How much do jockeys earn?

Notwithstanding the handful of elite jockeys who are paid a ‘retainer’ to ride for individual owners or trainers, the majority of jockeys are self-employed. Retainers are rarely, if ever, in the public domain; the most successful jockey in the history of National Hunt racing, A.P. McCoy, for example, reputedly received up to £1 million a year from Irish billionaire J.P. McManus, but the exact amount was never revealed.

Self-employed jockeys are paid riding fees on a ride-by-ride basis, at a fixed rate of £120.66, or £164.74, per ride, depending on whether they compete under Flat or National Hunt rules. Jockeys also receive a percentage of any prize-money their mounts earn – 3.5% of placed prize-money and 7-9% of winning prize-money – plus income from any approved sponsorship agreements. On the other hand, jockeys must also pay a host of deductions, to their agent, to their valet and to the Professional Jockeys’ Association (PJA), among others. Collectively, these deductions amount to roughly 25% of riding fees and 10% of prize-money.

In summary, at the top end of the profession, jockeys can earn hundreds of thousands, or even millions, of pounds a year. However, beyond the top echelon, annual earnings are likely to be much more modest; the average jockey can expect to earn in the region of £30,000 per annum, after tax and expenses, while an apprentice or conditional jockey could easily earn less than half that amount.

What Are the Funniest Names Ever Given to Racehorses?

There are many quirks and foibles that make horseracing the greatest sport on earth, and one of those is undoubtedly the freedom that owners and trainers have to bestow whacky and sometimes hilarious names on their horses.

While some are heartfelt homages to a deceased movie star or singer, others match perfectly with a horse’s personality or the landscapes it was reared and trained on.

However, the best – in our humble opinion – are those that have an element of the absurd about them. Here are some of the most fantastic racehorse names ever devised.

There is a long and rich history of giving horses crazy names

 

Arrrrr

This is undoubtedly one of the best, firstly for its simplicity, and secondly for how funny the name sounds when said on racing commentary.

Such was the case when in 2008 when Tom Durkin had to call the horse triumphing at Saratoga racecourse in New York state. The clip has since become a YouTube sensation, with Durkin screaming “arrrrr” like a deranged pirate.

 

Fiftyshadesofhay

When punters go in search of a horse to back they tend to follow a routine of checking the form guide, reading tips from trusted racing sources, and then often abandon all logic by just plumping for a horse with a catchy name.

For the punters who did that with this filly – named after a racy literary phenomenon – they came up smelling of roses, with the horse winning five of her twenty starts and bringing home over $1 million in prize money.

Given the chance, what would you call your very own racehorse?

 

Maythehorsebewithu

Another beautiful amalgamation of words here that make up something similar to the immortal phrase once muttered by a Jedi master to his young Padawan.

Star Wars fans were sold on the horse before it even started trotting out to the starting gates. The force was strong with this one too, because he managed to come fifth in the Melbourne Cup.

 

Passing Wind

There must be something in the air in New Zealand, because Maythehorsebewithu was bred there along with Passing Wind, the latter trumping the field on a few occasions during a long racing career.

Perhaps the horse’s name instilled such fear into its rivals – so that they never wanted to be trailing the flatulent gelding – meant he never quite bagged the amount of prize money his owners would have hoped for. Luckily for Passing Wind, farting is healthy and natural for horses, but try telling that to his stable hand.

Who, or what, was Foinavon?

Geographically, Foinavon, or strictly Foinaven, is a mountain in the Scottish Highlands. However, since 1984, the seventh and twenty-third fence on the Grand National Course has officially borne the name ‘Foinavon’ in remembrance of the Irish steeplechaser of the same name.

In 1967, Foinavon, the horse, lined up for the Grand National as a genuine 100/1 outsider. As the field approached the now infamous twenty-third fence – ironically, the smallest on the course at 4’6” high and 3’ wide – a riderless horse, Popham Down, ran down the fence, causing a mêlée. The one horse, other than Foinavon, that successfully cleared the fence at the first time of asking, Rondetto, unseated rider on landing, while the remainder of the field fell, unseated, were brought down or pulled-up. By contrast, Foinavon, ridden by John Buckingham, was pulled to the outside and managed to jump the fence cleanly.

Jumping the twenty-fourth fence, the Canal Turn, Foinavon held a 30-length lead and, while many of his rivals set off in vain pursuit, the nine-year-old maintained a sizeable advantage over the remaining obstacles. He eventually crossed the line 15 lengths ahead of his nearest rival to become the first triple-figure winner of the Grand National since Caughoo twenty years earlier.

Which was the last British racecourse to close permanently?

Notwithstanding the continued uncertainty surrounding Towcester Racecourse, following the appointment of administrators in August, 2018, and the subsequent sale of its assets to Fermor Land LLP, a company connected to Chairman, Lord Hesketh, the last British racecourse to close permanently was Folkestone. Formerly billed as ‘The Racecourse of Kent’, Folkestone Racecourse is situated in the village of Westenhanger, approximately eight miles west of Folkestone town centre, in the south-east of the county.

The racecourse was closed ‘temporarily’ by owners Arena Racing Company (ARC) in December, 2012, because it was ‘not a viable business’. However, the current landowner, Cozumel Estates, is working with Folkestone & Hythe District Council on a proposal to build a new garden town, Otterpool Park, with 10,000 homes, on Folkestone Racecourse, so the closure is almost certainly permanent, in all but name.

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