Jockeys to remain limited to one meeting per day as BHA and PJA extend protocol through 2022 after consultation

A survey by the Professional Jockeys Association (PJA) and British Horseracing Authority (BHA) found 72 per cent of flat jockeys wanted the one meeting per day rule to remain in place; BHA's Richard Wayman: "It is our job to do everything we can to ensure the welfare of our jockeys".

Jump jockeys will also be banned from riding at multiple meetings in a single day
Image: Both jump and flat jockeys will be banned from riding at multiple meetings in a single day

Jockeys will remain limited one meeting per day after industry leaders agreed to extend the protocol, initially introduced last year in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Professional Jockeys Association (PJA) and British Horseracing Authority (BHA) announced the move after discussing the matter with jockeys and other stakeholders in a survey.

Prior to the rule, jockeys would often travel between tracks on the same day in order to maximise their number of rides.

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PJA joint-president PJ McDonald praised the decision, adding: "It will benefit the long-term physical and mental health of riders."

The protocol will be applied to both flat and jump racing in Britain.

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William Buick, who is challenging Oisin Murphy at the top of the jockeys championship, is happy to support the extension of a ban on riding at multiple meetings in a single day

Richard Wayman, the BHA's chief operating officer said: "Jockeys played a key role in ensuring racing's return in 2020 was a success, adapting to a new way of working in unusual circumstances while still producing at the highest level on the track.

"It is our job to do everything we can to ensure the welfare of our jockeys and it has become clear over the last year that the overwhelming majority of jockeys appreciate no longer competing at multiple meetings per day, and having to contend with the physical and mental pressures this placed upon them."

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The PJA say the majority of jockeys were in favour of keeping the rule in place
Image: The PJA say the majority of jockeys were in favour of keeping the rule in place

PJA executive director Dale Gibson added: "Horseracing is incredibly demanding on trainers, jockeys and racing staff, particularly given the size of the fixture list.

"When you factor in early morning work, extensive mileage, financial uncertainty and the significant physical and mental challenges of being a jockey, it's arguably the most challenging of professional sports for an athlete.

"The PJA conducted a comprehensive jockey welfare survey earlier this year, with almost half the membership responding.

"The one meeting a day rule was one area we asked members about. The clear message, particularly from flat jockeys, was that there had been significant benefits to jockeys from the rule, which for most outweighed any negatives and that the majority, including 72 per cent of flat jockeys, wanted the rule to remain.

"Based on the survey results, the PJA board had no hesitation in asking the BHA to take this step, and I am sure that the vast majority of the membership will be pleased that it remains in place throughout 2022."

Sanders: Jockeys should be able to work when they can

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Former champion jockey Seb Sanders had strong words to say about the extension of the ban on jockeys riding at multiple meetings in a single day, calling it a ‘bad idea’

Former champion jockey Seb Sanders is vehemently against the extension of the rule, calling it a "bad idea" and questioning how it affects the competitiveness of meetings.

He told Sky Sports Racing: "It's a bad idea. Jockeys, on the whole, are self-employed and should be allowed to work when they can.

"There's a window from June to the end of August when a flat jockey can make money and they've just taken all that away from them.

"When people turn up at the racecourse they want to see Ryan Moore, Oisin Murphy and Frankie Dettori.

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"How can this benefit up-and-coming jockeys who want to learn their trade? They might be going to a meeting where they get one or two rides, but that's not going to pay the bills.

"If you're a jockey and you want to get yourself in that position, you've got to work for it. It's a professional sport, not a charity."

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