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The association between jockey experience and race-day falls in flat racing in Australia


Hitchens, PL and Blizzard, CL and Jones, G and Day, LM and Fell, J, The association between jockey experience and race-day falls in flat racing in Australia, Injury Prevention, 18, (6) pp. 385-391. ISSN 1475-5785 (2012) [Refereed Article]

Copyright Statement

Copyright 2012 BMJ Publishing Group

DOI: doi:10.1136/injuryprev-2011-040255


Objectives Apprentice thoroughbred racing jockeys have a higher fall rate than their more experienced counterparts. The authors describe rates of occurrence and investigate risk factors for falls among less-experienced thoroughbred flat racing jockeys in Australia who commenced their race riding career between August 2002 and July 2009.

Methods Data on race-day falls were extracted from stewards' reports. Denominator data were provided by Racing Information Services Australia on races conducted in Australia. HRs were estimated using time-to-event (survival analysis) methods.

Results Factors found to be associated with falls by less-experienced jockeys (as indicated by number of career rides or career stage) were older jockey age at commencement of career (p=0.001), fewer previous rides this meeting (p<0.001), fewer previous starts by the horse (p<0.001), younger horse age (p<0.001), lower race grade (p<0.001), lower prize money (p<0.001), shorter race distance (p<0.001) and drier track rating (p<0.001). Apprentice experience was inversely and strongly associated with increased rates of falls (p<0.001). Three indicators of less accomplished horses (lower race grade, fewer previous starts by the horse and less prize money at stake) and two race conditions (drier tracks and shorter race distance) were found to be associated with a progressively higher hazard of falls for less-experienced jockeys.

Conclusions This study identified factors that preferentially contribute to falls by inexperienced jockeys. The authors suggest that consideration be given to restricting apprentice jockeys with little race-riding experience from riding horses that have not yet won a race (maiden) or that have had few previous race starts.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:apprentice, racing jockey, thoroughbred, fall rate, risk factors
Research Division:Biomedical and Clinical Sciences
Research Group:Clinical sciences
Research Field:Rheumatology and arthritis
Objective Division:Health
Objective Group:Clinical health
Objective Field:Clinical health not elsewhere classified
UTAS Author:Hitchens, PL (Ms Peta Hitchens)
UTAS Author:Blizzard, CL (Professor Leigh Blizzard)
UTAS Author:Jones, G (Professor Graeme Jones)
UTAS Author:Fell, J (Associate Professor James Fell)
ID Code:78041
Year Published:2012
Web of Science® Times Cited:26
Deposited By:Menzies Institute for Medical Research
Deposited On:2012-06-13
Last Modified:2017-11-06
Downloads:4 View Download Statistics

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