The History Of Horse Racing Silks

Horse racing silks have long been a part of the history of horse racing. Jockey silks have long played a part in identifying various jockeys as they race and these bright colors have a treasured history in horse racing.

The history of silks was mostly based out of necessity. While many of the silks that you see on the tracks today look as though they are in a fairly arbitrary fashion, the horse racing silks that are commonly used all have their own beautiful heritage. The first Jockey silks were used in horse racing that dates back to the 1100s. The idea was to track various jockeys during the race but this wasn’t really needed until horseracing tracks were made smaller and until many competitors started showing up to each race. With longer tracks, that were in some cases for miles or more, races generally were too close to call.

As racing continued its popularity did too, around the 1700s however, it became very difficult to differentiate the horses and to track jockeys around the track. The Jockey Club in the UK eventually made the decision that jockeys would be registered and would use a specific color or crest for identification on the field. In the early stages of Jockey silks all the colors were solid but now unique images and patterns are used to differentiate a particular jockey.
In many cases Jockey silks are not actually picked out by the jockey but by the owner of the horse. Silks are registered to the organization’s name or a particular horse and in some cases silks can even go up for auction for the rights to use them.

There are around 28,000 registered silks today and each one is completely unique to a stable or an owner. Ironically, silks are not made from natural silk but a synthetic satin, nylon or lycra to make them more aerodynamic during a race.

Jockey silks have come a long way. If you think this is interesting like we do, let us know – we would love to discuss it all day long!

Also, If you are interested in discussing your own unique silks for your horse or for a race, let us know your needs and we can will try our best to meet them.


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