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What Do Jockeys Wear?

Silks

    The jockey's uniform is commonly called his silks. Silk's flexibility and airiness made it the perfect choice for the uniform and inspired its nickname. Materials such as Lycra, that provide the same airiness and flexibility along with durability, replaced silk as the preferred materials, but the uniform kept the name.

Uniform

    A jockey's uniform is made up of tight fitting breeches and a shirt, along with a cap. Tailors fit each uniform to its owner and it acts as his protection as well. For example, a jockey's helmet is supposed to protect his head if he falls. The uniform also includes a protective vest that goes under the shirt, boots and a cravat. The uniform style has changed little since the early days of the sport.

Colors

    The colors and designs that make up an important part of the jockey costume are actually associated with the owner of the horse. The jockey uniform is blank. When chosen to ride a horse, the jockey dons the colors and designs of that particular owner. If the jockey changes horse owners, then he changes the color and design of his shirt as well.

The Road To Silks

    The journey to a jockey uniform begins during youth. A prospective jockey begins riding and training horses for a specific owner. Once he turns 16 years old, the prospective jockey apprentices with a full-fledged jockey to learn the ropes of riding a racehorse. He also begins riding a horse in races, but with weight limits. He eventually becomes a journeyman jockey and finally a full-fledged jockey.

About the Author

Brock Cooper attended Illinois Wesleyan University in Bloomington, Ill. He was a reporter for seven years with a daily in Illinois before branching out into marketing and media relations. He has experience in writing everything from press releases to features on a variety of subjects and forums. His work can be seen in NewsTribune newspaper, Chicago Parent magazine and several websites.