Skip to main content Skip to site footer

Oops, your browser is out of date - Please upgrade your browser to improve your experience.

Racing Explained

Jockeys’ silks and colours in horseracing can be traced back as far as 500 years and are thought to be rooted in the traditions of wearing uniform to show who you were fighting for in battle.

 

Certainly, the use of silks and colours in horseracing to identify an owner was prevalent in the 18th century and has remained an important tradition in the sport right through to the modern day.

 

The tradition first began in England and has made British horseracing renowned for its vivid and colourful aesthetics.

WHAT DO DIFFERENT RACING COLOURS MEAN?

 

Unique racing silks and colours are used to represent a horse’s owner and to allow race commentators and spectators to easily differentiate between racehorses.

 

Most often selected and designed by the horse’s owner, silks can be made up of a wide variety of colours and can also incorporate various shapes into their design, with patterns involving circles, stars, squares and triangles proving popular over the years.

HOW ARE RACING COLOURS CHOSEN?

 

No two jockeys may wear silks of the same design and colour, so if an owner has more than one horse in a race, one will have to wear a different coloured cap.

Once an owner has settled on a design, they will have them registered and created. The specific design and colours of their silks may not be used by anybody else after they have been registered.

ARE THERE ANY PARTICULARLY FAMOUS RACING COLOURS?

 

Amongst the most recognisable silks and colours are those of Her Majesty the Queen, which combine purple, scarlet and gold braiding. Horses owned by JP McManus are also instantly recognisable to racegoers and spectators at home thanks to their bold combination of green with gold hoops.

 

The Ricci family, meanwhile, have their jockeys wear baby pink silks with bright green spots, while the silks worn by jockeys riding the Thoroughbreds of Prince Khalid Abdullah are equally famous with their green and white combination embellished with a pink sash.

You might also like

Racing Explained

A comprehensive guide to horseracing and a day at the races. Everything you need to know about horse racing, jockeys, betting, flat races, jump racing, how to spot a great horse and so much more.

View More

Jockeys

Get to know the teams behind the horses to discover what makes a champion.

View More

Are jockeys the fittest athletes?

While all top athletes adhere to rigorous training regimes and strict diets, jockeys are among the most disciplined sportspeople in the world.

View More

Glossary

Gain an understanding of racing terms here.

View More

Cookie Policy

We use “cookies” to help enhance your experience and improve the functionality of our website. You can find out more in our cookie policy. We also serve cookies, some with chocolate chips, on our racecourses.

Loading