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Stressors Experienced by Professional Jockeys

Lewis King, Sarah Jane Cullen, Jean McArdle, Adrian McGoldrick, Jennifer Pugh, Giles Warrington, and Ciara Losty

sport of horseracing, in particular, the athletes aboard the thoroughbred racehorse, jockeys. Despite the fact the sport has been labeled as high risk and demanding ( Warrington et al., 2009 ), there is a dearth of literature examining the stressors experienced by jockeys. Moreover, few sports involve

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GB Apprentice Jockeys Do Not Have the Body Composition to Make Current Minimum Race Weights: Is It Time to Change the Weights or Change the Jockeys?

George Wilson, Jerry Hill, Daniel Martin, James P. Morton, and Graeme L. Close

make weight all year round ( Martin et al., 2017 ; Wilson et al., 2014 ). The weight allowance given to apprentices in GB flat horseracing is allocated based upon the number of winning rides for each jockey, with 7 lb (3.2 kg), 5 lb (2.3 kg), and 3 lb (1.4 kg) being allowed until he/she has ridden 20

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Weight Management and Weight Loss Strategies of Professional Jockeys

Jan M. Moore, Anna F. Timperio, David A. Crawford, Cate M. Burns, and David Cameron-Smith

Jockeys are required to maintain very low body weight and precise weight control during competition. This study examined the weight loss and weight management strategies of professional horseracing jockeys in the state of Victoria, Australia. An anonymous, self-completed questionnaire was administered (55% response rate, n=116). Almost half (43%) reported that maintaining riding weight was difficult or very difficult, with 75% routinely skipping meals. In preparation for racing, 60% reported that they typically required additional weight loss, with 81% restricting food intake in the 24 hours prior to racing. Additionally, sauna-induced sweating (29%) and diuretics (22%) were frequently employed to further aid in weight loss prior to racing. These rapid weight loss methods did not differ between the 51% of jockeys who followed a weight management plan compared to those who did not. The impact of these extreme weight loss practices on riding performance and health remains unknown.

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New Zealand Jockeys’ Dietary Habits and Their Potential Impact on Health

Mark A. Leydon and Clare Wall

The purpose of this study was to determine the nutritional status, eating behaviors, and body composition of 20 jockeys working in the New Zealand Racing Industry. Seven-day weighed food records showed the mean daily energy intake for male and female jockeys was 6769 ± 1339 kJ and 6213 ± 1797 kJ, respectively. Energy and carbohydrate intakes were below the recommendations for athletes, and the jockeys did not meet the RDI for a number of micronu-trients. Of the jockeys, 67% used a variety of methods to "make weight". including: diuretics, saunas, hot baths, exercise, and the restriction of food and fluids. A number of jockeys (20%) showed signs of disordered eating. Forty-four percent of jockeys were classified as osteopenic, and a number of factors may have contributed to this outcome, namely: reduced calcium intake, delayed menarche (14.5 years) in female jockeys, alcohol intake, and smoking. Percent body fat of male and female jockeys was 11.7 ± 2.9 and 23.6 ± 3.8, respectively. Current weight restrictions imposed on jockeys by the horseracing industry impacts on their nutritional status, which may compromise their sporting performance and both their short- and long-term health.

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Lack of Effect of Typical Rapid-Weight-Loss Practices on Balance and Anaerobic Performance in Apprentice Jockeys

SarahJane Cullen, Eimear Dolan, Kate O Brien, Adrian McGoldrick, and Giles Warrington

Balance and anaerobic performance are key attributes related to horse-racing performance, but research on the impact of making weight for racing on these parameters remains unknown. The purpose of this study was to investigate the effects of rapid weight loss in preparation for racing on balance and anaerobic performance in a group of jockeys.


Twelve apprentice male jockeys and 12 age- and gender-matched controls completed 2 trials separated by 48 h. In both trials, body mass, hydration status, balance, and anaerobic performance were assessed. Between the trials, the jockeys reduced body mass by 4% using weight-loss methods typically adopted in preparation for racing, while controls maintained body mass through typical daily dietary and physical activity habits.


Apprentice jockeys decreased mean body mass by 4.2% ± 0.3% (P < .001) with a subsequent increase in dehydration (P < .001). The controls maintained body mass and a euhydrated state. No differences in balance, on the left or right side, or in peak power, mean power, or fatigue index were reported between the trials in either group.


Results from this study indicate that a 4% reduction in body mass in 48 h through the typical methods employed for racing, in association with an increase in dehydration, resulted in no impairments in balance or anaerobic performance. Further research is required to evaluate performance in a sport-specific setting and to investigate the specific physiological mechanisms involved.

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“You Wanna Ride, Then You Waste”: The Psychological Impact of Wasting in National Hunt Jockeys

Tanya McGuane, Stephen Shannon, Lee-Ann Sharp, Martin Dempster, and Gavin Breslin

( Burke, 2006 ; The British Horseracing Authority, 2015 ; The Turf Club of Ireland, 2007 ) assign more-successful horses to carry heavier jockeys in an attempt to improve competitive fairness. The minimum competition weight requirement for jockeys riding in flat races is 7 stones 12 pounds (45.21 kg

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Male Flat Jockeys Do Not Display Deteriorations in Bone Density or Resting Metabolic Rate in Accordance With Race Riding Experience: Implications for RED-S

George Wilson, Dan Martin, James P. Morton, and Graeme L. Close

( Olmedillas et al., 2012 ), as opposed to low energy availability per se. While we acknowledge that the apprentice jockeys presented with considerably less race riding experience than their senior counterparts, it is noteworthy that apprentice jockeys are likely to be from horse-racing families and, hence

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Markers of Bone Health, Bone-Specific Physical Activities, Nutritional Intake, and Quality of Life of Professional Jockeys in Hong Kong

Eric Tsz-Chun Poon, John O’Reilly, Sinead Sheridan, Michelle Mingjing Cai, and Stephen Heung-Sang Wong

fracture occurrence: A five-year follow-up study in elderly people . Journal of Bone and Mineral Research, 12 ( 7 ), 1075 – 1082 . PubMed doi:10.1359/jbmr.1997.12.7.1075 Cotugna , N. , Snider , O.S. , & Windish , J. ( 2011 ). Nutrition assessment of horse-racing athletes . Journal of Community

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Longitudinal Changes in Body Composition and Resting Metabolic Rate in Male Professional Flat Jockeys: Preliminary Outcomes and Implications for Future Research Directions

George Wilson, Carl Langan-Evans, Dan Martin, Andreas M. Kasper, James P. Morton, and Graeme L. Close

major stakeholders in GB horse racing, the British Horseracing Authority and the Professional Jockeys Association. Author Contributions: Wilson undertook all laboratory measurements. Langan-Evans undertook metabolic analysis, figure design, statistical analysis, and manuscript review. Martin undertook

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Within-Day Energy Deficiency and Metabolic Perturbation in Male Endurance Athletes

Monica Klungland Torstveit, Ida Fahrenholtz, Thomas B. Stenqvist, Øystein Sylta, and Anna Melin

altered hormonal profile and elevated rate of bone loss are associated with low bone mass in professional horse-racing jockeys . Journal of Bone and Mineral Metabolism, 30 ( 5 ), 534 – 542 . doi:10.1007/s00774-012-0354-4 Fahrenholtz , I.L. , Sjödin , A. , Benardot , D. , Tornberg , Å