In life, it is so important to keep in touch with dear friends and long-time associates. I love the fact that my dear pals from California and Barn 55 always keep ME current on what is happening. After all, being with these people on a day-to-day basis for several years has played such a tremendous role in my entire life!
The adorable girl riding ME at the L.A. Zoo in this photo is Penelope Pegram. Her father, Brad, is a very close friend of mine and Barn 55 as he is MY MIKIE’S jockey agent!
In our business of thoroughbred horse racing, every jockey has an agent. The agent’s role is to ‘book’ or organize the mounts for his/her jockey to ride each day. They do a great deal of ‘homework’ studying horses, the past performance charts, and class levels of various races all of the time. The job of the JOCKEY AGENT is to get his jockey on the best horse in each race as much as possible.
In Brad’s case, Mike is a jockey who rides horses who compete at many venues throughout the United States. Thus, Brad needs to constantly study the races not just running in Southern California…but those taking place all over the country. He needs to familiarize himself with all of the competition to always be ‘on top of things’ when reviewing and evaluating the status of various horses for Mike to ride.
Each jockey is paid a percentage of the purse earned by the horse he is riding when finishing first, second, or third in a race. When the horse finishes other than these places, the jockey is given a flat fee. The HORSE’S OWNER is the person who is responsible to pay the jockey for his ‘ride’ in each race.
The Jockey’s Guild…the group which represents the jockeys and their interests in areas of discussion and negotiation…in conjunction with the various racing organizations establish these set fees and percentages a jockey is paid per mount. All fees are paid to the jockey via each race track’s ‘Horsemen’s Bookkeeper’ or ‘Paymaster’. This is the official accounting office which handles the distribution of purse earnings per race for all owners, trainers, and jockeys.
Each agent works for a particular jockey. It is the jockey’s responsibility to pay his agent for his services. Within our industry, the norm is that an AGENT is paid a fee based upon a percentage of what his jockey earns. There is a basic industry ‘scale’ for this, but the precise amount is something that is worked out privately between each jockey and his agent.
Unlike the entertainment industry and other professional sports, where an agent can collectively work for several major stars at once, in our business, a jock’s agent is able to represent 2 jockeys at one time. This may be 2 journeymen jockeys (meaning those with years of experience) or a journeyman and an apprentice rider.
It always amazes ME how many different types of jobs there are in our industry…and how many people it takes working together each day to ‘MAKE IT ALL HAPPEN’. This is truly such an interesting SPORT!
Hugs to all~ (Yeah, Penelope…hope you had fun at the ZOO with ME!)