2 minutes read
2 mins read

What physical tests do jockeys need to pass to get a licence?

08 Dec 2021

Although it’s essential that the horses are in tip-top condition to go racing, it also key that the jockeys are physically capable of handling them at all times.

In order to get either a professional or amateur license in the UK, jockeys must pass a series of physical tests that are split into three parts.

Part One – Bleep Test

The words dreaded by high school PE students across the country is the first step of the test.

For those who are fortunate enough not to have done one, a bleep test is a series of shuttle runs over a 20m distance. Participants run continuously between the lines at a pace which increases every minute. 

A jockey will score 100% on the test if they reach level 13, losing 10% for every level underneath this.

Part Two – Exercises


Leg Squat and hold:

Jockeys will have their back to the wall, with an exercise ball placed between the small of their back and the wall before performing a slow squat and holding when the knees are fully bent. They are also expected to hold a 5KG weight to their chest and to complete the squats for a maximum of two minutes.

The Plank: 

We all know how to do this one but could you do it for four minutes?! No, us neither.

Hold the plank for up to two minutes.

Leg raise to metronome: 

The jockeys will lie flat on their back with their arms above their head. They are then expected to complete leg raises on the beep of a metronome for a maximum of four minutes. 

Wobble cushion squats:

Whilst stood with a wobble cushion under each foot the jockeys again must go into a squat position. They’re asked to hold that static squat for up to four minutes. My thighs hurt just reading that. 

Elastic band push to metronome:

Whilst in a seated position, jockeys will have an elastic resistant band wrapped around them and then hold it in their hands. On the rhythm of a metronome, the jockeys have to push the band forward to fully extend their arms and repeat for up to two minutes.

Press-up position and hold:

Whilst in the press-up position, with elbows close to their sides and with a 90-degree bend in the arm, the jockeys must hold for up 90 seconds. Ouch.


Part Three – Riding Simulator


In the final part of the test, the jockeys move over to the motorised riding simulator where their fitness and technique will be monitored.


They are required to ride a finish on the simulator, for a maximum of four minutes, with a score awarded based on time. Two minutes or more scores 50%, with 75% for three minutes and 100% for the full four minutes.