Minister for Racing Martin Pakula today announced funding of $260,000 to support a pilot program aimed at transitioning jockeys to other employment when their riding career ends.
Delivering on an Andrews Labor Government commitment Mr Pakula made the announcement at the annual three-day Warrnambool May Racing Carnival.
The Post Riding Career Employment Transition Program aims to support at least 20 jockeys each year by providing them with essential skills, training and opportunities to make a successful career transition.
The program will tailor a profile for each jockey, including family circumstances, life goals, education levels, previous work experience and current career status.
The pilot follows a successful trial last year involving two jockeys. The riding career of one of the participants, 31-year-old Talia Rodder, ended prematurely because of a track riding accident at Caulfield in early 2015.
The trial enabled her to identify talents and skills she was unaware of that she can now use for future career paths.
The other participant, 28-year-old Nick Hall, also suffered significant injuries that kept him out of the saddle for over six months and made him realise he needed to look at other employment options.
The trial program provided Mr Hall with alternate career pathways outside of the racing industry.
Funding for the transition program has been provided through the government’s Victorian Racing Industry Fund.
The two year pilot is one of the key initiatives of the government’s Plan to Keep Victorian Racing Strong.
Quotes attributable to Minister for Racing Martin Pakula
“It is critical that we look at ways to provide jockeys with a plan to enable them to actively pursue alternate career opportunities, either within or outside of the racing industry.”
“This becomes even more important when you consider that the average retirement age for jockeys is 35 and every year in Victoria about 25 jockeys ends their riding careers.”
Quotes attributable to Victorian Jockeys Association Chairman Stephen Baster
"The Victorian Jockeys Association is indebted to the Andrews Labor Government for its commitment to this very important career transition program. It will provide essential professional support, advice guidance for jockeys as they look to move on to the next phase of their working lives after riding."
"As a career jockey, I understand how vital it is to consider employment after riding. The Andrews Labor government's funding of this program will provide Victorian riders with the tools they need to make a successful transition to other areas of the workforce."
Reviewed 19 August 2020