How Tall Are Horse Jockeys?

How Tall Are Horse Jockeys

Horse jockeys are often known for being shorter than average, but is this stereotype truthful, and if so, how tall are horse jockeys? As it turns out, there are legitimate reasons for horse jockeys to be shorter than the average person, and as such, it is true that they are often not very tall. Here, we will take a look at how tall the average horse jockey is and why their height and weight matter to their sport.

How Tall is the Average Horse Jockey?

It is commonly known that horse jockeys tend to be shorter than the average person, but not everyone knows why. Horse jockeys tend to be smaller in both height and weight because of the unique nature of their sport, which requires them to be as small and light as possible. On account of this, horse jockeys tend to have an average height that is shorter than most people. A male horse jockey tends to be between 4’10” and 5’6” in height. Meanwhile, female jockeys tend to be around 5’2”. 

Are Horse Jockeys Shorter Than Average People?

Horse jockeys do tend to be shorter than the average person as a result of their height and weight requirements. When examining the statistics for height and weight between jockeys and ordinary people, the average American male is approximately 5’9” and weighs 200 pounds. Meanwhile, the average male jockey is 5’2” and about 113 pounds. By contrast, the average American female is approximately 5’4” and 170 pounds, whereas the average female jockey is 5’2” and 107 pounds. 

What are the Height and Weight Requirements for Jockeys?

Many people wonder why horse jockeys tend to be shorter and lighter than average. The reason for this trend is because the sport of horse racing has very strict requirements regarding weight. Jockeys have to meet certain minimum weight standards because horses involved in horse racing are only permitted to carry certain amounts of weight during a race. Depending on the type of race being run, horses are required to weigh anywhere from 115-120 pounds, which includes not only the weight of the horse but of their tack, which consists of equipment such as the saddle, reins, bridle, and silks. 

In order to ensure that this ideal weight is met, a jockey must weigh themselves both prior to and after a race, with their gear and saddle in hand. The height and weight of a jockey matters because more weight and greater height can result in a horse running slower as a result of the added burden. Additionally, tall riders may have a harder time controlling their horses. As a result, most horse trainers prefer that jockeys weigh about the same as the required weight for their horses and tack, as this promotes better balance.


Though horse jockeys are known for their smaller size, their height and weight have a valuable purpose. Maintaining a proper weight, along with a shorter height, allows jockeys to ride better and gives their horses as much of an advantage on the racecourse as possible.