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|
|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|
|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.