight each horse can carry

That is a so-called assigned horse weight

Racehorse trainers always choose jockeys whose weight is closest to the allotted weight to maximize the chances of winning

The more weight a horse carries, the less chance it has of coming in first place

Average jockey height and weight

Average body size

Female jockey

Although there is no limitation in the professional racehorse industry regarding jockey height, short jockeys are generally more popular

Most trainers feel that more weight in a smaller body suits the horse better

It is also believed that shorter jockeys have better control over the horse during horse racing

So, you will see that trainers often opt for the shorter of the two jockeys when they have two of them that weigh the same available

Although the regulations do not specify this size, it is rare to see a jockey taller than 68 inches (173 m)

Weight limit for jockeys

Two factors determine weight limits for jockeys

The first is the size of the horse and how much weight the individual animal can carry

The second depends on the type of horse

Racing type

The key is to accelerate the speed as quickly as possible for flat races, making it more comfortable for shorter and lighter jockeys

On the other hand, jumping races require additional strength and endurance when controlling the horse

This race type requires larger and heavier jockeys, who weigh an average of 108 to 118 pounds (49 – 535 kg)

Note that some horse races have special requirements regarding the size of the jockey

For example, their weight limit in the Kentucky Derby is 119 pounds (54 kg)

After adding the tack weight, it comes to 126 pounds (57 kg)

In Great Britain, jockeys competing in flat races must conform to the minimum weight limit of 112 pounds (51 kg)

However, National Hunt jockeys are not allowed to weigh more than 140 pounds (64 kg)

Weight control in horse racing

Although most racehorses carry around 118 to 122 pounds (53 – 55 kg), it is necessary to add equipment weight

That’s one of the reasons why weight guidelines are so strict in horse racing

Nowadays, all jockeys are weighed both before and after the race

It also includes the equipment weight

The organizers give small lead weights if a jockey weighs less than the set minimum and add them to the saddle

They will offset the weight to balance the competition

Finally, the jockeys also have to check their weight again after the race

Since it is impossible to accurately measure the horse’s weight during the race, it is acceptable for the jockey’s weight to vary by 4 pounds (2 kg)

Height limit for jockeys

As I mentioned, while weight limits are a big deal in horseracing, there are no height limits

However, this does not mean that you will find jockeys of all sizes

On the contrary, most jockeys are on average 58 to 67 inches (147 – 170 m) tall

In both the US and the UK, the average jockey height is 69 inches (175 m)

In other words, most professionals are shorter than the average man

As I mentioned, shorter jockeys meet the strict weight requirements more easily

Taller jockeys can reduce the weight until they meet the requirements of racehorse trainers

Unfortunately, it will probably affect their health negatively in most cases

Jump racing is a better alternative for taller jockeys because of the less stringent weight requirements

Tall jockeys typically weigh more, so they have the added stamina for this type of horse racing

As usual, there are always exceptions to the rule, so you will find some successful jockeys much higher than their competitors

He is 79 inches (2 m) tall, which is a very unexpected and atypical height for this profession

The late professional Australian jockey, Stuart Brown, was 74 inches (188 m) tall

Since he died young at the age of 43, there has been much speculation that his weight problems were one of the reasons for such a short lifespan

The most famous and successful jockey of all time was Bruce Hobbs

This incredible man was 73 inches (185 m) tall

Extreme methods jockeys take to stay small

Jockeys have rigorous diets and often follow extreme weight loss routines to maintain the required weight and remain competitive in the sport

Sometimes jockeys take strict measures to keep the weight within the required limits

It is not uncommon to meet those who use specific methods to stunt their growth

Unfortunately, such decisions often lead to significant health problems in the future

The most famous extreme methods that jockeys can use include:

Many professional jockeys skip meals if they feel their weight is a problem in a particular horse race

This is especially the case in the few days before big and famous races that bring in large sums of money

In this case, the diet depends on the jockeys themselves

Some eat less than usual, others skip the whole meal

Diuretics are an increasing problem in horse racing

Jockeys often use pills to get water out of their bodies and thereby lose water weight

Unfortunately, diuretics affect other mineral levels in the human body

As a result, frequent use will negatively affect their health in the long run

Flipping is one of the unhealthiest methods jockeys use

They force themselves to vomit before a race to lose weight

You can no longer find these bowls, but the habit of vomiting a few hours before a race is still popular among professional jockeys

Professional jockeys are often compared to freelancers because they are constantly changing horses and clubs

They also always have to advertise to various organizations and horse owners

The body and size of the jockey are their primary characteristics

As athletes, they have to take very good care of their bodies like any professional in other sports

Therefore, professional jockeys follow rigorous diets and workout regimens to stay in good shape and meet weight requirements

They only need a high school diploma to participate

Being a professional jockey is not an easy job and requires a lot of discipline, endurance, athleticism and mental strength

Plus, jockeys must regularly maintain their weight to meet the strict limits set by the race commissioners

If jockeys do not meet the weight requirements, they cannot participate in competitions

Unfortunately, some methods of keeping weight under control often lead to serious health problems

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