Jockeys ride thoroughbred horses on a saddle, while drivers sit in a sulky behind the standardbred horse. Unlike jockeys, harness drivers have no restrictions placed on them in terms of their weight. However, most successful drivers maintain their weight and stay in good physical shape. It takes a good deal of strength to guide a horse whether it be in the saddle or in the sulky. Jockeys are of small stature and must maintain a certain weight.
Horses racing have weight limits assigned to them by the racing officials and the jockeys and their equipment must meet these limits. For example, the Kentucky Derby’s weight limit is 126 pounds (121 for fillies) so the jockey and his/her equipment (saddle, crop, helmet, boots, etc.) must not exceed that.
Harness racing drivers select the colours for the uniform they wear when they compete. Drivers must register their choice of colours with the proper authorities and their ‘colours’ are printed in the race program. Usually the driver’s name and/or initials appear somewhere on their colours.
Some families maintain a certain colour hue but with slight variations in pattern. Examples of this are the Waples family (usually blues and yellows/gold), Gregg and Doug McNair (maroon, black and white), Herve, Sylvain and Yves Filion (blue, white, red), etc.
Jockeys do not select their own colours. Usually referred to as ‘silks’, their uniform reflects either the owner or stable of the horse they are riding. The owners register their colours and patterns with the relevant registries.