New Jersey Racing Commission Rescinds Whip Ban

Monmouth Park jockeys will once again be allowed to use their whips to encourage their mounts when the meet kicks off May 7. The change was made during a special hearing held Friday by the New Jersey Racing Commission, which voted to rescind rules that were put in place prior to the 2021 Monmouth meeting that allowed whipping only in cases where it was needed for safety reasons. New Jersey was the only state in the country where whipping was banned. Monmouth's whipping rules were set to change July 1,...

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BHA Defends Jockey Weight Changes

The British Horseracing Authority is defending and moving to clarify its decision to raise the minimum and maximum weights for jockeys by two pounds in place of the three-pound Covid weight allowance, a decision that has received criticism from some members of the riding colony. In a statement released on Wednesday, the BHA said, "In light of comments made in relation to the two-pound riding weight increase announced yesterday, the BHA would like to clarify a few areas in relation to the policy and consultation. "The three-pound Covid allowance was...

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Negative Covid Test Required For Jockeys In Britain

From next Tuesday, jockeys entering British weighing rooms will be required to provide a negative lateral flow test against the coronavirus. The measure was due to be brought in this week, but temporarily delayed by the British Horseracing Authority to allow participants time to obtain the tests, and to wait for increased availability of the tests. The introduction of mandatory tests for jockeys builds on the existing infection control measures that include social distancing and face coverings.

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Aqueduct Jockeys Vargas, Jr. and Samuel Test Positive for COVID-19

Jockeys Jorge A. Vargas, Jr. and Jalon Samuel have tested positive for COVID-19 and will be off their mounts for the remainder of the weekend, the New York Racing Association, Inc. announced Friday. All members of the NYRA jockey colony are vaccinated and adhere to established protocols. Vargas, Jr. rode races on Thursday, Dec. 30 and sought testing Friday after developing mild symptoms overnight. Vargas, Jr. did not experience symptoms during Thursday's card. Samuel had no mounts during Thursday's card and was not on-site at Aqueduct. He sought testing after...

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Tylicki Wins Claim Over Fall That Left Him Paralysed

Former jockey Freddy Tylicki has won his High Court case against Graham Gibbons over the 2016 fall at Kempton that left him partially paralysed. Judge Karen Walden-Smith, in finding Gibbons liable for Tylicki's injuries, said Gibbons had ridden with "a reckless disregard for Mr. Tylicki's safety" when manoeuvring his mount, Madame Butterfly, into the path of Tylicki's, Nellie Deen, causing the fall that left Tylicki with life-changing injuries. "If Mr. Gibbons was not aware of Nellie Deen's presence he clearly should have been," said Walden-Smith. "He was considered to be...

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HRI Increases Jockey Weights

Horse Racing Ireland will increase the minimum and maximum weights allowed for jockeys under both codes. From Feb. 1, the minimum weight will be increased three pounds to 8st 7lb for flat races, four pounds to 10st for National Hunt races and three pounds to 10st 7lb for Qualified Rider races. The changes were decided based upon recommendations from a cross-industry Jockeys Supports Working Group set up by the HRI Programmes Committee. Dr. Jennifer Pugh, the Irish Horseracing Regulatory Board's Senior Medical Officer, said, "I very much welcome these changes...

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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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