HISTORY OF LAWN JOCKEYS

A lawn jockey is a small statue of a man in jockey clothes, intended to be placed in front yards as hitching posts, similarly to those of footmen bearing lanterns near entrances and gnomes in gardens.

The lawn ornament, popular in certain parts of the United States in years past, was a cast replica, usually about half-scale or smaller, usually of a man dressed in jockey's clothing and holding up one hand as though taking the reins of a horse. The hand sometimes carries a metal ring (suitable for hitching a horse in the case of solid concrete or iron versions) and in some cases a lantern, which may or may not be operational.

Originally a welcoming symbol to guests and providing to those on horseback with a practical and novel hitching post, later statues eventually became only decorative and not well suited for hitching a horse, often favored by those wishing to evoke an Old South or equestrian ambiance.

Historically black jockeys were commonplace. Several styles have been produced, with the most prolific being a shorter version commonly known as "jocko" and a taller version known as "cavalier spirit." The former is of stockier build, with a hunched posture; the latter generally is more slender. Typically these statues are made of concrete, but also are made of other materials such as iron, and may be found in poly resin and aluminum. Despite often being categorized as kitsch or controversial, lawn jockeys are still in demand.