New HRI rules give top jump jockeys extended break
Eight National Hunt fixtures will be restricted
Rachael Blackmore on board Somptueux. Photo: Caroline Norris/Inpho
Top jump jockeys such as Rachael Blackmore will have an extended break in June under new rules put in place by Horse Racing Ireland.
HRI confirmed on Monday that top riders will have an extended seasonal break from June 7th to June 30th.
It means the eight National Hunt fixtures in that period will be restricted to conditional riders and jockeys who have not ridden more than 15 winners in the previous 12 months.
There is no jump racing anyway from June 19th to 30th which provides a 12-day break for all jockeys in Ireland.
The move comes after representations to racing’s ruling body from the Irish Jockeys Association.
HRI’s director of racing, Jason Morris, said the new programme will double the break for leading jockeys to 24 days while increasing opportunities for others.
“The National Hunt fixtures immediately after this week’s Punchestown Festival at Down Royal on Monday, May 3rd and at Ballinrobe the following day are already restricted to conditional riders and those that rode less than 15 last season.
“Following on from these changes, the traditional three-meeting break afforded to the leading jump jockeys in early September will be discontinued.
“These altered race conditions were proposed by the Irish Jockeys Association, and both the Association of Irish Racehorse Owners and Irish Racehorse Trainers Association are supportive of these changes,” Morris said.
Jennifer Pugh, the IHRB’s Senior Medical Officer commented: “I am delighted to see this extended break for the leading National Hunt jockeys in June which will allow them to recharge both physically and mentally.
“There is no ‘off season’ for jump racing and this extended period will allow for much needed recuperation. Thanks goes to all stakeholders who recognised the need for this change and for their support.”