Jockey Apprenticeship

Jockey Apprenticeship

You would ride horses to win races for the owners while entertaining people on the racetrack and television.

To win, you must be an exceptional horse rider with passion and determination.

Horse trainers could hire you to race one of their horses. You may race on a level track (one with no obstacles) or over jumps and ditches (National Hunt racing). You’d either specialise in flat or jump racing, but you’d be able to participate in both.


Throughout your apprenticeship, you may help:

  • plan racing strategies with the owner and trainer
  • ride one or more horses
  • keep up a fitness regime at home or in the gym
  • travel to and ride at race tracks around the UK or possibly overseas
  • watch race replays and review your performance.


  • The average salary in the UK for a jockey is £67,080 but it’s variable depending on the client that hires you.

Working hours

You would work around 44 to 46 hours a week, depending on the number of races you take part in, often involving early starts and late finishes.

Working environment

You could work at a race track or at a riding stable.

Your working environment may be physically demanding and you’ll travel often.


The first step toward a racing apprenticeship is to apply for a residential foundation course. These are designed to establish if you have the potential to succeed and whether this is something you want to do.

The residential programme lasts 14 to 18 weeks and includes horse care and riding, as well as health and safety. The National Horseracing College and the British Racing School provide training.

If you do well, you can be hired to work in a racing stable and start an intermediate apprenticeship as an equine groom. Following that, you would begin a senior horse groom advanced apprenticeship.

Entry requirements

You can apply if you’re aged 16 or over and work at least 16 hours a week in a licensed racing stable.

There are no qualification requirements. You’ll study English and maths if you do not have GCSEs in those subjects.


On a jockey apprenticeship, you’ll learn:

  • to be thorough and pay attention to detail
  • ambition and a desire to succeed
  • persistence and determination
  • physical skills like movement, coordination, dexterity and grace
  • the ability to accept criticism and work well under pressure
  • physical fitness and endurance
  • leadership skills
  • patience and the ability to remain calm in stressful situations
  • to be able to carry out basic tasks on a computer or hand-held device.

Career path and progression

You could work for one or several trainers or owners as a self-employed jockey.

You could go on to work for stables in countries like Dubai, Japan and the USA.

Updated on January 2, 2023

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