You have to admit that horse racing is a little more interesting with jockeys involved. Nevertheless, even if you study the Royal Ascot race cards for weeks at end, you would realize that there is no one way to determine how successful a jockey is.
There are so many different ways to measure their success. It could be in terms of the number of races won, the money they make, or their all-around recognition. So, keep in mind that there may not be a clear-cut method to our choices on this one. Now that is all cleared up, in no particular order, here are the top 10 horse jockeys of all time.
- Bill Shoemaker
Some call him the greatest horse ride ever, especially in the North American region. In his successful 41 year career, he amassed 8883 wins. With a whopping $123 million in wins, it is obvious that he was one of the best in more ways than one. Sadly, in 2003, he passed away.
- Lester Piggott
Thanks to his dashing good looks, this jockey earned himself the name ‘the housewives’ favorite.’ During his career, he amassed many titles and accolades some of them including the 2000 Guineas for Michael Stoute and the Irish Champion Stakes for Luca.
- Mike E. Smith
Needless to say, Smith is one successful jockey with a total of 5,559 wins under his belt. He is quite a unique player as he won the US Triple Crown while partnering with Justify. Besides that, he also bagged the record for the most American Grade 1 successes in the saddle.
- Ruby Walsh
In the UK and Ireland, this Jockey is regarded as one of the greatest of all time. His riding style is quite notable and has gotten him wins and recognition year after year. With that in mind, his 2500 race wins and the millions he has amassed over the years are not a surprise.
- Bill Shoemaker
No one who’s into the races can say they do not know the name Bill Shoemaker. Though he passed away in 2003, he bagged a total of 8,883 wins during his career. Even more, he earned a whopping $123,375,524 as a jockey and an extra $3,700,000 as a trainer. Needless to say, he belongs on this list.
- Paul Carberry
Though he is retired now, this racing prodigy dominated the riding scene for more than 26 years. During that time, he amassed a total of 1500 wins that solidified his credibility as a skilled jockey. Even better is the fact that his first victory was bagged during the most renowned race of all, which is the Grand National.
- Frankie Dettori
This UK-based Italian Jockey is definitely one of the greats, and among his most notable happened in 1996 when he rode all seven winning horses on British Champions Day at Ascot. Besides that, he has had the privilege of riding the winners of more than 600 group races.
- Laffit Pincay, Jr
In America, this man is considered a legend in the jockey ranks, and he dominated the scene in the 1970s. With 9530 wins to his credit and $237,120,625 in earnings, there is no doubt he is one of the greats.
- Pat Day
Besides having a name that’s perfect for word play, this jockey has proven to be a delight to watch. He got his nickname Pat “I’ll wait all” because of the way he’d really get into the race a bit too late for comfort. Nevertheless, he used his easy breezy approach to bag more than 8000 wins and amass $297 million in winnings.
- AP McCoy
Some may know him as Sir Anthony Peter McCoy, nevertheless there was no confusion when it came to his skill on the tracks. Besides the numerous accolades, this presently retired jockey bagged a total of 4,358 wins and even stood out for being taller than most jockeys at 5ft 10.