Wed | Aug 12, 2020

Ellis criticises jockeying standard

Published:Thursday | July 16, 2020 | 12:16 AMRobert Bailey/Gleaner Writer
Local thoroughbreds in action over 1300 metres at Caymanas Park on Sunday, July 5.
Local thoroughbreds in action over 1300 metres at Caymanas Park on Sunday, July 5.

Jamaica Jockeys Guild President Shane Ellis says the standard of riding has declined significantly since the resumption of racing at Caymanas Park almost a month ago.

A number of the jockeys have suffered minor falls at the track in recent weeks since the restart of racing on June 20.

“I think that riding can improve because we have a lot of good jockeys over here,” Ellis said. “I think once the riding is at a high level, then a lot more people will be attracted to the sport and that will be excellent for the racing industry.

“Sometimes I am pleased with the riding and another time I am not, so a lot more can be done to improve it; and once we work together, then we are going to get there.”

Apprentice jockey Tamicka Lawrence, who has been riding for almost two years, fell from BORN DIPLOMAT at the start of the sixth race on Sunday.


Ellis said that many apprentice jockeys are in need of special training to improve their riding skills in the saddle.

“I would like for stewards to go over some of the steps with the apprentices and to see if they will improve their riding abilities, because this is critical to the development of the industry,” he said.

“I have been thinking about this for quite a while now and I am going to put this to the stewards.”

Supreme Ventures Racing and Entertainment Chairman Solomon Sharpe agrees with Ellis about falling standards.

“There is always room for improvement, and given the break, riding is something that the more you do it, the better you get,” he said.

“Given the break, maybe everybody is a little bit rusty, and it is harder for a younger person to come back and get acclimatised to riding competitively.

“We have a good cadre of jockeys and fitness plays a lot into it, so I think as the jockeys get a little bit fitter, you will see them looking a little smoother in the saddle.”