Irish Injured Jockeys has introduced a mental health app called Leafyard that provides tools, activities, and support to help all jockeys with any general mental health concerns. Research commissioned by the Irish Horseracing Regulatory Board in 2019 and 2020 found that injured jockeys were 46 times more likely to meet the criteria for depression than non-injured jockeys and reported higher levels of dissatisfaction associated with meeting the criteria for distress and generalised anxiety.
Ruby Walsh, former champion jockey and chairman of the Irish Injured Jockeys, said, “I suppose I wasn't shocked when I saw the results of the survey the Irish Horse Racing Regulatory Board commissioned. I have been around in the racing world long enough to see the highs and the lows, so whilst it didn't shock me, it did upset me.
“After consultation with Dr [Jennifer] Pugh [IHRB medical director] and [sports psychology consultant] Ciara Losty, Irish Injured Jockeys were happy to fund the Leafyard app, which I think is an innovative, action-driven, practical solution to support everyone in the weigh room.”