Winter Break For Top Irish Jockeys

Ireland's leading flat jockeys will have a four-week winter break after Horse Racing Ireland restricted three Dundalk meetings in early January to apprentices or jockeys or rode fewer than 20 winners last season. The meetings are Jan. 5, 7 and 14. Jason Morris, Horse Racing Ireland's director of racing, said, "In 2021 HRI extended the break for our leading jump jockeys from 12 to 24 days during June, which was very well received. The changes announced today, which were proposed by the Irish Jockeys' Association, will mean that we will...

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Saunas To Be Removed From British Weighing Rooms

Saunas will be removed from all jockeys' quarters in Britain as part of a long-term programme to modernise weighing rooms that has been developed by a cross-industry group of jockeys, racehorses and the British Horseracing Authority. Weighing room saunas have been closed as part of Covid safety measures since the onset of the pandemic, and 88% of jockeys polled support their removal. Dr. Jerry Hill, BHA chief medical adviser, said, "Saunas have been out of operation throughout the pandemic, which has presented the opportunity for a wider discussion about their...

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Jockeys' Guild Partners With Colonial Downs

The Jockeys' Guild and Colonial Downs Group have entered into a long-term industry partnership agreement. Under the terms of the multi-year deal, Colonial Downs will contribute to the Guild to help subsidize health insurance, life insurance and temporary disability benefits for members who regularly ride at Colonial Downs, as well as benefits for all jockeys who are members of the Jockeys' Guild and ride in the United States. "The safety of both jockeys and equine athletes is a priority at Colonial Downs," said Jill Byrne, Vice-President of Racing Operations at...

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Jockey Basketball Game for Charity Returns to the Spa

After a hiatus in 2020 due to COVID-19, the 13th Annual Charity Basketball Game featuring jockeys against horsemen will be held Wednesday, Sept. 1. Proceeds from the event, which will take place at the Saratoga Springs Recreation Center at 6:30 p.m., will benefit the programs of the New York Race Track Chaplaincy. Admission is free. Hall of Famer Angel Cordero, Jr. will coach the jockey team, while 2021 Hall of Fame inductee Todd Pletcher will coach the horsemen team alongside trainer-turned-agent Kiaran McLaughlin. NYRA's Mitch Levites will do the announcing....

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Figueroa and Mejia On the Mend

Jockey Heriberto Figueroa, injured in a spill at Monmouth Park last Sunday, will resume riding at the track during Friday's card. Tomas Mejia, who was involved in the same spill, is likely to be out at least one more week while he recovers, according to the agents for both riders. "He's doing fine and ready to ride again," said John Salamone, Figueroa's agent. "He's 100%." Mejia's return will likely be delayed another week, according to agent Robert Tuccille. "He is feeling a lot better, but we're going to take the...

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Concussion Report Published By UK Government

A concussion in sport report was published by the UK Government on Thursday morning and the news was welcomed by the Professional Jockeys Association (PJA). In March of 2021, an inquiry into the links between sport and long-term brain injury, the implications for youth sport and funding for further scientific research was announced by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS). Also under consideration during the four oral evidence sessions that made up the inquiry was the role of national governing bodies and major sporting organisations. The DCMS...

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NY Seeks to Prevent Jockey Appeals That 'Game the System'

The New York State Gaming Commission (NYSGC) unanimously advanced a rule proposal Tuesday that seeks to end the resource-draining practice of jockeys appealing riding infractions during big-money race meets like at Saratoga, then withdrawing those protests once the meet is over for the sole purpose of delaying a suspension until it is more convenient for the penalized rider to serve the days. The proposed rule, which first must be published in the state lawmaking register and then be subject to a public commentary period before coming up again for a...

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Op/Ed: Guild Members: You Should Not Be Proud

Perhaps no collection of companies makes decisions based more on hard data, charts, statistics and actuarial tables then those that make up the insurance industry. Non-smokers get better rates on health insurance. Middle-aged drivers pay lower premiums than do those a generation or two younger. Those driving in Los Angeles traffic pay more than those who live in rural areas of the country. Apply for a term policy and the insurance company can list your premiums for the rest of your life. They know what the statistics show, based on...

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Married NY Jockeys on Way to Mutuel Uncoupling

Two months after costing New York an estimated $4.2 million in lost handle revenue during the first quarter of 2021, a bill to eliminate an antiquated state requirement that same-race mounts of married jockeys be coupled in pari-mutuel wagering has passed both the Assembly and Senate. The New York Senate unanimously passed Bill No. A7024 June 1 by a 63-0 margin. The Assembly had passed it 147-0 on May 5. The measure, if signed into law by the governor, would take effect immediately. It now charges racetrack operators with the...

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Monmouth Opening Day: 45 Horses, 14 Jockeys, No Whipping & Lots of Controversy

by T.D. Thornton, Bill Finley & Sue Finley Amid concerns that jockeys would either be protesting Monmouth Park's May 28 opening-day program or not riding at all during the meet because of their concerns over a new state rule that prohibits whipping outside of emergency safety usage, it took until 5:30 p.m. Tuesday for Friday's overnight at Monmouth Park to be released, with six races drawing 45 entrants ridden by 14 jockeys. Now that Friday's opening day program appears to be a "go," the looming larger question is what will...

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With Whip Ban in Place, Showdown Looms at Monmouth

With 10 days to go before opening day at Monmouth Park, preparations are being made to kick off the 53-day meet that begins May 28. Track officials are ready to go and so are the trainers and about 1,100 horses already stabled at the seaside track. But who will ride the horses? That question remained up in the air Tuesday. The New Jersey Racing Commission has passed regulations that will go into effect on opening day that will prevent jockeys from using their whips, except for cases when there are...

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Saliva Testing Trial Under Way at UK Racecourses

A saliva testing trial, a screening method for cocaine and some other banned substances, is now under way at UK racecourses, the British Horseracing Authority announced on Wednesday. Utilising oral swabs, the testing method results are provided near-instantly indicating whether substances are present in a rider's system above existing thresholds. If the trial is successful, British racing will become the first major sport in Britain to utilise on-the-day screening for banned substances through oral swabs. If a jockey does not test negative during the trial, they would be stood down...

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