Who's Who at the Races

Owner

The racehorse owner maybe an individual or syndicate of people. They employ a trainer and a jockey for their horse and the horse is registered under the owners' names. At the point of registering a horse, the owner must also select the name of the horse and colours in which their jockey will ride. Therefore you can spot if more than one horse is owned by the same owner through their similar silk colours.

Trainer

As with human athletes, horses require a great deal of looking after and training in order to make successful racehorses.  The location of their training base is shown after the name, within the description of the horse in the racecard. Some people like to choose who to back by supporting their local yard. Other people might go for a trainer who is well known and had many wins in recent races or recent years. Look out for our mini biographies of selected trainers in the racecard throughout the season.

The trainer can normally be spotted in the parade ring, before the race, discussing final points about the race ahead with the jockey and before helping him on to the horse ready to head for the start.

Jockey

Jockeys are probably the easiest people to pick out at the racecourse due to the brightly coloured silks which they wear. As with trainers, jockeys will ride for a wide variety of owners and trainers. As a jockey rides more horses to victory, they are more greatly sought after and so will be chosen to ride more horses and of an increasing quality. Jockeys will often ride up to 6 or 7 races in a day and will travel all over the country to various meetings. They will also help trainers assess a horse and get to know their mounts by work riding with a trainer in the morning.

Jockeys are also distinctive by their unique size. In flat racing, jockeys must keep their weight below 9 stone and so they keep to a very strict diet. They will spend much of a race day, when they are not riding, in the sauna to keep their weight down.

Stable Hand

The stable hand is responsible for looking after the horse. The stable hand is responsible for grooming, feeding and exercising the horse when it is back at home in the yard. On race days they also prepare the horse by grooming it to look immaculate for the Best Turned Out Competition which takes place in the parade ring just before the start of the race. They are identified as the person who walks the horse round before the race and afterwards when it comes back in. The winning horse (and the second, third and fourth places.) are brought into the Winner's Enclosure after the race to be shown to the crowd and the awaiting photographers. The stable hand is responsible for looking after the horse at this point - this can be a difficult job as the horse is very excited and there may be large crowds surrounding it.

Stewards

The stewards are the top officials of a race meeting. They are responsible for enforcing the rules of racing.  After a race has been run there might be a "Stewards' Enquiry". This is where there is a suggestion that a jockey has broken a rule during the race. This can be one of many things such as  interference, dangerous riding, etc. In the case of a Stewards' Enquiry there will be an announcement over the tannoy and the jockey will be called to the Stewards Room.  In the Stewards Room there are the facilities to watch the race again from various angles. The jockey will be asked to explain his actions and the Stewards will decide if it affects the placing of the race. When a Stewards' Enquiry has been announced winnings can not be collected until it has been resolved.

Clerk of the Scales

This is the official who is responsible for weighing the jockeys before and after a race. This is to ensure the proper weight is carried for the race. Before a horse can be declared the winner of the race, the jockey must go back to the weighing room to be reweighed by the Clerk of the Scales. Once this has been confirmed, an announcement will be heard over the tannoy; "Weighed in, Weighed in". After this has been heard, the presentation for the race can proceed and racegoers are able to collect any winnings.

2021 Season at a glance

  • Dante Festival | Wed 12 - Fri 14 May
  • First Saturday | Sat 22 May
  • June Meeting | Fri 11 - Sat 12 June
  • Summer Saturday | Sat 26 June
  • John Smith's Cup Meeting | Fri 9 - Sat 10 July
  • Music Showcase Weekend | Fri 23 - Sat 24 July
  • Welcome to Yorkshire Ebor Festival | Wed 18 - Sat 21 August
  • September Sunday | Sun 5 September
  • October Finale | Fri 8 - Sat 9 October

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