Today (Saturday 22 November) is National Jockey Day — and to mark the occasion a campaign to raise money for the Injured Jockeys Fund (IJF) has been launched by Betfair.
For every tweet posted mentioning #NationalJockeyDay on 22 November, the online betting firm will donate £1 to the IJF. The company hopes to raise £10,000.
“When thinking of racing, our minds avert to the daring outfits, big hats, bright colours, and of course the beautiful horses,” said the company.
“But what’s often overlooked is that, each day, jockeys get up at the crack of dawn to train, drive hundreds of miles to their races and put themselves in constant danger of injury — all to ensure they are performing at the highest level and taking the sport we love to new heights.”
The campaign will launch at Haydock Park racecourse during the Betfair Chase Festival, and has the backing of champion trainer Paul Nicholls and ex-jump jockey turned TV presenter Mick Fitzgerald.
The average Flat jockey has 220 rides per year, travelling at speeds of up to 40mph. The average National Hunt jockey has 160 rides per year and tackles around 4,000 jumps.
“We feel jockeys are one of the hardest working athletes in sport and deserve a day where the nation supports their unwavering efforts,” added Betfair’s Naomi Totten.
“By partnering with the IJF, the hope is this year’s campaign can go some way to giving back to an integral industry charity. We urge people to support the campaign.”
Amateur jockey Hayley Moore got involved by making a “day in the life video” of her day at last week’s Open meeting at Cheltenham, where she rode Fruity O’Rooney in the opener.
“It was good fun and for a great cause,” said Hayley.
Support National Jockey Day by tweeting #NationalJockeyDay with £1 per tweet (up to £10,000) being donated to the Injured Jockeys Fund by Betfair themselves.
Fans can also personally donate £5 by texting IJF to 70800.