Jockeys' path to racing fitness

Exercise sports science student Lucy Cleggett with jockey Gary Lo who is having his respiratory physiology analysed as part of unique UniSA study. Photo by Sarah Reed, The Advertiser. HEALTH
Exercise sports science student Lucy Cleggett with jockey Gary Lo who is having his respiratory physiology analysed as part of unique UniSA study. Photo by Sarah Reed, The Advertiser.

UniSA and Thoroughbred Racing SA have formed a new partnership that will underpin a program to assess and improve jockeys’ athletic performance and abilities – putting jockey fitness in the spotlight for the first time.

As part of the new partnership, South Australian jockey apprentices will visit UniSA’s City East campus regularly to be assessed by researchers and sport science students at the High Performance Sports Centre.

Key athletic indicators analysed will include aerobic capacity, strength, mechanical efficiency and anthropometric profiling.

The results will aid in tailoring advanced training programs for the jockeys, leading to better performance on the track.

Thoroughbred Racing SA’s Manager of Industry Training, Briony Moore, believes the move to professionally analyse jockey physiology is a world first for racing.

“By partnering with UniSA, we’re helping our young riders take the next step in their progression from being professional athletes to becoming truly elite sports men and women,” Moore says.

“They will have access to sports science data and analysis that will form the basis of individual programs to accelerate their development and help them be the best riders they can be.”

Head of UniSA School of Health Sciences, Professor Roger Eston, says the partnership offers significant opportunities for researchers, students and jockeys.

“We are very excited about the opportunity to enhance the development of young riders and include them as a research focus benefiting not only local jockeys, but also the racing industry globally,” Prof Eston says.

Raquel Clark is the leading apprentice in SA at the moment and is participating in the UniSA project. Photo courtesy of AtkinsPhotography.com.au

Raquel Clark is the leading apprentice in SA at the moment and is participating in the UniSA project. Photo courtesy of AtkinsPhotography.com.au.

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