The Marquess of Rockingham's 'Scrub' with John Singleton up by George Stubbs, 1762


On Oct. 4, 1762 the nineteen members of the Jockey Club announced a resolution at Newmarket to register specific racing colors to members (seven Dukes, one Marquis, four Earls, one Viscount, three Commoners, one Lord and two Baronets). "For the greater Conveniency of distinguishing the Horses in Running, as also for the Prevention of Disputes, arising from not knowing the Colours worn by each Rider,..." Which could be particularly difficult with the horses speeding by the finish on a muddy track with several jockeys wearing coats similar in color. Owners registered specific colours for their use. In the first list of Colours registered following the resolution of the Stewards of the Jockey Club, eighteen owners shared seventeen sets of colours:

Colours in 1762
Duke of Cumberland PurpleEarl of March
Mr. Vernon
Duke of GraftonSky-blueEarl of Northumberlanddeep Yellow
Duke of DevonshireStraw colourEarl of GowerBlue with cap of ditto
Duke of KingstonCrimsonViscount BolingbrokeBlack
Duke of AncasterBuffSir John Mooredarkest Green
Duke of BridgewaterGarter-blueMr. GrevileBrown trim'd Yellow
Marquis of RockinghamGreenMr. ShaftoPink
Earl of Waldegravedeep RedLord GrosvenorOrange
Earl of OrfordPurple & WhiteSir J. Lowthernone

An article entitled COLOURS OF SPORTING GENTLEMEN"S JOCKEYS in the Sporting Magazine in 1804 lists colours not inserted among those listed in The Racing Calendar.

Colours in 1774
Duke of GraftonDark blue and black cap Duke of AncasterVery light buff, cap same
Duke of NorthumberlandGold colour, cap same Duke of DevonshireStraw colour, cap same
Marquis of RockinghamGreen, black cap Lord BolingbrokeBlack waistcoat and cap
Lord GrosvenorOrange, black cap Lord CarlisleScarlet & Grey stripe,
cap same
Lord FarnhamSky-blue, cap same Lord OssoryPea green, cap same
Lord Clermontscarlet waistcoat & cap Lord CravenWhite, Crimson cap
Lord MarchBrown, black cap Lord AbingtonBlue & White stripe,
Cap same
Sir Charles BunburyPink & White, cap same Sir L. DundasWhite with Scarlet spots,
cap same
Sir C. SedleyBlue, black cap Mr. VernonWhite, black cap
Mr. FoleyGreen & White stripe,
cap same
 Mr. BlakeGrey & White stripe,
cap same
Mr. BurltonYellow, cap same Mr. OgilvyHarlequin, cap same
Mr. WentworthWhite, cap same Mr. PigottPompadour, cap same
Mr. PantonBuff, cap same Mr. Fenwick
Mr. Pratt
Mr. Waftell
Red, black cap
Mr. StrodeWhite turn'd up with Scarlet,
black cap
  Mr. BrandViolet blue & flesh colour stripe,
cap same
Mr. Henry VernonBlack & White stripe,
cap same
  Mr. GascoynePea green & Red stripe,
cap same
Mr. WalkerBloom & White stripe   

A painting by W. Mason in 1786 of a country race meeting shows two jockeys in the foreground. One is wearing horizontal stripes and the other vertical stripes, on the jacket and cap. The jackets are short, tight fitting, and button down the front to the hem. The top two or three buttons are left undone disclosing a cravat. The jackets have small stand-up collars and look rather like sleeved waistcoats.

English painters of sporting scenes during the 19th century depict jockeys' attire. Jockey clothing appears to be uniform in style by this time. The jackets are close fitting and waist length. The breeches are white. The boots are short 'top boots'. The caps are generally black with a bow in front. The distinctively coloured jackets are worn according to the registered Colours of the horse owner the jockey is riding for. Because silk was the fabric most commonly used for the jockeys' jackets, they became known as 'Silks'. The term silks soon came to denote the entire clothing ensemble of a jockey.

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