Top jockeys have given their backing to a diet plan
Top jockeys have given their backing to a diet plan designed to improve both physical and mental well-being.
Last Updated: 18/12/13 12:26pm
Liverpool John Moores University, along with a specialist medical team, has designed and implemented a scientific diet plan to suit the needs of riders whose fight with the scales can lead to dangerous practices and potentially harmful results.
The work, undertaken with high-profile names including Frankie Dettori and Tony McCoy, has been taken on internationally through a partnership with the Sheikh Mansoor Bin Zayed Al Nahyan Global Arabian Flat Racing Festival.
Dr Graeme Close, LJMU senior lecturer in exercise metabolism and nutrition said: "Working with the Sheikh Mansoor Bin Zayed Al Nahyan Global Arabian Flat Racing Festival will allow us to promote the physical and psychological well-being of all jockeys worldwide.
"We have put together a team including a clinical psychologist, physiologists, nutrition and a medical doctor who has worked for 25 years with jockeys. The international research study will focus on solving the problems facing the jockeys to 'make weight' and eliminate the risks involved in implementing severe food and drink restrictions."
The expert team includes trainer and amateur rider Dr Philip Pritchard, who has been involved with looking after jockeys' health as a racecourse medical officer for 30 years and is president of the Amateur Jockeys Association.
Dettori said: "It is great to see that jockeys will now have access to the same sports science expertise that other sports currently benefit from. I fully support the work of Dr George Wilson and colleagues, Liverpool John Moores University and this exciting new partnership with Sheikh Mansour."
McCoy said: "Anything the doctor (Pritchard) does has got to be good for racing under any code as he has been most helpful to me throughout my career as well as many, many others.
"It's a fantastic boost for us all that he has gained this support which will help with the fitness and general health of all jockeys whether it be over jumps or on the Flat."
Buick said: "I have benefited from Dr Phil Pritchard's tireless work helping jockeys in the UK and it's wonderful that his work can now be extended worldwide."