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New medical officer for British racing

Jockey’s health is to be overseen by a new chief medical adviser.

Dr Jerry Hill, 49, takes on the role at the British Horseracing Authority (BHA) from Dr Michael Turner, who left in January after 21 years. Dr Guy Straight held the position in the interim.

Dr Hill is a senior racecourse medical officer, a member of the Football Association Medical Committee and former sports physician at the 2012 London Olympics for the equestrian events.

He will be responsible for setting the standards for raceday medical care, monitoring jockeys’ health and recovery from injury, overseeing the implementation of the policy for the banned substances tests and working to enhance safety standards.

“Jerry brings to the role not only his extensive experience as a physician in sport and trauma incidents, but also years of working with jockeys from his time operating on racecourses,” said the BHA’s Paul Bittar.

“He was the chosen candidate from a number of strong applications. We were impressed not only by his CV but also his commitment to, and ideas for, further enhancing jockey health and safety.’

Dr Hill has worked on racecourses for more than 10 years, most recently at Lingfield Park, and has also been a Medical Incident Officer for Sussex, Surrey and Kent Ambulance services.

“He’s clearly very well qualified, seems passionate about jockey health and wellbeing, has a number of good ideas and we look forward to working closely with him,” added Paul Struthers of the Professional Jockeys Association.

Dr Hill said he was “delighted”.

“I look forward to working with colleagues from all areas of the racing community, to build upon the ground-breaking work of my predecessor,” he added.

“With the aim of delivering optimum care to the jockeys at all stages of their careers, I am keen to identify relevant best practice in our sport, and in trauma, general and sports medicine by consulting widely both in and outside of racing. Any changes should be subject to regular review and a programme of educational support.”

First published in Horse & Hound magazine on 31 July 2014

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