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Jockey Shortage Threatens Tasmanian Races

Thursday, 9th October 2008

The Australian Jockeys Association yesterday warned the "jockey shortage threatening this weekend's races in Tasmania highlights the need for increased protection for the country's riders". Tasmanian racing authorities have been forced to send out an urgent SOS to available interstate riders to fill vacancies for this Sunday's races. AJA chairman Ross Inglis said the "financial pressures placed on jockeys are leading to the mass exodus of riders throughout the country & directly impacting Tasmania's ability to run all scheduled races." Inglis noted: "In the past 9 years, jockey numbers have declined 43%. If jockeys are not provided basic protections, more of them will leave the sport, putting the on-going viability of the industry at risk. With jockeys currently expected to personally finance their insurance, travel, equipment & airfares while averaging little more than $50,000, it is hardly surprising there are insufficient riders to run all scheduled races. Tasmania has just lost one of its top jockeys Corey Kingston, who has had to make a career change because it simply isn't financially viable for him to continue in the sport anymore & unfortunately his case isn't unique." The AJA has set out a plan "to safeguard the country's 860 jockeys" which would direct 1% of race money to the AJA & be used to:

  • cover jockeys' compulsory Public Liability premiums;
  • fund a national Personal Accident Scheme for jockeys;
  • support jockeys & their families in financial hardship due to death, illness & injury through the National Jockeys' Trust;
  • fund other welfare programs.
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