Weight of Jockeys affecting speed


Jockeys are small men and women whose weight averages around 116 pounds.[1] An average thoroughbred is 1,000 pounds meaning that with the jockey and tack, which is around 10 pounds, the horse only needs to carry 126 pounds.[1] According to Rubin Boxer’s “Analysis of Thoroughbred Racing”, for an 8 furlong (1 mile) race, every loss or gain in weight of 1.8 pounds will effect the horse’s race time by 0.2 seconds.[2]

116- (1.8 X 2)= 116- 3.6= 112.4

So if a jockey is 112.4 he/she will be .4 seconds faster.


Because weight affects race times, many jockeys use harmful tactics to lose weight. There are even “heaving bowls”, a bowl where jockeys can throw up before a race, at most racetracks. Jockeys will often use sweat suits, saunas, and starvation to keep their weight down [4]. Horse racing is a very dangerous sport, not only do the jockeys risk their lives riding at fast speeds but they also use unhealthy methods to lose weight which in the end negatively affects their health.


Works Cited:

[1]: Boxer, Rubin. “Engineering Analysis of Thoroughbred Racing.” Revelation Software (n.d.): n. pag. Print.

[2]: “Thoroughbred.” Thoroughbred. N.p., n.d. Web. 05 Mar. 2016.

[3] Boxer, Rubin. “Engineering Analysis of Thoroughbred Racing.”

[4] McKenzie, Sheena. “A Weighty Issue: Hidden World of Jockey Heaving Bowls.” CNN. Cable News Network, n.d. Web. 09 Mar. 2016.

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