Bill Shoemaker Net Worth: The Rise And Fall Of A Racing Legend

Kentucky Derby Jockeys With Three Wins or More

The Early Years

Bill Shoemaker was born in Fabens, Texas in 1931, and from an early age, he showed a natural talent for horseback riding. At the age of 11, he began competing in rodeos and soon became a skilled bull rider. However, it was his love for horse racing that would define his career.

Racing Career

Shoemaker began his racing career at the age of 18, and by the early 1950s, he was already a rising star in the sport. He won his first Kentucky Derby in 1955 aboard the horse Swaps, and over the next few years, he would go on to win two more Derby titles.

Shoemaker’s success continued throughout the 1960s and 1970s, and he became known as one of the greatest jockeys of all time. He won numerous races and awards, and his net worth soared as a result.

The Fall

However, Shoemaker’s success was not without its challenges. He struggled with alcoholism throughout his career, and in 1991, he was involved in a car accident that left him paralyzed from the neck down.

Despite his injury, Shoemaker remained involved in the racing industry and continued to inspire others with his determination and resilience. However, his net worth began to decline as he was no longer able to ride or compete in races.

The Legacy

Bill Shoemaker passed away in 2003 at the age of 72, but his legacy as a racing legend lives on. He is remembered as one of the greatest jockeys of all time, and his impact on the sport is still felt today.

Shoemaker’s net worth at the time of his passing was estimated to be around $18 million, a testament to his success and determination throughout his career.

Tips for Aspiring Jockeys

If you’re interested in pursuing a career in horse racing, there are a few things to keep in mind:

  • Start early: Many successful jockeys begin their careers at a young age, so it’s important to start training and competing as soon as possible.
  • Stay focused: Horse racing is a demanding sport, and it requires a lot of hard work and dedication. Stay focused on your goals and keep pushing yourself to improve.
  • Find a mentor: Look for an experienced jockey or trainer who can provide guidance and support as you navigate the industry.
  • Stay healthy: Jockeys need to be in top physical condition to perform at their best, so make sure you’re taking care of your body through proper diet and exercise.


Bill Shoemaker was a true racing legend, and his net worth was a reflection of his success and dedication to the sport. While his career had its ups and downs, his legacy continues to inspire aspiring jockeys around the world.