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Health and Safety


The welfare and safety of jockeys is very important to the racing industry.

A range of issues are reviewed and improved to provide jockeys increased protection from injury and a healthier work environment.
From the raising of minimum weights to bone density studies, the introduction of plastic running rails or the development of a better jockey helmet,
The industry is on a continued program of improvement. Some initiatives are further explained:


Cognitive testing for Jockeys and Apprentices
In 2012, Racing NSW and the Australian Racing Board in conjunction with the Australian Jockeys’ Association introduced a Computer Cognitive Assessment Tool (CCAT), by Axon Sports, nationally as a safety initiative. The CCAT is used to assess brain function (cognition) after a concussion or trauma to the head. The CCAT will be used to help assess if the brain has recovered and if it is safe for a rider to return to riding. The CCAT will be used to complement each Principal Racing Authorities’ (PRAs) existing concussion protocol.

The compulsory completion of the annual Baseline test for riders is a licensing requirement that all riders complete an annual test. This brings racing into line with other sports and provides a safe base for rider’s welfare.

The CCAT is an eight to 10 minute computer based on-line test. There are 4 tasks within the test. No prior learning is required. An account is created for each jockey to take their initial Baseline test. All onscreen instructions are spoken and written.

Try the test: It is recommended that riders take a short three minute preview (trial test) of the Baseline test so that they can familiarise themselves with each of the four tasks. The Practice test can be accessed at

After the initial 2012 Baseline test, future Baseline tests will be conducted once a year. The Baseline test should be conducted when the rider is well, has had a good night’s sleep and feeling refreshed. Baseline tests are not to be conducted on race days.
Read/Print a copy of the Concussion Poster

Racing NSW was a key driver behind the formation of a National Jockey Safety Review Committee NJSRC (now a sub-committee of the Australian Racing Board).
$50,000 each was contributed by Racing NSW, Racing Victoria and Racing & Wagering WA to fund the initial project. The Committee is chaired by Racing NSW Chief Executive Peter V’landys.

View a summary of some of the NJSRC initiatives.

To test different materials and shapes, to produce a practical helmet that provides greater protection for riders against severe head injury.

Racing NSW supervises an ARB and NJSRC project to produce a safer helmet for Jockeys. With the incorporation of new materials, after extensive testing helmet prototypes passed a series of increased drop height tests under different conditions.

Designed after consultation with jockeys including taking headform measurements and discussing vision and comfort issues, the helmets aim to produce safer protection more applicable to riding accidents. Commercial release is expected in 2012.
Sports and Energy drinks, Caffeine drinks
For health reasons, be careful what you drink on raceday.

Dr Caron Jandor, a qualified Sports Doctor has some advice about the use of Caffeine drinks such as Red Bull:

“Before you consume anything, think about exactly what you are putting in your body.
The best form of drink before or after riding is always water. Sports drinks like Gatorade and Powerade may also be appropriately consumed.
The Australian Racing Board recommends against jockeys using so called “energy” drinks such as Red Bull and other similar products”

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