Who Are The Richest Horse Racing Jockeys?


The world’s smallest professional athletes have some of he biggest wallets. Here are the richest horse racing jockeys in the world.

Most sports athletes make a lot of money, but people don’t realize that horse racing jockeys are some of the highest-paid athletes in the world.

RELATED: The five richest poker players in the world.

Top horse racing jockeys even surpass some of the athletes in the NBA and NHL in money earned from participating in sports, even though they are statistically more popular sports in terms of how many people are watching than horse racing.

However, horse racing is largely popular for bettors, which means is the perfect spot where you can earn a fortune.

This got us wondering, which are the richest horse racing jockeys in history? Let’s jump down to the list and find out.

Christophe Lemaire

Christophe Lemaire

Christophe started his horse racing career as a jockey back in 1999, and since then he earned an eye-watering amount of money. Even though he started his career slowly, and it took him quite a while to become profitable, in the end, everything was worth it.
In both 2017 and 2018, Lemaire was on a winning streak making him around $50 million from wins and place money.

He is a Japanese-based jockey that is at the top of the highest-paid jockeys of all time. In the beginning, he started his career in France where experts estimate that he earned around $6 million. Later he switched to Japan which was his second home for 12 years where he made around $70 million.

Throughout his career, he switched places and competed in different tournaments. His total career earnings are estimated to be around $280 million.

Javier Castellano

Javier Castellano horse racing

Even though the Japan-based races are the highest-paid events in the sport, the United States still has some jockeys earning a ton of money. Javier has been active on the US scene for the last 20 years and made a very successful career.

Castellano began his career in 1997 in Venezuela, after later switching to the US. He is the Eclipse Award winner and a money leader from 2013 to 2016 with estimated career earnings of around $330 million.

John Velazquez

John Velazquez

Velazquez or “Johnny V” which is his nickname, is actually six years older than Castellano and has more than 5,000 career starts in America under his belt. He is definitely leading the all-time money list in the United States and hardly could anyone catch him.

Just like most professional jockeys, his wealth comes from being involved in modern-day US and Japanese racing.

His published lifetime earnings only from races are estimated to be around USD$400 million put him at number 17 on the historical list. He also has impressive statistics with 33,350 rides and total wins of 6,089 which put him at number 17 on the historical list.

Yutaka Take

Yutaka Take jockey

Japanese racing is on top of the world if we discuss money. Just to illustrate, you can check Kitason Black who made about $20 million just for a 20-race career. If you want to compare horse racing to other sports in terms of salary, Yutaka Take is the perfect candidate to examine.

Since Black can make $20 million for so little then it is no surprise that Yutaka Take is one the top of the list of richest jockeys. In comparison to the US money leader John Velazquez, he has earned more than double the amount of money throughout his career.
His lifetime career earnings are estimated at around $900 million. However, his net worth doesn’t stop there. In fact, this amount of money doesn’t include sponsorship deals, or anything other outside of purse money. He even married Ryoko Sano, which is a popular actress in Japan.

Final Words

The amount of money that top horse racing jockeys earn is mind-blowing. It seems like Japan is the dream for every horse riding beginner and a goal that can change his life in a couple of races.

However, none of these jockeys come close to the all-time famous Gaius Appuleius Diocles in second-century Rome. He had an impressive 34 cent strike rate in his preferred four-house chariot races.

Experts predict that his lifetime earnings are estimated at around $15 billion (in today’s money), which makes him the best-paid sportsman in history.

There you have it, the horse racing jockeys with highest earnings in history. And if you love horse racing learn more about the upcoming Kentucky Derby contenders.

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