Being a jockey is hard work. The training is intense, raw and long. As an athlete, you need to be constantly on top of your physical condition to stay in peak racing form. You career won’t span a lifetime and you may suffer injuries along the way. It’s not all bad though as it can be one of the most rewarding experiences of a lifetime. You can travel, form some great relationships and be part of a winning team.
Did you know female jockeys only make up a third of all jockeys and as little as 10% get race starts? So let’s celebrate the few that have defied all odds and are in that very small 10% which gives them the title of Famous Female Jockeys.
With over 3700 wins during her racing career, Julie is most notable for being the first female jockey to win the Triple Crown race at Belmont Stakes in 1991. She is recognised in the thoroughbred racing hall of fame and retired twice. Retiring for the first time in 1999 Julie focussed on commentating. The love for the race had her returning to the saddle to race in 2002.
Rosemary trails Julie with the second highest wins for a female jockey. With over 2,700 wins and still competing Rosemary has shown that you are never ready to retire really. Having been inducted into the Calder Race Course Hall of Fame in 2006 Rosemary shows that even after retiring twice from the saddle that it is a part of her DNA. Raised in a house with parents as jockeys it is no surprise that she took that career path.
Coming in third in total with over 2,000 wins Tami is no shrinking violet. During this time, she also took out time to have and raise three children. That is no small feat. Still yet to retire Tammi will continue doing what she loves and race for as long as possible. Having spent over 27 years riding Tammi shows that commitment creates success.
Being a jockey let alone a female one is taxing on both the body and the mind; it is a hard business. Most jockeys are self-employed and always hopeful of being sought out by winning owners and trainers. They train daily with sometimes several horses not only in race conditions but also physical exercise. Jockeys are required to hold a license with the appropriate Racing Body. To become a fully-fledged jockey, you must serve an apprenticeship of up to three years.
The weight of jockeys is one of the most scrutinized areas. In general jockeys are required to keep their weight between 108-118 lbs(49-59kgs). Jockeys are usually not so tall, as it helps in keeping their weight down. There is no escaping the danger involved in this sport. Breaks, spills and tumbles are all part of a jockeys life. This level of injuries is water off a ducks back to most experienced jockeys. It’s the concussion and sometimes death while racing that is the sad reality of this exhilarating, adrenaline-pumping sport. These women and countless others jockeying around the world are all making history in a male-dominated sport and opening up the pathway for new up and coming female jockeys.
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