‘Fast-track system’ set up to help jockeys in financial difficulty

Irish Jockeys Association is now in a position to financially assist riders if necessary

With racing stopped until at least April 19th the IJA has moved to support its members. Photograph: Inpho

With racing stopped until at least April 19th the IJA has moved to support its members. Photograph: Inpho

 

The Irish Jockeys Association has set up a “fast-track system” to help riders in any financial difficulty due to the impact of the coronavirus pandemic.

With racing stopped until at least April 19th the IJA has moved to support its members through giving information on potential state benefits as well as offering assistance on dealing with banks and other institutions.

However it is now also in a position to financially assist jockeys if necessary.

“Luckily we have been putting away money, not so much like a rainy day fund, but for injuries. But this obviously is a catastrophe and so we have got access to money from the jockey’s trust and from the injured jockey’s fund.

“Where a rider finds themselves in difficulty we now have a fast-track system in place where they can make an application. They can be assisted in filling out the application form which will be submitted for consideration and we are trying to have a system within 24 hours, certainly 48 hours, to let them know if they’ll be able to get assistance,” said the IJA secretary Andrew Coonan on Friday.

“What we have found is a number of riders are in a dual position in that they are employees in yards where they ride out and they are sole traders when they go to the races.

“We know their position as sole traders is gone. They have no earnings at all from that. Some of them will continue to earn in terms of riding out so the Covid payment is questioned as to if they’re entitled to a Covid payment at all based on that.

“Hence we need to have an alternative or an additional scheme for them if possible,” he added. “Many of them have mortgages and kids like everyone else in the community.”

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