Top 6 Richest Horse Jockeys
Horse racing is one the of the world’s oldest and most popular sports, going back to the Ancient Roman tradition of chariot racing. Accordingly, the jockeys who take on the dangerous task of riding in races have often been compensated lavishly for reaching the pinnacle of success on the track. Read on to find out which jockeys are the richest of all time!
Who Are the Richest Horse Jockeys of All Time?
- Yutaka Take
- Norihiro Yokoyama
- Masayoshi Ebina
- Yuichi Fukunaga
- John Velazquez
- Yoshitomi Shibata
1. Yutaka Take
Yutaka Take is a Japanese jockey whose career earnings are reported to be $796 million USD. He was born in Kyoto, Japan, and made his professional debut in 1987. A prolific rider not only in his home country, but also around the world, Yutaka Take has won over 4,000 races in total. He is still active and continues to rack up wins, pushing his net worth even higher. Not only does he enjoy great fame and fortune from horse racing, but he is also married to celebrity Ryoko Sano, which adds considerably to his marketing and media notability.
2. Norihiro Yokoyama
The second-highest career earner of all time is Norihiro Yokoyama, whose total earnings add up to $561 million USD, and who also races primarily in Japan. Born in Miho, Japan, in 1968, Yokoyama has won over 2,800 races in his career. He won the Japan Tenno Sho (Emperor’s Prize) race in 2009. Norihiro is part of an incredible family line of jockeys; his father, Tomio, also won the 1969 Tenno Sho, and his son Takeshi was victorious in 2021. Both Norihiro and his son Takeshi are still active racers and are two of the top jockeys in Japan.
3. Masayoshi Ebina
Masayoshi Ebina, another Japanese racer, is the third-highest career earner of all time, with total winnings amounting to $479 million USD. A native of Sapporo, Japan, he has won over 2,500 races in his long career. He is most well known for winning the Japan Cup in 1998 aboard “El Condor Pasa.” Additionally, he won the Tenno Sho four times, in Autumn 1996 and Spring 2002, 2013, and 2014. Ebina has also had some success racing in France, where he won the Grand Prix de Saint-Cloud, also aboard “El Condor Pasa”. However, he has mainly stuck to racing in his home country, where prizes are generally larger.
4. Yuichi Fukunaga
Yuichi Fukunaga, hailing from Ritto, Japan, is the fourth-highest earner of all time, having accumulated $479 million USD. He retired in February 2022 after racking up 2,410 career wins. Not only a racer in Japan, he also has major wins in Hong Kong, Dubai, and the United States, where he won the 2005 American Oaks Invitational Stakes aboard “Cesario.” In Japan, he is a two-time Tenno Sho champion, in Autumn 2013 and Spring 2021. Now that he has retired from jockeying, he plans to begin a new career as a horse trainer. He is also married to Japanese TV star Midori Matsuo.
5. John Velazquez
John Velazquez is the highest-earning jockey of all time in America, having amassed about $430 million USD in earnings throughout his long career. Born in Puerto Rico in 1971, he moved to New York City in 1990. Since then, he has won over 6,000 races all over America, including an incredible six wins in one day at Saratoga in 2001. He has also been victorious in three Kentucky Derbies (2011, 2017, and 2020), as well as the 2007 and 2012 Breeder’s Cups. These were the most lucrative of his wins, and catapulted him to the top spot among jockeys racing in America.
6. Yoshitomi Shibata
Yoshitomi Shibata, from Tohoku, Japan, is the sixth-highest all-time earner among jockeys, with $416 million USD in earnings. He has won nearly 3,000 races in total. Competing almost entirely in Japan, he is a two-time Tenno Sho winner, in Autumn 1993 and 1998. He holds the record for the oldest jockey to win a top-flight race in Japan. A member of a notable racing family, his uncle Masato Shibata was also a very successful jockey in Japan. He is also a recipient of a Yellow Ribbon Medal, awarded by the Japanese government to individuals considered to be public role models.
A native of Venezuela, Javier Castellano has been a fixture on the American racing circuit since 1997. He has won over 5,300 races, his career earnings total over $350M, and he was the number-one money winner in America each year from 2013-2016. He began racing in his home country in 1996, and moved up to Florida just a year later to compete. Since that time, he has been a regular rider competing in the New York State circuit of races as well as across the country. He is also a two-time Preakness Stakes winner (2006 and 2017), which were his highest-earning wins.