What do ‘weighing out’ and ‘weighing in’ mean?

Of course, in any horse race, regardless of its class or type, each horse must carry a specific weight, as defined by the race conditions. Thus, to ensure that horses carry the correct weight allocated to them, a racecourse official known as the Clerk of the Scales ‘weighs out’ and ‘weighs in’ jockeys before and after the race.

The ‘weighing out’ procedure involves a jockey standing, together with all the equipment he or she will carry during the race, including the saddle, on a set of digital scales before the Clerk of the Course. A horse must carry at least the weight shown on the racecard, subject to any allowances, so it may be necessary to make up any difference with thin lead weights slid into a special saddle cloth, or weight cloth. Jockeys are permitted to carry up to, but not more than, 3lb overweight, which will be announced over the public address system at the racecourse.

Once a race is over, the ‘weighing in’ procedure is essentially the same as the weighing out procedure, albeit that not all jockeys need to weigh in. The riders of horses that finish in the money do, as do any other riders randomnly selected by the Clerk of the Scales. Any jockey weighing in more than 1lb ‘light’ will be subject to an objection by the Clerk of the Scales, followed by a Stewards’ Enquiry and disqualification of the horse concerned. Likewise, a rider weighing in 2lb or more ‘heavy’ will be reported to the stewards and may be suspended.