NSWJA February 2019 Newsletter

Paul Innes

Paul Innes OAM, Chief Executive of the Australian Jockeys Association (AJA), recently advised the AJA Board of his intention to retire from the position on 31st March, 2019.

Paul Innes legacies to Australian jockeys are many, but four absolutely stand out:

i. The role he played in the creation of the National Jockeys Trust in 2004. The Trust was established by the AJA to assist injured riders who were are in necessitous circumstances through injury or illness, its charter being to provide them with financial and other support. To date, the Trust has provided assistance to 369 jockeys to an amount of $3.5 million.

ii. In 2006, ensuring on-going funding of the National Jockeys Trust through achieving support of the Australian Racing Board when it permitted sponsorship of all jockeys through advertising on the jockeys riding breeches.

iii. In 2009 obtaining the Australian Racing Board’s agreement that 1% of prizemoney (or its equivalent) be used to fund critical Public Liability and Personal Accident insurance premiums, so that all Australian jockeys were provided a much greater level of protection, with the residual amount providing additional much needed welfare programs for jockeys.

iv. In 2014, driving the case that ultimately saw jockeys win Superannuation Guarantee entitlements on both their riding and trial fees, thereby providing jockeys with a pathway towards improved security and dignity in retirement.

Paul Innes said: “I can leave the AJA with the knowledge that Australian Jockeys are better off than they would been, if the national peak body to represent jockeys was not established. Because of the AJA, jockeys today are better rewarded financially, more professionally represented, and better protected by non-contributory insurances”

Paul Innes also spent over twenty years as Secretary of the NSW Jockeys Association, and I personally wish to thank Paul for the advice, mentoring and opportunities he has given me, and will forever be grateful.

Paul Innes has been the Chairman of the National Jockeys Trust for 15 years and will continue in that role.

AJA Chairman Des O’Keeffe said: “Paul Innes time as our Chief Executive sees Australia’s jockeys in a much, much better position now compared to 2001. On behalf of the entire riding group, past and present, I thank Paul for his unwavering commitment to improving the lives of Australia’s jockeys and wish him well into the future. We are pleased that he will remain as Chairman of the National Jockeys Trust.”

Massage Therapist

A number of jockeys have got on the front foot and have had a number of complimentary massages.

Please see email sent to you on 21st January 2019 with all the details.

You have 10 complimentary visits in 2019 @ $90.00 per visit.

One question asked was “can I see a physiotherapist?” The answer is “yes” but they’ll charge more than a massage/remedial therapist.

E.g they may charge $130 p/h but you will only be reimbursed the maximum of $90 per visit.

Please call me should you have any questions regarding visiting a massage/remedial therapist. Please let me know if you want me to resent the email regarding this matter.

Again, the NSWJA would like to thank Racing NSW on supporting this initiative that will benefit all NSW jockeys (this offer is only available to jockeys riding more than 100 races per year)

Apprentice Survey

The Australian Jockeys Association will be undertaking a national survey of Apprentices this week.

The aim is to better understand the working conditions and level of training of apprentices in NSW, allowing us to accurately address the major issues with Racing NSW and Racing Australia.

LUCRF Super

LUCRF Super invest a significant amount of money to support the National Jockeys Trust. A portion of those funds pay for the jockeys breeches across Australia with the balance going to the National Jockeys Trust to support injured current and former riders who are in necessitous circumstances.

The below information on Income Protection is for all jockeys and is a financial security when/if things don’t go to plan.

Australian Super offer an excellent Income Protection and obtaining sound insurance for jockeys is difficult, hence the reason for the below information.

You can have more than one Superannuation account, but as always, we encourage you to speak with your financial advisor/accountant.

Income Protection – IMPORTANT!!

  • Income Protection (IP) has advantages for ALL jockeys. The advantage for the high earning jockeys is that it will help offset the financial disadvantage should you be out injured either on or off a racetrack.
  • The advantage for those apprentice/jockeys on a medium income is that IP will assist if, for whatever reason, you are unable to ride due to an injury/illness away from the track.
  • In the December Newsletter we alerted you to the “test case” of a current injured rider, and his income protection benefit payments.
  • Australian Super appear to be one of the few funds/organisations that will provide Income Protection for jockeys.
  • This jockey took out Income Protection (IP) with Australian Super and I’m glad to say that his payments were paid in full following the 30 day waiting period
  • Under NSW legislation, Workers Compensation for all workers, including jockeys, is a maximum of $2,145 per week less tax.
  • Depending on your salary, the jockey will also receive a maximum of $500 per week from the Gow Gates Top Up, less tax.
  • The maximum total of workers comp & top up is $2645 less tax.
  • Any payments from Australian Super would be on top of this.
  • The maximum Australian Super offer is $30,000 per month or 85% of your average annual income
  • The cost of Income Protection is made directly through your Superannuation payments, and is based on your age and your medical history.
  • The best contact at Australian Super is Camille Nicholson 0438 802 424 or email at cnicholson@australiansuper.com

  • Camille will be able to better explain how Australian Super Income Protection operates, the cost and what forms you need to complete.

  • Income Protection Part Two

  • Should you suffer an injury away from work OR have an illness OR are involved in an accident to or from the races, YOU ARE NOT COVERED BY WORKERS COMPENSATION under NSW Workers Compensation legislation.
  • If you are injured away from work you should be able to access the $500 per week from the Gow Gates/QBE Personal Accident Cover that we have in place for jockeys (this does not cover illness) T&Cs apply.
  • Australian Super Income Protection will cover you up to a maximum 85% of your average annual salary or the figure you decide to insure yourself. This depends on the level of income you stipulate when you take the cover, and there is a 30 waiting period (if you choose this option)

  • Income Protection Part Three

  • As mentioned earlier, Australian Super does not exclude jockeys for insurance based on their occupation.
  • Should Australian Super ever decide to cease insuring jockeys then we are in a spot of bother, more to the point, the jockeys who have not taken up Income Protection with Australian Super, will find it difficult to insure themselves.
  • For all riders I urge you to speak with your financial advisors/accountants before committing. They might be cognisant of a better Income Protection Scheme, if so could you please advise me as a matter of urgency
  • Please read all the Terms and Conditions with Australian Super.
  • Please call or email Camille Nicholson ASAP.
  • Should any jockey wish to receive an electronic Aust Super Insurance Guide, please email me and I’ll forward it across.
  • Riding Overseas

    The NSWJA and the AJA have mentioned this numerous times over the past years. The workers compensation payments in Australia are close to “world’s best” and it covers every jockey, including internationals, who ride in Australia.

    Unfortunately, the same benefits are not afforded to Australian jockeys riding overseas.

    New Zealand must be close to the worse in terms of insurance for jockeys (this includes Australian based New Zealanders) and your medical costs are only covered whilst in NZ.

    If you decide to ride overseas please contact the NSWJA and we can assist with advising what cover exists in the country you are visiting.

    Filipino Trackwork Riders

    You may now be aware of Filipino trackwork riders have arrived in NSW to ride trackwork at tracks that have a chronic shortage of trackwork riders

    The first group have arrived and began working at Tamworth, Dubbo, Goulburn, Wagga and Muskoka Farm.

    The “trackwork riders” will be working in pairs to help them adjust to life in Australia.

    They will be here for a maximum of two years.

    The Filipinos will not be allowed to ride in races.

    We understand the Filipinos are accomplished riders, who will also be trained as barrier attendants, and assist clubs and Racing NSW where needed.

    Jockey Rooms Update

    Mudgee – the rooms have finally been extended to offer more space.

    Casino – the rooms have been renovated and the female rooms extended.

    Nowra – work should commence in a few months on refurbishing and extending both rooms

    Moruya – this club is having issues with local council. Plans have gone through but no date has been confirmed for refurbishing both rooms, it may be early 2020.

    Corowa – design and development for expansion will occur over the next few months. Goulburn – refurbishment of both jockey rooms have been approved and work will commence soon.

    Wagga – we are close to finally having flashing lights at Travers St warning motorists that horses may be crossing. Thanks to Brad Clark for all his time and effort.

    Muswellbrook – recently had one of these flashing light signs installed.

    Major Enquiries

    There have been a number of incidents in the metropolitan area over recent years where jockeys have been called in the stewards rooms for a major enquiry.

    The press are present during the initial hearing, and in between races they will be on social media tweeting about developments, despite the hearing being incomplete.

    The jockey has his/her day thrown into chaos due to being questioned after every race, and this bears a negative impact on other rides on the day. Connections are extremely dismayed that their jockey is being interrogated in the stewards room, and stewards are placing additional pressure on the jockey.

    The press vilifies jockeys in social media with half a story, the following day social media are slamming the jockey from pillar to post. On most occasions the jockey has no case to answer, yet the damage to their reputation is irreversible.

    Marc Van Gestel has agreed that should any rider feel that the pressure is impacting upcoming rides on the day, the “major” enquiry could be postponed. The jockey could request that the stewards hold the enquiry at Druitt St a day or two after the meeting.

    Heat Policy

    Racing NSW has a “Heat Policy” that is invoked when the hot weather conditions are forecast. The policy aims to protect the welfare of jockeys and horses on hot days.

    Level 1 occurs when the temp rises above 35 degrees and is rarely advertised by Racing NSW. Not much changes on race day with a Level 1

    Level 2 occurs when the forecasted temperature rises above 38 degrees;

    When a Level 2 has been invoked,

  • stewards are required to abandon pre-race parading, restrict the time jockeys are behind the barriers and in direct sunlight.
  • If a jockeys needs to rehydrate, stewards will be sympathetic to you asking to ride half a kilo over.
  • If you see a horse pull up distressed you must advise the stewards
  • If you are personally distressed or see a fellow rider in a distressed state, please advise the stewards & or medical officer/doctor.
  • The club should have a medical officer or doctor available to monitor jockeys but this doesn’t occur on country tracks (Racing NSw have been made aware of this)
  • If you feel conditions are too extreme to continue riding please speak with fellow riders and 3-5 senior riders will speak with the stewards.
  • The final two races at Queanbeyan were abandoned due to the extreme heat on Australia Day. The contributing circumstance was that the men’s jockeys room had no air conditioning and jockeys were unable to cool down (this has been immediately rectified) Some jockeys at Queanbeyan were struggling with the stifling conditions, and jockeys welfare, as always is paramount.

    To Racing NSW’s credit they commenced two meetings recently at 10.15am, Corowa and Canberra. All jockeys were appreciative that the races finished by 2.30pm

    Unfortunately, the meeting at Queanbeyan was moved to an earlier start but at

    11.15am. The meeting may have been completed if they started the meeting earlier, or if the races were run with only 30 minute intervals

  • The NSWJA Committee and the NSW Trainers Association are looking at tweaking the above Level 2 policy, and once the details have been agreed we will inform all jockeys.
  • The NSWJA has strongly requested to Racing NSW that every club that races more than once a year be fitted out with air-conditioning in both females and males jockey rooms. Clubs such as Gunnedah, Armidale and Queanbeyan should have air-conditioning installed over the next few months.

    Updates

    Tye Angland

    Tye recently relocated to Royal Rehab at Ryde. He has settled in well and is in good spirits. We will keep you updated with any further developments. Tye and Erin really appreciate the well wishes from the jockeys.

    Bob Whyburn

    NSWJA Executive Officer and Legal Advisor Bob Whyburn, has been hospitalised over the past few weeks with a potentially serious illness. Tests are ongoing as we wish Bob for some positive results and a speedy recovery

    Jockeys – Sick and Wounded

    Quite a number of NSW jockeys are on the sidelines with long and short term injuries. Godspeed to all those jockeys and we hope to see you soon.

    Please contact me anytime if you have any questions regarding this newsletter or any other matter: Tony Crisafi 0430 211 098 tony@nswjockeys.org