Sunday, March 29, 2009

Thousands of Jockey Silks at Santa Anita

I visited the Silks Room at Santa Anita this week, and was absolutely enthralled by all the gorgeous colors and the sheer number of jockey silks in one location. There are between 6,000 and 7,000 sets of silks (also called "colors") in the Santa Anita silks room.

Each racehorse owner, stable, or partnership racing at the meet has a set in its own distinctive design and colors. At Santa Anita, all the silks are catalogued and overseen by Jake Mullins, who pulls and organizes the silks to be worn by each jockey, for every race each race day, having them ready for quick changes between races. At the end of the race day, all of that day's silks are laundered and re-hung. Talk about a lot of laundry!

Worldwide, there are more than 30,000 different jockey silks designs registered with The Jockey Club. Owners racing in New York are required to register their colors with The Jockey Club; however, in California owners must simply register their silks design with the racing office at the track.


Jenny Ortuoste said...

Beautiful! thanks for sharing! :)

Sally said...

So pretty. Are they one size fits all? What's the fabric actually?

Mary Forney's Blog said...

Hi Sally! Yes, they are one-size-fits-all (actually that works for most jockeys). They were traditionally made out of nylon in the old days, but these days most are being made with the new aerodynamic lycra (similar to the fabric used for pro bicyclists' shirts and pants). Lycra conforms to the body without constricting, and is quite light. Also, the new jockey helmets in CA are bigger than the old ones (for safety reasons), so the old caps don't fit over them, but the new aerodynamic fabric caps do! Thanks for asking. See you at the track. Mary

Sharla Sanders said...

Thank you for showing us this!

Erik Aamot said...

What a great little video. A friend of mine makes custom jockey silks over here in Fontana, CA. Only company I've seen that does custom embroidery for jockey silks .. really interesting stuff

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