Being a jockey is risky business. As the pounding of 10 or more massive animals surrounds you, one false move and you could be on the floor getting trampled on by a number of huge racing horses in no time. That’s why it is imperative that jockey health and safety is one of the main priorities when it comes to horse racing. Here’s our horse racing tips and advice for all jockeys!
The dangers and awareness
Like anything which holds such high level dangers, being aware of them is crucial as a jockey. Knowing what may go wrong and how to deal with a situation if any accidents do happen is essential – it is a matter of life and death when it comes to jockeying. This means you can act rationally and safely to avoid any further injuries and also means you are more aware of situations before and as they unfold, potentially mitigating further disasters. Being aware of the dangers and knowing what to do in certain circumstances could prevent a jockey from death, it’s that serious.
Controlling the horse
A great way to mitigate any potential damage and ensure health and safety protocols are followed is to control the horse. By managing the welfare of the horse first and foremost you are likely to negate any bad energy and make racing much easier. This lessens the chance of any issues to both the jockey and the horse. Keeping the horse in good shape, looking after it and making sure you follow all the BHA regulations is a great way of improving the health and safety of jockeys by proxy.
Use of the right equipment
Whether you are just training or you are racing, as a jockey you will always want to be using the right equipment. You wouldn’t travel on a motorbike at 45 mph without a helmet, so why would you do it on a horse? Attaching and using the right equipment whilst horse racing is not only mandatory health and safety most of the time, but also just smart.
Follow the rules
A lot of the equipment usage is actually just following the basic rules of the BHA. Following these rules more generally is a good way of making sure that the health and safety of jockeys remains high – after all these rules are there for a reason and made to keep jockeys safe. Whether this be having adequate first aid readily available, racing with the right horse or using the correct equipment, the standardised set of rules are there for a reason and should be obeyed by any jockey – especially when racing.
Ultimately, falls in horse racing are not planned and through experience jockeys will know tricks of the trade to stop putting themselves into positions where this may have a higher chance of happening. Experience is invaluable and whilst cannot be taught, is a great way of improving health and safety of jockeys. The best advice you can get for a jockey is from another veteran jockey.