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Everything to know about becoming a jockey
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Everything to know about becoming a jockey
on 24 August 2021
To become a jockey you need more than a dream, you need passion and determination

If the racehorse trainer defines the development strategy in racing, the jockey is the tactician. He or she often has a much closer contact with the horse than the trainer.

So it follow that punters who want to back winners need to pay attention to which jockeys are on which horses before placing their bets and going to check the latest horse racing results here

If the jockey rides the horse every day, they will knows that horse's character and understand their moods and behaviours.

In Ireland the Racing Academy and Centre of Education runs the world renowned trainee jockey course. It started in 1977 and among the graduates are champion flat and jump jockeys who have won just about every major race around the world.

WHAT'S INVOLVED?

Horse racing is about winning and more than most sports it’s about the dream of winning. To become a jockey you need more than a dream, you need passion and determination, but most of all you need a solid foundation.

A jockey is a professional athlete, just like a professional soccer player or a professional rugby player. Having talent is just the beginning; forging a long-term career takes time and a lot of training. Professional athletes are highly trained physically and mentally from a young age to prepare them to deal with all the challenges they face over the course of a career.

The trainee jockey course is a 42-week residential programme based in Kildare from Monday to Friday. Successful participants receive a QQI (formerly FETEC) Level 4 Major Award on the National Framework of Qualifications.

Immediately upon graduation students are prepared for a full-time job as an exercise rider and the prospect of a career a jockey. For those students who demonstrate high levels of riding skills and commitment the Racing Academy provides assistance with their preparations to apply for their apprentice or conditional jockey licence.

Most students on this course are aged between 16 and 18 years. The general requirement is that students must be 16 years old by the 1st of September on the year they wish to start this course. Exceptions may be made for applicants who turn 16 years before the 31st of December on the year their course begins. Applicants who are over 18 years may also apply.

Candidates must be under 9st (57kg).

Horse riding experience is not essential, but candidates must complete a suitability test. Anyone applying for this course without previous riding experience will be required to demonstrate a high level of determination and motivation to succeed and a strong wiliness to apply themselves to every aspect of this course.

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