Racehorse Rider

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John B

00:00:03 My name is John B and I work for Godolphin as a work rider. Godolphin is run by Sheikh Mohammed, which is the crown ruler of Dubai, it’s his private racing establishment, and it’s like working for the Ferrari of horse racing. So it’s quite a nice job, and I’m probably one of the luckier riders from Godolphin, because I get to ride a lot of the gallops. The gallops is where you’re preparing horses for the actual races, so giving them their test runs before they go to the races. And that’s – that’s the part I enjoy the most.

00:00:44 In the local village there was a small trainer, had a handful of horses, and he said to me, you know, if you want to be a jockey I can’t really help you, but I’ll help you into a better job with more horses in. So he rang round a few trainers for me, and I ended up with a job in Lambourn, for a guy called Charlie Jones.

00:01:09 I rode my first winner in 1992. I then decided I needed a career move to try and better it, and then I moved to David Nicholls up in Yorkshire. And he pushed me in all the right directions, and my career kind of took off from there. And my first three years in apprenticeship there were quite fruitful years, I did quite well. I then became a freelance jockey. The first couple of years as a freelance was very – very very hard. You’ve got to work extremely hard to keep – keep at it. And I did and it paid off for me in the end, and I rode out for a lot of trainers, and I picked up a lot of rides. The last – the latter part of the three years up approaching 2004, I was averaging 500 rides a year, and around the 20/30 winner mark. For a guy of my kind of calibre, it was a nice earning, and I felt like I was doing well.

00:02:12 I had this ultimate goal – I wanted to be – I wanted to be one of the top riders in – at least get into the top twenty. But I could never quite make it into that area – I was always just the run of the mill, and I just wanted to step up to the next step. But it was year after year after year and I kept trying, and it never seemed to happen. But – so I’m glad what I’ve done in a way, to have given up when I did and – otherwise I wouldn’t be at Godolphin now if I hadn’t have joined so – well the opportunity was there at the time, and it is a good job, so –

00:02:52 This is a horse called Matty Ten. In the picture there I won on him at York races at the Dante meeting in May. It’s one of the main meetings, and he was a great horse and he led on – I went on to ride him again, and he won another big race ten days later, so he’s got – a lot of time in my heart for him. To win a race is an ultimate buzz, you know it’s a big adrenaline, whether it’s – whether it can be the little seller round Wolverhampton or Southwell, or going to York and riding at the big meetings, the actual buzz of riding a winner is great. Can’t beat that feeling. Can’t beat it.

00:03:38 Horseracing will never leave my bones and my system, you know, it’s part of my soul and I hope to be riding out up until the very last day that I breathe so – because once it’s in your system you can never let it go.


John B rides raceshorses for Godolphin, a private racing establishment owned by the crown ruler of Dubai. His passion has always been for horses. “The actual buzz of riding a winner is great. Can’t beat that feeling. Can’t beat it.” After a few years as a freelance jockey he moved to training, and he is glad he did because Godolphin is “the Ferrari of horse racing”. “Horseracing will never leave my bones and my system, you know, it’s part of my soul and I hope to be riding out up until the very last day that I breathe.”

More information about Sports players

average salary

The UK average salary is £29,813

average weekly hours

There are 37.5 hours in the average working week

91%  male 
9%  female 

The UK workforce is 47% female and 53% male

Future employment

Future employment?

? Professional sportsmen and women train and compete, either individually or as part of a team, in their chosen sport for financial gain.
No academic qualifications are required. Entry is based upon talent that can be further developed through coaching and training.
  • Participates in exhibitions, pre-qualifying events, tournaments and competitions;
  • Attends training sessions to develop skills and practice individual or team moves and tactics;
  • Builds stamina, physical strength and agility through running, fitness exercises and weight training;
  • Maintains clothing and other specialised sporting equipment;
  • Discusses performance problems with coaches, physiotherapists, dieticians and doctors.
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