Riding As A Profession: Gilpin Points Out Advantages Jockey Has Over a Trainer.; Big Retainers, Riding Fees and Presents Assure Competent Rider of a Good Living, He Says., Daily Racing Form, 1924-04-27


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RIDING AS A PROFESSION Gilpin Points Ont Advantages Jockey Has Over a Trainer. ♦ Big Retainers, Riding Fees and Presents Assure Competent Rider of a Good Living, He Says. 1 ■ P. P. Gilpin, after discussing the disadvantages of training as a profession, points out the advantages ■which a jockey has over a trainer in opportunities for making money In the following article, which is reprinted from the London Weekly Dispatch : The case of the jockey is different from that of the trainer. Many jockeys enjoy larpe salaries or retainers : some of them — certainly not many — have two or even three retainers for second and third calls upon their services. Invariably these retainers are most substantial and sometimes enormous. A fashionable jockey rides anything up to 500 times a year, for wheh he is paid the r« gulation rate of winning and losing mounts— 5 and 5 respectively. •He is entitled to charge his expenses to the meetings, which expenses are divided between those owners for whom he rides at any particular meeting. In addition to his fees and retainers, ho will be in receipt of a large number of presents ; most certainly he will receive presents from the owners for whom ho wins, and who do not share in his retainer, and not infrequently from those owners who do pay him a retainer. It follows that the more important jockeys enjoy hiph earnings without correspondingly heavy expenses. Any one of them who is at all careful and of a savins nature can amass a comfortable fortune quickly. Many jockeys, of course, earn just a good substantial income while they are able to keep on riding — sometimes not for long on account of increasing weight; but when they become too heavy to ride much on the flat they can, if they care, join the ranks of the National Hunt riders and make a fairly good thing out of it, though their earnings will not bear cr mparis n with those of their more fortunate brethren who are still able to ride "on the flat." JOCKEYS RESPONSIBILITY LIMITED. It is thus easy to see how a jockeys calling compares most favorably with that of the trainer on the score of remuneration. And also in another way, since the jockeys responsibility to the own r is limited to the few moments during which he is in the saddle. Imagine the case of a jockey who with a large retainer rides only a score of times, or even only half a score of times, for his first master — and cases are known today. It follows that his responsibility to that master is limited to minutes. If he rides a store of times and you put down the limit cf time as aeraging three minutes, he will have ridden sixty minutes in the year. Compare this with the trainer who prepares the horses which that jockey rides on twenty occasions. The fcrmer is never free from responsibility from daylight to dark for most of the months of the year. His care a nil anxieties during these months must be un-easing if he is to do his animal* justice. Yet. as I have said, he enjoys no salary, and he receives no special fee wlun these horses run. and I regret to say that only in few instances are his labors recognized by gifts similar to those that so often reach the jockey. Work In- never so successfully from years end to years end, he may receive not a single present. Certain trainers receive not a single present. Certain trainers receive a percentage of the winnings of the horses they train, but in lean years this percentage may repr. sent practically nothing. Sometimes I think that on fortunes cap the trainer is not the button. JOCKEYS LIFE NOT EASY. The life of the jockey is no doubt an onerous one in these days of so much racing. Traveling from one end of the country to the other backward and forward to fulfill his engagements has its hardships. He practically lives in the train from beginning to the end of the week. V.ut he do s not do it for nothing, and he knows at the end of the week exactly how much he has made. Now arid again you see statements made about teaching boys to ride and become Jockeys. Some of these remarks are sensible enough, but generally they are merely foolish. Some jK oplc have an idea that a boy has only to enter a stable to become an Archer, a Fordham. a Hullock, or a Child-. But Jeckeyship demands as much talent as any other profession to attain the first rank-more, perhaps, than most professions. If that talent is not in the boy it is impossible for the trainer to bring it out. And, given natural riding talent, while young in limbs, he must prove in judgment old. A boy may just as readily expect that, by taking a few singing lessons, lie must become a Caruso. Moreover, it is not alone the trainer who makes a jockey; he cannot do so without the support of the owner for whom he trains. I*et a trainer but suggest that a boy should be given a chance to ride and too often the owner retorts; "I do not keep my horses for the purpose of teaching boys to ride I keep them for racing, and to do the best I can with them. I want the best jockey I can get at the weight-" MUST KEEP WORTHLESS HORsr*$. To teach boys to ride, a trainer must keep a few practically worthless horses to give his pupil practise and experience. Bat ke. p-Ing horses is an expensive game and. unless they can l e made to pay their way. by the time you have carted them about to a few meetings and calculated traveling expenses and paid "wear and tear" you will have laid out much money. And unless you have a hold upon the boy in the shape of an agreement which insures you a share of his services for some time after he becomes proficient you have no way of getting back your outlay, and those trainers who get back their costs on the making of a jockey are few indeed. The possibilities of becoming a jockey are. therefore, restricted, and the making of Jockeys is more or less in the hands of a few trainers who make a business of it arid thoroughly understand its many ramifications. They must be fortunate in obtaining boj s who have the necessary talent. But If they succeed in discovering one who does come out well In the winning list well, of course, the trainer is doubly lucky, for he will probably reap a rich harvest. Trainfrs therefore are not to blame if they fail to prrsluce a lot of budding jockeys every year. How greatly handicapped they are I have shown. And high natural talent being just as important in this line of business as in any other and just as scarce, it is not surprising that statistics prove that really successful jockeys are but a small percentage vi those who aspire to the profession. ,

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Library of Congress Record: https://lccn.loc.gov/unk82075800