Riding horses in races as a Jockey can be an exciting and rewarding career.

2022 NSW Apprentice School Jockey Camp at Scone

Potential Jockeys have a small frame and ideally weigh less than 50kg. They will enjoy physical activities and outdoor work. Successful Jockeys need to be highly motivated and have a strong will to win.

Jockeys with no previous riding experience commence their career as a Stablehand non rider where they learn to care for and handle a thoroughbred racehorse. A potential Jockey is then taught to ride trackwork and should they display sufficient potential, when they have been assessed as being able to ride at an appropriate standard, they are indentured as an Apprentice Jockey with a licensed Trainer

Apprentice Jockeys are then required to ride in a minimum of twenty barrier trials before being assessed to commence riding in races. Apprentice Jockeys receive a weight allowance (reduces the handicap weight of the horses that they ride) in order to allow them to compete against more experienced Jockeys. As an Apprentice Jockey gains experience such allowance is reduced at various stages dependant on the number of winners they ride.

Apprentice Jockeys are indentured for four years with the option of an extension. During this time Apprentices receive both practical and theoretical training.

Apprentices receive ‘on the job’ training under the supervision of their employing trainer as well as through the Team Thoroughbred NSW Training Academy. Upon successful completion of their training, an Apprentice receives the qualification Certificate IV – Jockey.
For further information regarding training please clink on the link to the Team Thoroughbred NSW Training Academy website.

Example of subjects covered:
Organise finances for the micro business; Comply with regulatory, taxation and insurance requirements for the micro business; Participate in racing protests and inquiries; Participate in media interviews for racing; Prepare for self-management in racing; Ride horses in jump-outs; Prepare for race riding; Ride horses in trials; Ride horses in races; Set goals to improve racing performance; Manage principles of sports science for jockeys; Maintain financial records; Undertake and promote career management; Develop basic trackwork riding skills; Exercise horses in pacework; Ride horses at trackwork; Relate animal welfare to track and environmental conditions

When they have completed their Apprenticeship and attained the qualification Certificate IV – Jockey an Apprentice Jockey may apply for a Jockeys licence.

For more information call 1800 200 724

– Click here to go to the Team Thoroughbred NSW Training Academy Website

Apprentice wages
Apprentice Jockey’s earn their money in two ways:
– Wages paid by your Trainer employer , and
– Riding fees including commissions (% of prizemoney) paid by Racing NSW on behalf of owners.

Due to a decision by the Fair Work Commission of Australia to insert Apprentice Jockey Wage Rates into the Horse and Greyhound Training Award 2010, Apprentice Jockey wages changed from 10 November 2014.
This new wage scale applies nationally, and provides different rates of pay for Apprentices who have completed Year 12, and also includes an FWC decision that recognises a higher wage for Adult Apprentices (age 21yrs plus) who commenced their apprenticeship after 1 January 2014 and were 21yrs+ at the time of commencement.

To view the Apprentice Jockey Wage Scale visit the Fair Work Commission website

Apprentice School Program

Since 2022, bi-yearly classroom based Apprentice School Camps have been introduced at the Academy’s Scone Campus.
Contact the Team Thoroughbred NSW Training Academy for further information 1800 200 724.

Head jockey coach Corey Brown delivering a race riding training session at the March 2022 Scone Apprentice School Camp

Race ride fees and commissions
Apprentice jockeys earn a set riding fee for every race ride and 5% of any prizemoney won by the horse they are riding.

The race riding fee is set by Racing NSW in discussion with the NSW Jockeys Association, who make a submission to Racing NSW every 12 to 18 months.
Riders are also paid for barrier trial rides, set at 35% of the race riding fee

Click here to view the current Race and Barrier Trial Fee

The barrier trial fees, race ride fee and commission is divided between the Apprentice Jockey (75%) and their Trainer employer (25%).

Apprentice Trust Account
Apprentice earnings are retained in an Apprentice Trust Account until the rider turns 21years of age, building a Nest Egg for investment. Interest earned is paid back into the Trust Account for each Apprentice.
At request the Trust can be retained after you turn 21yrs and kept going for the duration of the apprenticeship or longer.

During your apprenticeship, withdrawals from the Account are approved for business expenses such as Riding Gear, Tax Payments or Motor Vehicle Expenses. Property Investment is also encouraged. Click here to download a Trust Account withdrawal application form.

Apprentice Jockey – Licence renewals
Apprentice’s Permit to Ride in Races expire on the 30th June each year. Renewal application forms and medicals are sent to all Apprentice Jockeys in early May.
To renew a licence an Apprentice Jockey is required to;
– Complete and submit a licence renewal form
– Pay the prescribed fee
– Undertake an examination with a General Medical Practitioner (GP) and submit the completed examination form.

Forms are available on the links below:

– Apprentice permit
– Medical

Apprentice Jockeys are reminded that they must answer all questions in regard to their personal history and that special care should be taken to ensure that question 20 (on the medical) which refers to any Medicines, Drugs, Tablets or injections that they are currently taking (if any) is completed accurately.

Apprentice Jockeys who are taking medication are requested to read the following notice and comply with the provisions outlined should they apply.

Notice regarding medications

Extension of Apprenticeship Indentures
Apprentice Jockeys are indentured for four years with the option of an extension. This allows the apprentice to prolong the time that they may claim a weight allowance.
With the support of your trainer, an extension may be approved for a few reasons:
–       Any time between being apprenticed and your first race ride

–       Any time you may lose during your apprenticeship that you were injured and on Workers Compensation

–       Plus – up to 12 months if you still have a claim

Before approval is given, the following criteria are reviewed:
– Completion by the Apprentice Jockey of Certificate IV Jockey

– Adherence to the Apprentice Jockey Code of Conduct

– Competency during the Apprenticeship

An application for extension form is available. The application should be lodged 2 months before expiry date 

If you have any questions contact Racing NSW Licensing Department:
p: 02 9551 7500 | e: