“Nothing in the world is worth having or worth doing unless it means effort, pain, difficulty.”
The life of a jockey is one of extremes. The type of all-out effort required is measurable only by the potential to achieve some of the best, most rewarding, exciting and emotionally untouchable days of their lives - and the lives of others. It can also result in life changing pain and difficulty. I am fairly certain that Theodore Roosevelt wasn’t considering a career in the saddle when he wrote this but he completely sums up why a person would put themselves through the risks, the hard work, the potential for injury and the many other difficulties that can face a jockey; because it is worth doing.
Without the jockeys that push themselves to the limits and take the risks they take, often numerous times in one day, we would be without one of the most powerful sports, and industries, in history. The sport of horse racing has influenced the lives of many families both in Ireland and further afield, my own life has been entirely shaped by racing, and by racing I don’t only mean the industry, but the people within in it. It has often been remarked that racing is a ‘family’, a network of those who have a deep understanding of its joys, its complexities and its risks.
That is why I am delighted to be a part of the Corinthian Challenge, a charity race series set up in aid of Irish Injured Jockeys encompassing 3 races, Naas (29th May), The Curragh (17th July) and Leopardstown (23rd October), that with your help will raise over €100,000. This money will be used to fund vital and extensive care and support for those who have suffered serious injuries and their families, to supplement the income of those who cannot earn a living due to injury and to help those who can no longer ride due to injury, to re-train.
There are many of you that will read this (I hope!) for whom racing is such a part of your life that you intrinsically understand the need for this challenge to exist and the ethos behind the Irish Injured Jockeys charity. There will be those of you who have made racing your life’s work and who not only rely on it for your own and your family’s livelihood, but live and breathe it every day for the pure and unrivalled sense of enjoyment that it can bring.
There will also be those who have been racing, had a bet, and know what it’s about but may not truly realise quite how much a jockey’s life can be changed in an instant, a second, when the risks they are taking do not work out in their favour.
Thank you very much for reading this, I really do appreciate it. The work of the Irish Injured Jockeys charity is vital to the sport and I hope I have gone some way to explaining why I want to do this.
I would be so grateful for any donations to hit the target of €10,000 over the next 6 months so please click on the “Give Now” button (above I think!) to donate online, or if you would like to donate by cheque please contact me directly (+353 87 3503462 or firstname.lastname@example.org).