NSWJA November 2018 Newsletter


In 2009 the Australian Jockeys Association was successful in obtaining 1% of prizemoney for jockeys’ welfare, which included funding of Personal Accident and Public Liability Insurance. Every jockey riding in Australia has had the protection of an industry funded public liability insurance policy which provides cover if a jockey is found by a Court to have been negligent in causing serious injury to another jockey during a race.

In a recent NSW Court of Appeal decision, it was held that a jockey riding in a race is engaging in “a dangerous recreational activity” and that the legislation governing liability in those circumstances meant that, even if a jockey was negligent in causing injury to another jockey, that jockey’s financial liability was protected under the policy.

In other words, the injured jockey could not bring a successful action against a negligent jockey for damages regarding the injury suffered.

The NSWJA had discussions with Racing NSW and was in the process of reaching agreement on an alternative form of insurance cover when another NSW Court decision was handed down which cast doubt on the earlier ruling. The latest decision was that a jockey who was negligent in causing injury to another jockey during a race could not rely on the protection of the legislation if that jockey was found to be in breach of the Rules of Racing.

In other words, if a jockey was seriously injured due to another jockey’s negligence the injured jockey may be able to successfully commence an action against the offending jockey.

It is likely that this issue will have to be resolved in a higher Court, perhaps the High Court, and that may take some time, so the original public liability policy will remain in place. The NSWJA will keep you informed of any developments, however if you have any questions please contact Tony at the NSWJA. Each state has different legislation and the way that

legislation is interpreted is the core issue.

The wording of the legislation in NSW is similar to the legislation in Western Australia; Tasmania and possibly Queensland.

Therefore, our advice has been to continue with the current Public Liability Insurance.


The electronic transceivers inside the saddlecloths are officially called Local Positioning System (LPS), similar to a GPS.

The LPS transceivers are used on all metropolitan and provincial races, and occasionally at country tracks - Albury, Ballina, Clarence River (Grafton), Coffs Harbour, Goulburn, Manning Valley (Taree), Muswellbrook, Port Macquarie, Scone, Shoalhaven (Nowra), Tamworth and Wagga Wagga.

The NSWJA was informed in mid-October that some of these transceivers were being damaged and Racing NSW have asked club officials, jockeys and trainers not to:

  1. Throw a saddle cloth containing a transceiver on the floor
  2. Step on a transceiver
  3. Fold the saddle cloth in a way that cable connections get bent
  4. Remove a transceiver from the saddle cloth by simply dragging the round external antenna
  5. In any way handle the equipment without care

A damaged or faulty transceiver may be a safety risk!

The NSWJA has made enquiries regarding the safety risk and we have been assured by Racing NSW Chief Operating Officer Graeme Hinton and Chairman of Stewards Marc Van Gestel that the transceivers are safe. However, the NSWJA wants an assurance from Racing NSW that allays any concerns jockeys may have that the transceivers are safe for use, we’ll keep you posted with any developments.

We have been reassured that the LPS transceivers are routinely checked prior to every meeting and any damaged transceivers are replaced immediately.

Each club has assigned a designated person responsible for collection of saddlecloths.

Should you witness any abnormalities or malfunctions with the transceivers, or have any questions please call Tony anytime.


If a horse breaks down mid race, or stumbles, or slides, it is IMPERATIVE that the stewards AND senior riders inspect the track PRIOR to the following race.

The purpose is to check for potential hazards that may result in a similar incident later in the day.


The NSWJA recently sent a letter to the NSW Trainers Association in relation to apprentice working hours, and the responsibilities of the trainer.

The current Apprentice Deed states:

"If an Apprentice performs work at a night meeting, or arrives home at night after completing their race day commitments (by direct travel), he or she shall receive a minimum 10-hour break before the commencement of work the following day".

With the commencement this month of night racing and twilight racing, it’s of high importance that trainers are aware of their legal obligations.

Should the apprentice they employ, arrive home late from race day commitments, the apprentice is entitled to a 10-hour rest prior to resuming duties the following day.

The NSWJA notes comments by Chairman of Stewards Marc Van Gestel in the October 2018 Racing NSW magazine, page 11.

“Racing NSW recommends that apprentices that are riding at a night meeting are rostered off on the afternoon of the night meeting and the following morning shift to avoid breaching the Work Health and Safety Act 2011 No 10”

“By requiring apprentices to work prior or after a night meeting may lead to fatigue which could increase the probability of an accident occurring with horses”.

Should any apprentice believe that they are not receiving the 10-hour break or are fatigued from work commitments please call Tony confidentially anytime.


Just another reminder that should you have the slightest injury at the races, trials or trackwork and are assessed by the NSW paramedics, YOU WILL receive a bill for approximately $400, even if you did continue riding on the day!

You will need to submit an injury claim form with Racing NSW Workers Compensation, click here for the form.

If an interstate rider is assessed could you please ask them to contact Tony @ NSWJA.


John Kissick was involved in an accident away from the racetrack in November 2016. John had serious back injuries and the rod in his back has been removed. John is seeing the physio, doing a lot of swimming and is hoping to make a full recovery.

Melanie Bolwell suffered a traumatic brain injury at Warialda on 8th April 2017. Mel has recommenced part time work at Sue Grills stable in February. Mel is in good spirits but frustrated at the slow recovery. She is booked to visit neurologists over the next few weeks

Aaron Williams suffered a severe injury to his foot at Kembla on13th November 2017 during trackwork. The initial operation on the injury wasn’t successful and Aaron recently underwent a further operation.

Daniel Northey fractured his pelvis extensively in a trackwork incident at Scone on 6th December 2017. Daniel has been riding trackwork recently and has his first trial on Friday 26th October. Welcome back!

Nyssa Burrells suffered a traumatic brain injury during jump outs at Warwick Farm on 29th December 2017. Nyssa had made excellent progress initially and is now recovering at home. Nyssa has been undergoing rehabilitation for quite some time.

Chloe Baker injured her clavicle at Taree races on 7th April 2018 Taree. Chloe underwent an operation soon after and is unlikely to return to racing until 2019.

Blake Shinn sustained an injury to his C1 following a fall during trails at Randwick on 13th August 2018. Blake is in good spirits and making steady recovery. Hoping to return to riding in early 2019

Martin Hayley was involved in a fall at Parkes on 25th August 2018 when his mount snapped its shoulder. Martin sustained an injury to his AC in his shoulder, He was operated on by Dr Duckworth. His next appointment is mid-November

Lexi McPherson broke her femur bone in her leg at trackwork in Goulburn on 12th September 2018. Lexi was operated on at Goulburn but needed to be reoperated on and this occurred at John Hunter soon after. Lexi is making good progress and will be seeing the specialist in early December.

Kyle Wilson-Taylor was injured at Grafton races on 25th September. He has a fractured wrist which has been operated on. He is recuperating and resting back home in Melbourne.

Jeff Penza was injured at Queanbeyan on Sunday 28th October with a fractured tibia, a broken scapula, broken ribs and a broken arm. Once the swelling decreases, doctors will operate on Jeff’s leg. He’s currently at Canberra Hosp. but will be transferred to Sydney

We wish a speedy recovery to all the above jockeys and we hope to see them back in the jockeys’ room.

Godspeed to all other jockeys that have been injured recently.

Special thanks to Dr David Duckworth who works closely with injured riders ensuring they receive the best treatment as quickly as possible.


The following jockey rooms are in the process of being refurbished or plans have gone to council

Mudgee: The funds have been approved to enlarge the male jockey rooms. The club have said that they hope work is completed by Christmas. (not sure what year?)

Nowra: Plans are going ahead with the refurbishment of both female and male jockey rooms. Once approved by council the club will start with the extension.

Moruya: This club is having issues with council in extending the female room. The club is hopeful that council approves the most recent proposal and the room will be renovated by the end of 2019.

Casino: Both jockey rooms are currently being renovated and should be completed by their next meeting in February 2019

Orange: The female room was recently completed. The carpet was laid this week and TVs are being installed next week.


We have a very important Annual General Meeting on 20th November.

President Kerrin McEvoy and I have agreed to move the meeting to a more central location, being at Rydges Parramatta.

The main reason for having the meeting at Rosehill is that we hope to attract more jockeys to attend this once a year meeting.

We look forward to seeing you there. Details below!

NSW Jockeys Association


TUESDAY 20th NOVEMBER 2018 10.30am

(free parking in Rydges off Prospect St)

Lunch and drinks following the meeting Please note date in diary

Concussion Study

For all current and past jockeys who have suffered a concussion during their career.

This one-hour session will be invaluable for future research on the possible effects’ concussion has on jockeys.

The Australian Sports Brain Bank at the University of Sydney are working with Macquarie University, starting a world-leading study into the effects of past concussion on thinking. We are especially interested in the way the brain interprets emotions.

The study is fun. It involves one hour of your time to run through basic thinking tasks and how quickly you can recognise the emotions on someone's face, for example anger, sad, happy etc.

The study will be performed at a clinic in North Sydney with Dr Rowena Mobbs. Sydney Cognitive

Level 6, 53 Walker St North Sydney NSW 2060

If you wish to participate, please email Dr Mobbs on rowena@mobbs.com.au or call 9900 5500.

Thank you kindly


A representative from the NSWJA will visit the following racecourses:

Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday Sunday Monday

21st November 22nd November 23rd November 24th November 25th November 26th November

Cessnock Queanbeyan Bong Bong Gosford Quirindi Wagga Wagga

Tuesday 27th November Port Macquarie