Science Questions

Do jockeys make horses faster?

Sun, 19th Jul 2009

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Maggie Ray asked:

Does a good jockey actually make a horse go faster despite the extra weight and aero dynamic drag?



Chris -   Just looking at Andrew Spence's paper in Science.  He was the guy talking to us earlier and actually pointed out the jockey contributes about 13% of the weight of horse and rider and when you load a horse up it does run slower.  They’ve got evidence to show that, so the jockey does slow the horse down but a good jockey by adopting this posture and also pumping the knees up and down, they’re saying could effectively contribute energetically to the running horse.  So, yes they could potentially make a contribution and that’s why a good rider has this skill.


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