The history of horse racing is interlaced with the success of famous jockeys. However, their achievement is extremely subjective. There are many methods to evaluate who was the greatest ever horse jockey without deciding the issue. You can check out current events by looking at the race cards tomorrow.
Prize money is one way to evaluate famous jockeys. You may also look at the amount and quality of horse races won.
There’s also the issue of job longevity and international success in major events. Stunning partnerships with renowned racehorses are also part of this profession. Comparing jockeys from different periods and cultures is never easy. Our top four jockeys ever are listed below.
1. Bill Shoemaker
Bill Shoemaker, who may well be the finest jockey ever, also holds records for most US Triple Crown victories (11) and most wins in a single season without capturing all three titles (5).
Despite his relatively modest success in the United States, Shoemaker had a winning percentage of over 21% during his career. That is, about one in five horses he ever rode won their races.
He topped the money list 10 times in his career, has earned place in the National Museum of Racing and Hall of Fame, and was champion US jockey five times in the 1950s. Once he retired after 41 years as a jockey, Shoemaker went on to make more than three times what he made riding as a racehorse trainer.
2. Lester Piggott
Lester Piggott ranks second on our list of famous horse jockeys because he not only had long-term success at the top in the UK and Ireland but also an international success. Since Piggott’s style of riding racehorses was copied.
He partnered many of the finest Flat thoroughbreds in Europe over four decades, including 30 British Classics, among them the UK Triple Crown of 2,000 Guineas, Epsom Derby and St Leger with Nijinsky in 1970.
Piggott, a Flat jockey who has won 11 UK titles, is also known as the “Lancashire Stallion.” He’s even got the British horse racing accolades – the Lesters – named after him. With nine triumphs, he holds the record for most victories in Epsom Derby history.
He is also the most successful jockey in the Ascot Gold Cup (11), Dewhurst Stakes (10), July Cup (10) and Coronation Cup (9).
3. John R. Velazquez
John Velazquez has more prize money than any other jockey on the planet. John Velazquez’s career earnings total well over $415 million.
Velazquez is still seeking the career Triple Crown in the United States after winning nearly 6,000 times. Despite having twice won the Kentucky Derby and Belmont Stakes, he has yet to claim the US Career Triple Crown. Velazquez’s prize money records have been topped twice in America, and his performance has remained unaltered.
Among his most famous equine partners are ‘Kitten’s Joy,’ who sired two Kentucky Derby winners, and Scat Daddy, a stallion that has since become an inspiration to thoroughbred breeders due to the success of his outstanding racehorses as a sire.
4. Sir Gordon Richards
A 26-time champion must be on any list of famous jockeys. During a glittering career in the saddle, Sir Gordon Richards achieved just that. While he didn’t compete as frequently in the British Classics as some of the other UK-based jockeys on our list, Richards established a record that may never be beaten.
This case provides clear evidence of longevity and long-term success. After retiring from riding, Richard became a top racehorse trainer, with stables at Penrith on the outskirts of the Lake District still in operation.
Richards’ most famous equine collaborations include Sun Chariot, a rare winner of the UK Fillies’ Triple Crown, and Tudor Minstrel, from the 1940s.