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Eimear Dolan, SarahJane Cullen, Adrian McGoldrick and Giles D. Warrington

Purpose:

To examine the impact of making weight on aerobic work capacity and cognitive processes in a group of professional jockeys.

Methods:

Nine male jockeys and 9 age-, gender-, and BMI-matched controls were recruited to take part in two experimental trials, conducted 48 hr apart. The jockeys were asked to reduce their body mass by 4% in the 48 hr between trials, and controls maintained usual dietary and physical activity habits between trials. Aerobic work capacity was assessed by performance during an incremental cycle ergometer test. Motor response, decision making, executive function, and working memory were assessed using a computerized cognitive test battery.

Results:

The jockey group significantly reduced their body mass by 3.6 ± 0.9% (p < .01). Mean urine specific gravity (Usg) readings increased from 1.019 ± 0.004–1.028 ± 0.005 (p < .01) following this reduction in body mass. Peak work capacity was significantly reduced between trials in the jockey group (213 ± 27 vs. 186 ± 23 W, p < .01), although VO2peak (46.4 ± 3.7 vs. 47.2 ± 6.3 ml·kg·min-1) remained unchanged. No changes were identified for any cognitive variable in the jockey group between trials.

Conclusion:

Simulation of race day preparation, by allocating a weight that is 4% below baseline body mass caused all jockeys to report for repeat testing in a dehydrated state, and a reduction in aerobic work capacity, both of which may impact on racing performance.

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

Athletes competing in weight-sensitive sports often implement extreme dieting practices, which increases their likelihood of ill health including lower bone density, eating disorders, renal complications, and stress ( Sundgot-Borgen & Torstveit, 2004 ). Horse racing requires riding jockeys to meet

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Louise M. Burke, Graeme L. Close, Bronwen Lundy, Martin Mooses, James P. Morton and Adam S. Tenforde

male athletes with LEA including running or sports with reduced weight bearing, such as jockeys and cyclists. • Low body weight may be associated with low BMD particularly in adolescent male athletes. • Athletes with bone stress injuries in trabecular-rich site may be at higher risk for low BMD

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

Horse racing is one of the most popular sports worldwide and generates billions of dollars in revenue from both the breeding industry and gambling ( Wilson et al., 2014a ). In Hong Kong, there are more than 600 races each year ( Hong Kong Jockey Club, 2015 ), and three of the world’s best 11 horses

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

The relative energy deficiency in sport (RED-S) syndrome was recently developed in recognition that male athletes display evidence of impaired physiological function that may be related to low energy availability ( Mountjoy et al., 2014 ). Jockeys are unique among professional athletes in that they

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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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Philippa Velija and Leah Flynn

This paper adopts Elias’ theory of established and outsider relations (Elias and Scotson, 1994) to argue that women riders are “outsiders” within the racing figuration. The paper draws on data collected from eight semi-structured interviews with experienced female jockeys. It is suggested by the authors that female jockeys remain outsiders within the racing figuration in the UK. In particular, female jockeys are largely resigned to their inferior position as their views of male jockeys remain deeply ingrained in stereotypes about gender. The increasing organizational changes that have allowed women to be a part of the Jockey Club, be granted licenses, train and compete alongside males do not appear to have changed attitudes toward female jockeys, who are largely perceived as weaker and less capable than male jockeys.

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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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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.

Methods:

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.

Results:

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.

Conclusion:

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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George Wilson, Neil Chester, Martin Eubank, Ben Crighton, Barry Drust, James P. Morton and Graeme L. Close

Professional jockeys are unique among weight-making athletes, as they are often required to make weight daily and, in many cases, all year-round. Common methods employed by jockeys include dehydration, severe calorie restriction, and sporadic eating, all of which have adverse health effects. In contrast, this article outlines a structured diet and exercise plan, employed by a 22-yr-old professional National Hunt jockey in an attempt to reduce weight from 70.3 to 62.6 kg, that does not rely on any of the aforementioned techniques. Before the intervention, the client’s typical daily energy intake was 8.2 MJ (42% carbohydrate [CHO], 36% fat, 22% protein) consumed in 2 meals only. During the 9-wk intervention, daily energy intake was approximately equivalent to resting metabolic rate, which the athlete consumed as 6 meals per day (7.6 MJ, 46% CHO, 19% fat, 36% protein). This change in frequency and composition of energy intake combined with structured exercise resulted in a total body-mass loss of 8 kg, corresponding to reductions in body fat from 14.5% to 9%. No form of intentional dehydration occurred throughout this period, and mean urine osmolality was 285 mOsm/kg (SD 115 mOsm/kg). In addition, positive changes in mood scores (BRUMS scale) also occurred. The client was now able to ride light for the first time in his career without dehydrating, thereby challenging the cultural practices inherent in the sport.