Horse races have been held since time immemorial and in many countries it is a popular form of sports betting. Of course, the horse was also the only means of transportation in earlier times and this was widely used. Many people could also ride horses in order to move from one place to another.
Horse racing has been popular for a very long time, so we have made a list of famous jockeys through time.
History of horse racing
First, a little about the history of horse racing so you know a little more about it and why it was and still is so popular. As far back as centuries before Christ, horses were tamed in order to be able to ride them. This was useful but also fun to do. In the ancient Roman Empire and among the Ancient Greeks, horse races were already popular but the races as we know them today have their origins in the 12th century.
The sport of the English
Then came the time when the English crusaders returned from their conquests and in the process they brought Arabs with them. These stallions they crossed with English breeds to breed fast horses that were suitable for racing and had long endurance. This became very popular to do and in 1750 the Jockey Club was founded where famous riders could join and compete in horse racing.
Introduction of the sport to the United States
In the 17th century, the English colonists who moved to the United States also brought horses there and introduced horse racing. Racing was recognized as a sport in 1868, which meant a huge increase in the number of racetracks. To make the sport legal and have fewer ties to crime, the American Jockey Club was founded in 1894.
In this country, the sport has always been extremely popular and still is. It also became increasingly popular in other countries. Billions are being spent in the sport when it comes to betting on horses. This is not surprising because if you choose well, you can win a lot.
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Laffit A. Pincay Jr.
There have been many famous jockeys over the centuries. We’ve made a top five of them so you know who were really famous and infamous in this world. The first jockey we mention is Laffit A. Pincay Jr. This rider was born in Panama in 1946 and began his career there.
When he was discovered by the breeder Fred W. Hooper, the latter brought him to the USA where he was able to prove that he was one of the best riders in the world and also of all times. He won almost every race in his career including some very prestigious ones. He is still mentioned every year as an honorary member during the Hollywood Gold Cup Day.
Number 2 in the list is William (Bill) Shoemaker. This jockey was born in 1931 but was very small at the time and weighed only one pound. No one expected him to make it to the next morning but he succeeded and even lived to be almost 70 years old. Shoemaker became a famous jockey not only because of his riding skills but also because he was only 1 meter 49 small, remarkably small of course but this did not exactly hamper his riding, rather it was a great advantage. He managed to win many important races in his career and he captured the title of United States Champion Jockey five times.
The next jockey is Lester Piggot. He was born in the United Kingdom in 1935. He is also known as “the long fellow” because he is 5 feet 7 inches tall. This is not even that big but compared to most jockeys he is very tall. He did compete in races until he was 60 years old and became the youngest jockey ever to win more than 100 races in a season. He wrote several prestigious races to his name (several times in fact), both in the UK and abroad and is still known as one of the most famous jockeys of all time.
Jerry D. Bailey
As the fourth jockey, we mention Jerry D. Bailey. Born in 1957 in the United States, he began his professional career in 1974 when he immediately won a major race. He also rode a lot on international races which he managed to win all of them, some of them even multiple times. He was also determinedly successful domestically. He is known not only as a jockey but also as the one who makes it possible for riders to wear advertisements and promote sponsor brands. This way the riders themselves can earn a little more with good sponsors. In 1995 he became an official member of the United States Racing Hall of Fame. He won the award for most outstanding jockey seven times and did not leave the sport after riding as he became a commentator at the races.
As the last jockey in the line we mention Russell Blaze. He started riding races as a sixteen year old and managed to win a huge number of them in his career. There are probably only more to come because he is still competing. The American’s talent stood out at an early age and he was inducted into the United States Racing Hall of Fame in 1999. This was not exactly his last award as he managed to win more after that and more are sure to follow.