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Jockey Career Length and Risk Factors for Loss from Thoroughbred Race Riding

Sustainability. 2020;12(7443):7443 DOI 10.3390/su12187443

 

Journal Homepage

Journal Title: Sustainability

ISSN: 2071-1050 (Online)

Publisher: MDPI AG

LCC Subject Category: Technology: Environmental technology. Sanitary engineering: Environmental effects of industries and plants | Technology: Mechanical engineering and machinery: Renewable energy sources | Geography. Anthropology. Recreation: Environmental sciences

Country of publisher: Switzerland

Language of fulltext: English

Full-text formats available: PDF, HTML, ePUB, XML

 

AUTHORS


Kylie Legg (School of Veterinary Science, Massey University, Private Bag 11-222, Palmerston North 4442, New Zealand)

Darryl Cochrane (School of Sport, Exercise and Nutrition, Massey University, Private Bag 11-222, Palmerston North 4442, New Zealand)

Erica Gee (School of Veterinary Science, Massey University, Private Bag 11-222, Palmerston North 4442, New Zealand)

Chris Rogers (School of Veterinary Science, Massey University, Private Bag 11-222, Palmerston North 4442, New Zealand)

EDITORIAL INFORMATION

Blind peer review

Editorial Board

Instructions for authors

Time From Submission to Publication: 11 weeks

 

Abstract | Full Text

Professional thoroughbred racing jockeys repeatedly work close to physiological capacity during races, whilst maintaining low body weights, on a daily basis with no off-season. The effects of this on their career length is unknown. The aim of this study was to examine the career lengths and reasons for loss from the industry of 674 jockeys and apprentices who rode over 14 racing seasons and 421,596 race day starts in New Zealand. Descriptors were compared between jockeys in short (1–2 years), middle (3–9 years) and long (>10 years) career cohorts with descriptive statistics and Kaplan–Meier survival curves. The median career length for jockeys was 2 years (IQR 1–6). Long career cohort jockeys (11%) had lower carried weights (IQR 56–57 kg, <i>p</i> = 0.03), 40 times the median number of rides per season (248, IQR 61–434, <i>p</i> < 0.001), half the rate per 1000 rides of falling (1.1, 95% CI 1.0–1.2, <i>p</i> = 0.009) and 1.3 times the rate of winning (100, 95% CI 99–101, <i>p</i> < 0.01) than jockeys in the short career cohort. Jockeys who rode over 200 races per season had careers three times longer than jockeys with fewer races per season (<i>p</i> < 0.001). Half of the 40% of jockeys who failed to complete their apprenticeship were lost from the industry in their first year of race riding. In conclusion, most jockeys had short careers where the workload of a jockey and their ability to obtain rides had greater impact on career longevity than their performance.