Sun | Nov 29, 2020

Back to basics - JRC considers refresher courses for apprentice jockeys

Published:Friday | October 9, 2020 | 12:09 AMRobert Bailey/Gleaner Writer
Horses leaving the starting gate at Caymanas Park.
Horses leaving the starting gate at Caymanas Park.

Jamaica Racing Commission (JRC) Chairman Clovis Metcalfe said that he is concerned about the recent falls of a number of apprentice jockeys at Caymanas Park.

Apprentice jockeys Youville Pinnock and Tevin Foster suffered injuries after falling from their mounts in August and September, respectively.

Pinnock has since returned to the saddle, while Foster is sidelined with a shoulder and back injury.

Metcalfe said that this has been a major concern for the JRC and that they will be taking steps to ensure that they protect and educate jockeys about the dangers of the track.

“As it regards the incidents, I have taken note of the fact that in most cases, it is the apprentice riders who are involved, so considerations are being given to having refresher courses for them,” he said. “I think these apprentices need more training, so the plan is to engage somebody like George Hosang or Emilio Rodriques who could come down and spend some time with the younger riders, and I think that will help them to further develop.

“In everything, you are going to have good, better, and bad, and it is not everybody that is going to turn out to be a top rider.

“Some of them eventually turn out to become top riders, while others fall by the wayside, but it is for us to help those who we think need some help.”


Metcalfe said that one of the ways that they are looking at to assist these apprentices is to extend their apprenticeship beyond three years in the saddle.

“It is the intention to look at the rules regarding the apprentices and see how best we can give them a longer stint as apprentices because this certainly will help them and give them an opportunity to do better,” he said.

“After three years, regardless of the number of winners that they have, they are out of the system and become jockeys without claims, and this certainly can’t help them to develop.”