THE short-term and long-term health consequences for professional jockeys are the subjects a study underway in Great Britain.

Named ‘The Jockey Study’, it is a collaborative venture between Oxford University and the racing industry, including the British Horseracing Authority, Professional Jockeys Association, and Injured Jockeys Fund.  Funding comes from a Racing Foundation grant of more than £220,000.

The industry wishes to develop new strategies to support the health, well-being, and safety of jockeys and stable staff. The ultimate goal is to improve the health and welfare of jockeys and exercise riders and any retired jockeys are encouraged to participate.

The first part of the study is looking at injuries sustained by retired jockeys during their careers. The research team has so far received questionnaires from 82 retired National Hunt jockeys and 43 retired Flat jockeys.

Willie Carson, former five-time British champion Jockey and racing ambassador for the study said: “We know that racing is a high-risk sport, so understanding both the risks for injury in current jockeys and the long-term problems in retired jockeys is incredibly important. This research will really improve our knowledge and help racing to look after its jockeys.”

Information gathered from retired jockeys will form a crucial part of the overall study, said Dale Gibson, Professional Jockeys Association executive director-racing.

“(Findings) will enable us to identify ways of reducing injury risk for those who participate in our sport and ensure they are as well-equipped as possible to cope with the physical demands of their job.” – extracts from