How much are jockeys paid?
As in other walks of life, how, and how much, jockeys are paid depends on whether they are employed, or ‘retained’, by an owner or trainer or self-employed. The vast majority of jockeys, Flat and National Hunt, are self-employed and, as such, are paid on a fixed-rate, ride-by-ride basis. They do, of course, receive a fixed percentage of win and place prize-money, alongside sponsorship income, if applicable. However, jockeys also have expenditure, not least travel, taxes and deductions, paid to agents, valets, the Professional Jockeys’ Association and Weatherbys among others, to consider.
According to the ‘Racing Post’, average earnings for jockeys under both codes are around £30,000 a year, although apprentice and conditional jockeys earn substantially less. Since July, 2020, apprentice jockeys split their riding fee and prize money 80/20 or 90/10 with the trainer concerned, while conditional jockeys receive 100% of riding fees and prize money; both apprentice and conditional jockeys are responsible for full expenses. While the majority of jockeys are modestly paid, at the apex of the profession, world-class jockeys can be paid six or seven-figure salaries, including sponsorship deals and retainer fees, the details of which remain private.