Warriors on Horseback: The Inside Story of the Professional Jockey

Author(s): John Carter

Sports | Featured Titles

A remarkable and riveting insight into the lives of jockeys. Jockeys who earn a living race riding on racehorses are a remarkable group. They are fiercely competitive on the racecourse but enjoy a tribal kinship in the weighing room. The minimum requirements for long-term success are courage, skill, athleticism and an intuitive understanding of how to 'get a tune' out of a horse. This book celebrates these warriors on horseback, both the old and the new, highlighting the headline performers for jump racing and flat racing in the last five centuries - male and female and from around the globe - as well as taking the reader on a behind-the-scenes look at the lifestyle of professional jockeys in the 21st century. The book takes a tour of Aintree's weighing room, tracks a day in the life of a Derby-winning jockey and investigates the twin challenges faced by jockeys: inevitable injuries and 24/7 weight management. The book also looks back at historical events where jockeys have made the headlines, including: the scandal of jockey Sam Chifney, Lord Bunbury and the Prince of Wales; Captain Becher and his attempt to negotiate Aintree's formidable fences during the Grand National's inaugural running; Fred Archer, who committed suicide in the mists of mental and physical misery; Red Pollard's partnership with the great American horse, Seabiscuit; Bob Champion, who recovered from cancer to win the Grand National, and Frankie Dettori's magnificent seven wins in one day at Ascot. Dettori is just one of the more recent jockeys featured; others include Lester Piggott, Bill Shoemaker, Scobie Breasley, Julie Krone, John Francome and Tony McCoy. The book features quotes and insights from eminent jockeys and racing insiders, people who know the profession and the sport; and is illustrated with captivating images from the world of horseracing. Foreword by Bob Champion MBE, former jump jockey and Grand National winner.


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Ever ridden a 1,500 pound thoroughbred horse that travels at speeds of up to 45 mph? Discover what it takes to be a professional jockey, the dangers and challenges they face each day. Foreword by Bob Champion MBE, former jump jockey and Grand National winner

Carter's admiration and affection shine through as he conveys the love practically all jockeys have for their work, and how they struggle to replace the camaraderie of the weighing room - notably strong in National Hunt racing - when their bodies tell them it's time to hang up their saddle. The Independent Jockeys are eternally fascinating and John Carter's Warriors on Horseback is a wide-ranging portrait of the professional jockey's world. -- Robin Oakley The Spectator The sporting version of mortal danger is miles away from the real thing encountered by our armed forces but you cannot fail to be impressed by the bravery and courage of the warriors about whom Mr Carter writes. Western Morning News Brings both sides of a jockey's nature into the light. This is not a cosy insider's account, rather a clear-eyed annotation of professional sportsmen, and the better for it Racing Post

John Carter is a sports writer and author of Play the Masters, Newmarket: A Year at the Home of Racing, First Past the Post: History of Horse Racing, and co-author of The Stupid Footballer is Dead. @JohnCImpact

Foreword Preface 1 Perspectives 2 On the Flat: History, heroes and heydays 3 Over the Sticks: History, heroes and heydays 4 Occupational Hazards 5 Anatomy of a Jockey 6 Last Hurrah Bibliography

General Fields

  • : 9781472924537
  • : Bloomsbury Publishing PLC
  • : Bloomsbury Publishing PLC
  • : February 2016
  • : books

Special Fields

  • : John Carter
  • : Paperback
  • : 256