Jockeys' finances vulnerable to lengthy shutdown of British racing

Jockeys' finances vulnerable to lengthy shutdown of British racing

The UK's Professional Jockeys Association fears a racing shutdown of longer than a week may quickly begin to have severe financial consequences for some of its members.

Racing in Britain was put on hold by the British Horseracing Authority after it emerged several vaccinated horses at the yard of trainer Donald McCain had tested positive for equine flu.

PJA chief executive Paul Struthers admitted that, while some riders will take the chance to use the minimum six-day break for an unexpected holiday, for others it will be a worrying time.

He said: "Some jockeys will take this opportunity for a bit of a break - it is the time of year anyway some might be able to get away, particularly those on the Flat.

"As we know, we're going to be missing six days at least, and we'll know more on Monday when more results are known, but for some jockeys the inability to earn any money will very quickly start becoming an issue.

"Some jockeys will be immune to it, but that will be a very small number."

The majority will be vulnerable, Struthers warns.

"Apprentices and conditionals, while they will lose their riding fees, they should at least be getting a wage," he added.

"But there will be a decent number of members that if the shutdown goes on for more than a week or two financial difficulties might not be far over the horizon.

"What I must stress is that everyone is 100 per cent behind the BHA in this. No one has criticised how they have handled this - that is the first thing to say."

While some jockeys get financially rewarded for riding work on the gallops, the restriction on movement of horses and enhanced biosecurity measures put in place will even affect their ability to do that.

There is, though, a charity within the PJA which can help those hardest hit.

"Some jockeys get paid to ride work, some don't," said Struthers.

"But with the sensible precautions advised, jockeys are now being advised not to visit different yards on the same day.

"We are fortunate to a degree that the PJA has a small charity with a similar objective to the Injured Jockeys' Fund - it's there to help those that are uninjured but in financial hardship.

"It doesn't have huge levels of funding, but we have the ability to help those that do start suffering from financial hardship - paying bills and such like."

PA

More on this topic

Frankie Dettori headlines tomorrow's Killarney cardFrankie Dettori headlines tomorrow's Killarney card

Surrounding shines brightestSurrounding shines brightest

For Your Eyes can get punters off to flying startFor Your Eyes can get punters off to flying start

Sovereigns proves his worthSovereigns proves his worth

More in this Section

Rahm hoping accommodation switch has Open benefits at PortrushRahm hoping accommodation switch has Open benefits at Portrush

Fear of missing out fuelled Rory McIlroy's Olympic u-turnFear of missing out fuelled Rory McIlroy's Olympic u-turn

Diarmuid O'Sullivan defends Cork against 'flakiness' but criticises lack of commitment, hunger, or plan BDiarmuid O'Sullivan defends Cork against 'flakiness' but criticises lack of commitment, hunger, or plan B

Confirmed: Kieran Trippier quits Spurs for Atletico MadridConfirmed: Kieran Trippier quits Spurs for Atletico Madrid


Lifestyle

A topic I find myself discussing a lot in the therapeutic space is that of shouting. Of course, we all raise our voices from time to time when dealing with our children.Learning Points: Shouting drowns out the message you want heard

Róisín O is one half of Thanks Brother with John Broe.A Question of Taste: Róisín O

Keen to boost her borders without breaking the bank, Hannah Stephenson consults Mark Gregory of Channel 5’s ‘The Great Gardening Challenge’.Gardening on a budget? We'll show you how

More From The Irish Examiner