Do you earn MORE than a professional Jockey? The astonishing earnings of professional jockeys across the UK revealed… and the results will shock you

  • New study highlights the hard life of Professional jockeys in the UK
  • The average wage for a flat jockey (including prize money) is just £26,193 – over £1,000 LESS than the UK average salary
  • Teachers, NHS Nurses, Prison Officers and Estate Agents all earn more
  • Despite the vast riches in the sport, the average winning prize money for a flat jockey is just £9,648.54 per year

Given the ludicrously high salaries of professional footballers, golfers, tennis players and boxers, you would assume that the skilled riders in the Sport of Kings would take home at least a decent pay cheque every month.

But that’s where you’d be wrong, as according to the latest figures produced by myracing.com, the average UK jockey pockets just £26,193 per year. That’s over one thousand pounds LESS than the average wage across the whole of the United Kingdom.

Jockeys earn their money primarily through riding fees, which equate to £120.66 per race entry (for flat riders).The more races they enter, the more they’ll earn.

However with deductions for agents, the PJA union and Valet fees, they’ll be lucky to keep 80% of that. It’s not even as if winning presents a lucrative bonus, either – as while the owner of the winning Horse receives 49.6% of the total prize money, jockeys only earn a measly 4.33% – an astonishing 91% less.

In raw figures, over the course of a year, the total winning prize money for flat turf jockeys amounts to just £9,648.54 – For simply turning up to the recently finished Australian Open, players won £28,100!

Myracing.com found the average jockey enters 167 races per year, roughly one race every 2 days.When you factor in the travel to and from racecourses the length and breadth of the country (which Great British Racing estimates to be over 70,000 miles per year), you can see how their salary will quickly be eaten up by travel and accommodation costs.

Here’s how the top earning Jockey for 2017* compared to fellow elite athletes:

Name Sport 2017 earnings (excluding sponsorships) – GBP % comparison to top earning Jockey
Cristiano Ronaldo Football £40,845,070.42 14888% more
Lewis Hamilton F1 £26,760,563.38 9720% more
LeBron James Basketball £21,971,830.99 7963% more
Conor McGregor MMA £19,014,084.51 6877% more
Rory McIlroy Golf £11,267,605.63 4035% more
Roger Federer Tennis £4,225,352.11 1450% more
Virat Kohli Cricket £2,112,676.06 675% more
Ryan Moore* Horse racing £272,516.02

*Includes riding fees and first place prize money only, not 2nd and 3rd placed position earnings.

And here’s how the flat jockeys industry average earnings compare to more traditional day jobs:

Occupation and rank Earnings
1. Brokers £133,677
2. Chief executives and senior officials £107,703
3. Aircraft pilots and flight engineers £90,146
19. Estate Agents £44,423
33. Higher education teaching professionals £40,054
78. Medical and dental technicians £26,440
79. Nurses £26,252
80. Flat Turf Jockeys £26,193
81. Occupational therapists £26,037
82. Police community support officers £26,012
83. Graphic designers £25,952
UK average salary £27,271

Considering the sports high risks of injury and death, you’ve got to hand it to the Jockeys, they definitely work hard for their money.

This article was brought to you by Racing Ahead magazine, UK and Ireland's best-selling horse racing monthly magazine. Previewing the key races for the month ahead, as well as reports from our trusted scouts on the track, Racing Ahead is packed with interviews, big-race tips, horses to follow, systems and much more!
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