Horse racing, in my most humble opinion, is one of the most exciting sports to watch. The incredible strength and speed of the horses leaves me in awe. Equally awe-inspiring are the almost miniature people who ride these massive animals at break neck speeds.
We went to college with a guy who is supposedly now a jockey. Could have fooled me. Back in the day I was pretty sure he would be the 40 year old loser selling PB& J sandwiches out of the back of his Subaru Outback at a Widespread show and teaching Hooping classes at the New Age gym.
The Animal Planet has a new reality show, Jockeys: Win or Die Trying that follows seven jockeys - including two women - through the rigors of the racing world at Santa Anita.
After watching the first episode, I now am certain that our college acquaintance is most definitely that aforementioned 40 year old and in no way racing horses. Talk about extreme sports!
Just a few interesting tidbits...
- There are no height restrictions on jockeys, only weight
- Jockeys usually weigh between 108 and 118 pounds
- Jockeys have the highest insurance premium in professional sports due to the high likelihood of injury
- The sport is so dangerous an ambulance follows the jockeys around the track during a race
- More than two jockeys a year are killed while engaged in the sport in North America
- Most jockeys only make between $30,000 - 40,000 annually (dang.)
Jockey Frankie Dettori leaps off Raven's Pass in the winner's circle as he celebrates winning the Breeders' Cup Classic horse race at Santa Anita Park in Arcadia, Calif., Saturday, Oct. 25, 2008.If you are looking for a break from the mind-numbing reality tv options - you may enjoy this. And think about how knowledgeable you'll come off at that Derby Party...not just a pretty face and a big hat, boys.
Jockeys airs on Animal Planet Fridays at 9:00 pm.