Oldest Jockeys Still Riding

10 Oldest Jockeys Still Riding

There’s no denying that being a jockey isn’t an easy job. Of course, there are numerous benefits to the job, not least of which is the thrill of getting to ride some of the most elite thoroughbred racehorses on a daily basis.

In fact, many jockeys would consider this one of the best jobs in the world.

That being said, it definitely isn’t easy. Being a jockey requires high levels of strength, agility, and stamina; all things that tend to wane with age. No matter how many obstacles they may have faced, however, these jockeys didn’t let their age stand in the way of continuing this incredible profession.

Read on, and find out the 10 oldest jockeys who are still riding today.

10. Davy Russell (June 27, 1979 – present)

Current Age (as of October 2022): 43 years, 3 months, 28 days
Nationality: Irish
Year Started Jockey: 1980
Net Worth: $1.5 million

Davy Russellphoto source: balls.ie

Few jockeys in the history of the National Hunt are as well-known as Davy Russell. The 43-year-old gained notoriety in Irish point-to-point competition before relocating to England to ride for trainer Ferdy Murphy.

In the Cross Country Chase with Native Jack in March 2006, he would at last produce his first Cheltenham Festival victor.

He would have more success in the same race with Tiger Roll, a celebrity. Tiger Roll, trained by Gordon Elliott, was the first horse to win the Grand National twice since Red Rum in 2019, thanks to Russell and their powerful on-track duo.

Russell has won many races during the Cheltenham Festival, including the Gold Cup in 2014 with Lord Windermere, in addition to the Cross Country.

Did You Know?

He is the only jockey to have won both the Grand National and the Irish Grand National in the same year (2014).


9. Javier Castellano (October 23, 1977 – present)

Current Age (as of October 2022): 45 years and 2 days 
Nationality: American/Venezuelan
Year Started Jockey: 1996
Net Worth: $326 million

photo source: The TwinSpires Edge

Javier Castellano is a jockey who has won numerous prestigious races throughout his career. Some of his most notable wins include the Kentucky Derby (2007), the Preakness Stakes (2007), and the Belmont Stakes (2007). He is also a four-time winner of the Eclipse Award for Outstanding Jockey.

Castellano was born in Maracaibo, Venezuela in 1977. He began his professional riding career in 1996 and quickly established himself as one of the top jockeys in the country.

In 2004, he relocated to the United States and soon became one of the leading riders on the American racing circuit.

In addition to his many successes on the track, Castellano is also known for his charitable work off the track. He is a supporter of numerous charities, including the Make-A-Wish Foundation and the St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.

Did You Know?

He is widely considered to be one of the best jockeys in the world and has been inducted into both the National Museum of Racing and Hall of Fame and the Venezuelan Sports Hall of Fame.


8. John Velazquez (November 24, 1971 – present)

Current Age (as of October 2022): 50 years, 11 months, 1 days
Nationality: American
Year Started Jockey: 1990
Net Worth: $19 Million

John Velazquezphoto source: Wikipedia

John Velazquez is a world-renowned jockey who has ridden some of the greatest horses in history. He is the all-time leading money winner among jockeys and has won some of the most prestigious races in the world, including the Kentucky Derby, the Preakness Stakes, and the Belmont Stakes.

Velazquez is also a member of the Racing Hall of Fame, and his career is truly legendary. In addition to his many racing achievements, Velazquez is also known for his philanthropy and has helped raise millions of dollars for various charities.

John Velazquez is one of the most accomplished and respected jockeys in the world, and his accomplishments both on and off the track are truly remarkable.

Did You Know?

In 2005, he was voted the Eclipse Award for Outstanding Jockey, an honor that is given to the best jockey in North America each year.


7. Frankie Dettori (December 15, 1970 – present)

Current Age (as of October 2022): 51 years, 10 months, 10 days
Nationality: Italian
Year Started Jockey: 1985
Net Worth: $18 million

Frankie Dettoriphoto source: The Telegraph

Frankie Dettori is a professional jockey who has been riding since the age of 16. He is best known for his association with the Godolphin stable, for which he has ridden many winners. He is also known for his flamboyant riding style and for his trademark “flying dismount” after winning races.

Dettori has won numerous prestigious races throughout his career, including the Derby three times, the Oaks twice, King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes three times, and the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe twice. He has also been the leading jockey at Royal Ascot on six occasions.

In 2000, he became only the second jockey to win all seven races on a single card at Ascot, a feat which earned him the nickname “Mr. Ascot”.

Did You Know?

In recent years, Dettori has been plagued by injuries and suspension, which have limited his riding opportunities. However, he remains a popular and successful jockey, with over 3,000 wins to his name.


6. Stewart Elliott (March 1, 1965 – present)

Current Age (as of October 2022): 57 years, 7 months, 24 days
Nationality: Canadian
Year Started Jockey: 1981
Net Worth: $14 million

photo source: BloodHorse

Stewart Elliott is a Canadian professional jockey. He is best known for riding Smarty Jones to victories in the 2004 Kentucky Derby and the Preakness Stakes.

Elliott began riding in 1979 at the age of 16. In 1989 he moved to the United States and began riding at Philadelphia Park Racetrack (now Parx Casino and Racing).

During his career, he rode in many prestigious races including the Breeders’ Cup, the Dubai World Cup, and the Arlington Million.

In 2020, Stewart became the 36th jockey from North America to have won more than 5,000 races. 

Did You Know

Elliott was inducted into the Canadian Horse Racing Hall of Fame in 2010.


5. Mike Smith (August 10, 1965 – present)

Current Age (as of 2022): 57 years, 2 months, 15 days
Nationality: Canadian
Year Started Jockey: 1982
Net Worth: $10 million

photo source: The Dialog

Mike Smith is a jockey who has been riding professionally since the 1980s. He is best known for his success in thoroughbred horse racing and has won numerous prestigious races throughout his career. In recent years, he has also become a successful Quarter Horse racer.

Smith is currently based in Southern California and continues to compete regularly. He is widely considered to be one of the best jockeys in the world and has won many prestigious races including the Kentucky Derby, the Preakness Stakes, and the Belmont Stakes.

Did You Know?

He is the oldest jockey to win the Kentucky Derby (at age 52 in 2018), and he is the only jockey to have won all three Triple Crown races on different horses.


4. Alex Solis (March 25, 1964- present)

Current Age (as of October 2022): 58 years, 7 months 
Nationality: American
Year Started Jockey: 1983
Net Worth: $238 Million

photo source: America’s Best Racing

Alex Solis is a jockey who is currently still riding. He is famously and legendary known to have won over 4,700 races, and his mounts have earned over $238 million in purses.

He has been the leading rider at Santa Anita Park seven times and has also won riding titles at Hollywood Park and Del Mar.

In addition, he has ridden in the Kentucky Derby eight times, with his best finish coming in 2004 when he rode Lion Heart to a second-place finish. He also won the Eclipse Award for Outstanding Jockey in 1999.

Did You Know?

Apart from being partly active in riding, he is also a racing analyst and commentator.


3. Gary Stevens (March 6, 1963 – present)

Current Age (as of October 2022): 59 years, 7 months, 19 days
Nationality: American
Year Started Jockey: 1979
Net Worth: $4 Million

photo source: Paulick Report

Gary Stevens began his career in 1979 and rode his first winner in 1980. He went on to win several major races, including the Kentucky Derby three times (1988, 1995, 1997), the Preakness Stakes three times (1985, 1988, 1995), and the Belmont Stakes once (1988).

He also won the Breeders’ Cup Classic in 1997.

Stevens retired from racing in 2005 but came out of retirement in 2013. He then rode his final race in 2016 but is partly active in riding events as a guest rider. Interestingly, he is one of only nine jockeys to have won the Triple Crown.

He was inducted into the National Museum of Racing and Hall of Fame in 1997, and in 2016, he was named one of ESPN’s 100 Greatest North American Athletes of the 20th Century.

Did You Know?

He was the oldest jockey to win the Kentucky Derby, at age 50, when he rode Oxbow to victory in 2013.


2. Jon Court (November 26, 1960 – present)

Current Age (as of October 2022): 61 years, 10 months, 29 days
Nationality: American
Year Started Jockey: 1980
Net Worth: Estimated to be $1 million to $8 million dollars

Jon Courtphoto source: Past The Wire

Jon Court is a professional horse racing jockey who has been riding since the early 1980s. He is best known for his work in the United States but has also competed in Australia and Europe.

Jon has won multiple prestigious races throughout his career, including the Kentucky Derby (2011), the Preakness Stakes (2011), and the Belmont Stakes (2011).

He was inducted into the National Museum of Racing and Hall of Fame in 2019.

As of 2020, Jon Court is still an active jockey and currently competes at Santa Anita Park in California. He is the only jockey to have won all three Triple Crown races on different horses (Orb in the Kentucky Derby, Shackleford in the Preakness Stakes, and Drosselmeyer in the Belmont Stakes).

Did You Know?

In 2010, he won the Eclipse Award for Outstanding Jockey in Steeplechase Racing.


1. Gary Bain (c.1953 – present)

Current Age (as of October 2022): c.69 years old
Nationality: Bahamian
Year Started Jockey: 1979
Net Worth: Unspecified

Gary Bainphoto source: Sun Sentinel

Gary Bain is the oldest jockey still riding today at the age of 69. He is a father of two and a grandpa of six.

At Gulfstream Park, Bain has been a consistent visitor, consistently leading his mounts to victory. After moving to South Florida in the 1970s, Bain began riding. 

Unflinching in the face of a legitimate obstacle, Bain took part in the 1996 Kentucky Derby Day.

As he rode Auburn in a claiming event at Tampa Bay Downs earlier this year, he is still actively competing today.

Did You Know?

Being the oldest jockey, he earned the moniker “The Grandfather of Racing.”

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