Ascot Racecourse will fund the Professional Jockeys Association's Career Ending Insurance scheme for a period of one month while the PJA continues discussions with industry stakeholders to establish a sustainable long-term funding solution.
The scheme pays out a capital sum should a jockey suffer a career-ending injury. The scheme was traditionally funded through commercial sponsorship but for the last two years has been paid for out of PJA reserves, assisted for the last six months by a grant from the Horserace Betting Levy Board.
Jon Holmes, chairman of the PJA, said, “Ascot has always gone above and beyond when it comes to our members. This is yet another example of that and we are incredibly grateful to everyone at Ascot Racecourse. I have been in my role at the PJA since December last year and was surprised to discover that this vital insurance scheme was reliant on commercial sponsorship. Our members, the vast majority of whom earn below the national average salary, put their bodies on the line every time they ride and I share Ascot's determination to find an industry-funded solution.”
Guy Henderson, chief executive at Ascot Racecourse, said, “Jockeys of both codes put themselves at risk of serious injury for our entertainment every day. We strongly believe that it is the industry's responsibility to make sure that there is appropriate protection for them in place in the event of career- ending injury. As we approach the end of the 2021 Royal Meeting, I would like to congratulate and thank them all, especially those who had landmark wins, from Frankie Dettori's 75th to the six who've ridden their first. As always, we have had unstinting support from all the jockeys this week in terms of participating in extensive domestic and international media activities and our own press conferences and opening ceremonies.”