Some experts say that the horse is only half of the equation and that in order to have a winning horse there must be good trainer and a great jockey. Two of our favorite jockeys of all time are Laffit Pincay and Bill Shoemaker- with Pincay being the winningest jockey of all time.
They put life and limb at risk so that we can enjoy the hair-raising excitement and glamour of horse racing. Managing body weight and training with their noble steeds calls for the highest standards of discipline and sacrifice. Moving from one track to another throughout each horse racing season, these intrepid riders live an almost nomadic life just to serve the pleasure of punters, bookmakers and owners. Few vocations can demand the kind of the mental skills and physical agility that is routine for even mediocre jockeys, to say nothing of the best, whose legendary exploits are the stuff of bookies folklore.
Not everyone can become a jockey in the world of horse racing. Most enthusiasts never make the grade at all, and some who do, have short careers. So, what are the qualities of an ideal rider? A compact body frame is the first requirement, because we cannot have people with large body dimensions astride in a closely fought competition. Riders in horse racing must be master strategists, crafting plans and redrawing them during every second of a race. Most spend weeks figuring out how to deal with the competition, but are always flexible to respond in the blink of an eye when the situation in a race so demands. Above all, jockeys must have empathy with the horses they ride, knowing when to use the whip, and communicating sometimes much better than even with humans! The best riders are known to build extremely close bonds with the horses they race. Their role in horse racing is incomparable.
The Jockeys' Guild is a typical body of members of this profession of the brave. Most high-profile and professional US jockeys are members of the guild, which looks after the common interests of its members. Similar bodies operate wherever horse racing has a major following. Help for riders injured in horse racing accidents is a prime concern for bodies such as the Jockeys' Guild. Health insurance cover is a bone of contention between riders and race track administrators, and bodies such as the Jockeys' Guild are often the only recourse for the riders.
Every horse racing enthusiast has his or her favorite jockeys. Many punters make their sport betting decisions based on riders, and this also applies to betting odds set by bookmakers. We at www.horseracing.com pay special tribute to Laffit Pincay and Bill Shoemaker, two classic riders whose names evoke admiration and respect throughout the world of horse racing. Pincay, who is almost 60 years old, has won almost 10 thousand races. Shoemaker passed away a few years ago, but his bravery and cunning will remain stamped on the world of horse racing for ever.
We would love to hear from you about jockeys you follow and admire most. You will find useful information on all aspects of the Sport of Kings on this website, and you can use our feedback form to let us know if there more detailed information that you would like on any aspect of horse racing.