Jockeys: Pound for pound the best weight watchers

When describing the dangers of being a jockey, the line "the only job where an ambulance follows you around at work" is often trotted out.

But race falls aren't the only occupational hazard inherent in race riding - is there any other type of athlete who competes when they are physically at their worst?

Sure, boxers might crash diet a couple of days before their fight for a weigh-in, but have the relative luxury of loading up on carbohydrates and fluids for 24 hours before a bout so they end up bouncing into the ring looking and feeling like Popeye.

Jockeys head on to their field of play, often not having eaten for a day or more, and having already pushed the limits of human endurance to get down to the required weight.

On Saturday, Gerald Mosse was fined HK$5,000 for weighing in two pounds over the allotted 120 pounds on Chancellor, who won by the narrowest of margins and saved the Frenchman a much larger penalty and possible suspension had he been beaten.

A litre of water weighs less than two pounds and a quick sip of fluids was the likely culprit for Mosse - and it a thirst-quencher that is usually to blame for most jockeys who come in a pound or two over their allocated weight.

Sports scientist John O'Reilly is studying the affects of jockeys' diets - part of a PhD with the Chinese University of Hong Kong focusing on the rehydration of athletes in extreme conditions. Jockeys will be fitted with heart-rate monitors and sweat patches to find out more about what happens to their bodies when competing.

Read More


comments powered by Disqus

Older Comments about Jockeys: Pound for pound the best weight watchers...

Agree, hands and also shoulders can give it away. And yes Hawley is a very great guy. A huge plus in the sport.
An older guy told Sandy Hawley he looked at the hands and after viewing his, told him he knew he would be able to make the weight. Almost still can....Nice guy
Read about "natural lights" as opposed to those with any muscle-mesomorphs etc. The naturals have an easier time of it, like Ramon, Johnny V, Emma Jane Wilson for instance said it's of little concern, must be her natural weight range.
Steve Valdez same thing
Like Cauthen, who went to Europe?
Great case in point was a rider I saw before he came to national and international prominance 1991'S Mickey Walls. I sat with his parents on the plane to the first Breeder's Cup at Hollywood. A gifted rider who, as he reached maturity, could not make the weight. The list of Eclipse awary apprentices are littered with these cases.
Every year we hear of a new flavor of the month young whippersnapper with all guts , not great skills, come to the attention of the sports writers, ONLY to find they are still growing and after a short time can no longer make the weight.
My lacks of understanding or URR's?
your lack of understanding as regards the profession astounds me.
It's not worth talking sense to travel_vic, if you're not agreeing you're not right.
I know but I know if i worked out I could be really strong am already am pretty strong because I am in shape so it wouldn't be very hard for me to get to jockey style.. and I wouldn't have to vomit to be small enough.
Easy job? Ever shake hands with these little giants? You could not match a tenth of their strength
If you call upchucking, laxative dependence, and duretic abuse great physical maneuvers, NOT to mention the electrolyte imbalance sweating off several pounds a day can create...HEALTHY lifestyle for sure!
Well I am only 5' 1" and weigh maybe 100 pounds so this would be an easy job for me but... too risky!

Top Stories