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Durden Says "Steeplechase-Only" Can Save Jumps

Wednesday, 9th December 2009

Champion jumps jockey Craig Durden “says a steeplechase-only program can be the salvation of the sport,” reported The Herald-Sun. Durden (7-times winner of the Corrigan Medal awarded to the season’s outstanding jumps jockey) has “come out strongly in favour of scrapping hurdle racing in the name of improving safety” & declared: “If it's the last gasp jumping's got, we've got to go for it. If we are to look post-2010, now is the time to try it. I know some will say it is hogwash, but I believe strongly it is time to change.” With the perception that hurdle races “are run too fast & jumpers show scant regard for the obstacles, brushing through them rather than jumping”, Durden noted: “The steeplechase fences are better to ride. They are bigger & there is more depth to the jumps. When the hurdlers leave the ground, they feel they can get another stride in. They jump off their hocks over fences.”

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