With the Cheltenham Horse racing Festival just around the corner, excitement is building steadily. But do we ever think of the deadly dangers jockeys face? Would we ever place horse-racing among the most extreme sports?
Sadly, over the years, many jockeys have suffered falls and tragically, some have died. Nevertheless the general public, punters, bookies and everyone involved or interested in horse-racing spares little thought for the fate of the many brave jockeys. Why do they run such risks? For the very same reason some men and women try reach the highest peaks, surf the biggest waves, ride the fastest motorbikes and jump of cliffs. For the sheer thrill of it all!
The Tough and Dangerous Life of a Jockey
Jockeys will tell you they love what they do despite the risk, or perhaps because of them. There is a daredevil, thrill-seeking aspect to human nature, and being a jockey certainly takes care of your desire for danger.
They will also explain the special relationship they have with certain horses, and champion jockeys, though perhaps insufficiently paid, are perhaps starting to get the respect and admiration they deserve.
Unfortunately, there are quite a few downsides to being a jockey:
- Jockeys Rely on Their Horses to Behave: Like all of us, horses have bad days and can behave erratically. When they do, the jockey can be in serious trouble. Horses may bolt off into the wrong direction, refuse jumps or simply fall – all of which represent serious risks to the jockey.
- The Weight Issue: Weighing in correctly is essential and jockeys are renowned to go to extreme lengths to maintain the correct weight, with some eventually suffering from eating disorders.
- Falls and Trampling: Each jockey suffers falls, luckily most jockeys will recover fully. However, there have been too many fatalities. Incidents where jockeys are trampled on by horses after a fall are also all too frequent.
On the upside, jockeys, like all other extreme sports enthusiasts, will tell you not to worry and I guess if you think of things like driving, horseriding produces a lot less fatalities than our humble motor vehicle.
Jockeys Do it for the Love of it All
In full awareness of the dangers involved, jockeys will continue to ride, simply because it is their true passion. This is great news for us, as we can continue to enjoy watching the best jockeys in the top races.
When You Watch the Cheltenham Horse Races- Appreciate the Jockeys
Knowing all you are now aware of, watching horse racing and placing a bet might be a whole new story. Remember, you are not just watching horses races, you are also watching jockeys pursue an extreme sport.
Before You Got to Cheltenham
Before you pick winners for the various Cheltenham races, you ought to start by checking out the Grand Opening Day betting options & promotions. If you want to have any chance of picking a winner, you are gonna have to do some serious homework on all the jockeys, horses and ground conditions. When you do, you might just come into a whole load of cash.