- The term 'Jockey' is the diminutive of 'Jock' which is the Scottish and Northern English take on the English first name 'John'. However, it meant a great many things until it came to signify the riders of race horses. Minstrels, horse dealers, vagabonds and postilions were referred to as jockeys; the word turned to a term for tricksters and conmen, it even got its own verb 'to jockey' which meant to outwit someone or clean them out, until it finally was applied to the riders in 1670.
- The maximum weight for a Flat racing jockey is 52.5 kg (116lbs, 8stone 4lbs), the weight requirement for the Jump jockeys is a little more generous at a maximum of 62 kg (136lbs, 9stone 10lbs). In the United States the requirements are a little stricter, setting the ideal weight at 2 kg or 3 - 4 lbs lighter than the European jockeys. Due to these restrictions jockeys keep a disciplined diet limiting their food-intake to almost nothing. The lightest jockey currently on record is Giovanni Porte of Italy at an estimated 40.0 kg.
- During a single race day a jockey can ride up to twelve races on as many different horses. This forces them to acquire a deep understanding of the animals and an ability to read their moods and movements in a matter of moments in order to guarantee a safe ride.
- The top speed jockey can reach on a mount is an estimated 40 mph. This means that the jockey is facing an enormous challenge simply staying seated, let alone stirring the horse through a frenzied pack of competitors. Most horse racing accidents are due to a slip of concentration of the rider, rather than the inability of the animal.
- Jockeys are not allowed to race a horse they own or have a share in. They are literally hands for hire and open to the highest bidder ; unless they occupy one of the few and sought-after positions of stable jockey to a trainer. The stable jockey gets a break from the gruelling freelance lifestyle and is guaranteed races and occasionally fixed salaries in addition to the winnings (however, a jockey on a salary is a true rarity).
- If a jockey wins a race, he is entitled to 5% of the prize money. Unless the competition is a major race with an excessive purse, the jockey stands to earn not much more than a lucky punter might with the right tip. If the jockey does not make it first across the line, he is only paid a so called 'riding fee' or 'mounting fee', which is often less than $100.