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Dettori Outburst Over UK Jockey Weights

Thursday, 13th April 2006

In the UK overnight, leading jockey & Godolphin's star rider Frankie Dettori "has threatened to quit the Jockeys' Association over the minimum riding weight, which he claims is having a detrimental effect on the health of riders in Britain," reported racingpost.co.uk. Dettori "is arguing the lowest threshold for flat riders should be increased to stave off problems of dehydration, inadequate body fat & bone density, all of which were highlighted by a study from the University Of Limerick". The Irish authorities responded to that report by raising the minimum weight for their races last year & Dettori "is calling for similar action from the UK Jockey Club & the British Horseracing Board". He told BBC Radio 5 Live: "I am concerned about myself & my colleagues now, but I am also looking to the future & the young apprentices coming along. If we senior jockeys do not do something about it, then it is going to be a big problem for everybody. The BHB & the Jockey Club decided to raise the weights of some of the races, but they didn't do it right throughout the sport. There has got to be an even spread throughout the industry. It is a minority, and when I say minority I mean the guys who can have 3 meals a day & go racing without a problem, that are stopping the weights being risen. They held scientific tests in Ireland last year & showed that we could have some serious health problems towards the end of our career. I am 5ft 4 inches & weigh 9st 9lb, but I have to sometimes go down to 8st 6lb. I have been doing this for 18 years, so I know how to handle myself; but I am looking out for other people in the future. I am part of the Jockeys' Association, which has been going for many years & is meant to be an association to help everybody. I have decided to make a stand & if it doesn't get sorted I am willing to resign as it is not helping me, my colleagues or the young apprentices coming through the ranks who have a good future ahead. They did the same tests as they did in Ireland in Australia & both of those counties have decided to raise the weights. We are meant to be the world leaders in horseracing, but we seem to have 19th century rules."

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