1. Please describe how the jockeys are paid in your country. If appropriate, please provide the monetary amount for compensation or the percentage for riding fees, as well as the percentage of the purse distribution. Of these fees, please advise how much, if any, each rider contributes to benefits and/or the jockey association.
All riding fees and percentages are paid by owners into each jockey’s account, which are controlled by France Galop, every eleven days. Flat jockeys are paid a riding fee of €14.92 while jump jockeys receive €53,32 per ride. Jockeys receive 8 ½% of the owners share of the total prize money: 7% of that is paid into the jockeys account 11 days after the race, 1% is paid to the jockey the following February at the same time for all of their rides during the year and the final ½% is put aside and paid out when the jockey retires. Each jockey contributes 1/900 of all of their prize money during their career to the jockey association and pays an annual membership fee of €55 to join the association.
2. Please advise if your country provides socialized medicine. If not, please describe the health care that is provided to riders and who contributes to the cost of such expense.
In France the medical system is the MSA, which also applies to all jockeys and reimburses all of their medical expenses, in the event of an accident at work (training or on horse racing).
3. Please advise if jockeys are covered under a workers’ compensation program or something similar in the event of an accident in your country. If not, who is responsible for the cost of care for the injured jockey?
The MSA covers all medical expenses of a jockey in the case of an accident at work for jockeys who cotised to the MSA. Some of them have a complementary personal insurance, to compensate in case of work stopping.
4. Please advise if foreign riders are covered if they are injured in your country. If so, who provides the insurance for foreign riders when they come to ride? How long is the coverage? Does it only cover medical care received in your country or does it also cover care once they have returned home?
Foreign jockeys are required to be covered by their own insurance when they come to ride in France and they therefore receive the same care as they would in their own pays.
5. Please provide all sources of funding for your jockey association.
The funding for the Jockey Association in France comes from the jockeys annual membership fees and the percentage of their prize money that they contribute as well as money raised at events such as the Jockeys Gala and all of the fines that jockeys pay for riding offences. We try to develop the visibility of the Association, by the organization of some events like “la Journée de l’Association” (the Day of the Association) in Deauville, Golf days, distribution of our calendar… etc. We make and participate to charity events all the year if it’s possible.
6. Please advise if it is mandatory for jockeys to be a member of your organization.
No in France it is not mandatory to be a member of the association, but in reality, all professionals are members.
7. Please provide all sources of funding for the jockey benefits that your members receive, including contributions from the jockeys, the owners, your association, the government and racing bodies, etc.
The funding for jockey benefits comes directly from the money collected by the Association through our different actions.
8. Please provide a description of all benefits provided to the jockeys who are members of your organization such as disability benefits including temporary or permanent disabilities, death benefits, pension plans, medical insurance and coverage, etc.
It depends on the individual case but the Association can help with medical costs, equipment, help to reconversion, funeral expenses etc. in the case of a disability if the jockey is in need. At the end of each year, we study cases and give financial help to certain in difficult. Jockeys receive a pension when they reach retirement age just like all French citizens.
9. Please provide a description of benefits provided for retired jockeys, if any, in addition to the benefits provided to active riders.
The Association does not provide any benefits for retired jockeys, but it has been known to help out retired jockeys if they or their family fall on hard times.
10. Please advise if your association receives any of the fines paid by jockeys as a result of racing infractions or violations.
Yes, all fines incurred are paid directly to the Association who use the money to help jockeys and their families in a time of need; none of the money collected from fines is used for the running of the association.
11. Please provide any and all information pertaining to the medical standards and guidelines or requirements during race meets. For example, the number of doctors, medical personnel, ambulances, relations with medical trauma centers, etc.
It depends on each racecourse, as every track is different. The major racecourses in Paris have an average of three ambulances as well as doctor and medical personnel in the infirmary and the provincial tracks have at least one ambulance and a doctor per meeting. We do not have any official relation with any hospitals or trauma centers.
12. If required, who is responsible for the cost of liability policies for coverage of the jockeys in the event of an accident?
Jockeys are required to have their own insurance either through the group insurance of the Association or through their own personal insurance policy.
13. Please advise if your organization has a charity fund to assist riders (both active and retired) with hardships and who provides the funding.
See 9 & 10
14. Please provide the standards for the safety vest and for the helmets for the jockeys. Who is responsible for inspecting the equipment to make sure that it is in compliance with the rules. Is any of the equipment provided by or paid for by the association or others?
Safety vest (back protectors) and helmets should be to European regulations and the race stewards are responsible for ensuring that jockey’s equipment meets this standard. Jockeys must supply their own equipment.
15. Is there a minimum and/or maximum age for licensing? Is schooling or training mandated?
The minimum age is 16 and there is no maximum age for a jockey however a first application for a jockey’s license must be made before 35 years of age.
16. Please explain with regards to the kitchens in the jockey quarter or food that is available to riders during the race day.
There are no food facilities available to jockeys but some of the valets prepare sandwiches that they sell to the jockeys on race days.
17. Please advise the minimum scale of weights for riders in your country. Additionally, please advise what equipment is included when a jockey weighs out before the race.
There is a minimum weight of 51kg (8st) on the flat and 61kg (9st 8lb) over jumps. Jockeys weigh out with their safety vest, colors, saddle etc. but without their helmet. There is a 1-kilo allowance for the safety vest.
Since the beginning of the year (March 1st), France Galop allows a supplementary allowance of women of 2-kilos.
18. Please advise if your organization provides assistance and education pertaining health and well-being such nutrition, psychological, job retraining, etc.
We work with a doctor who is the council of the Association and he’s a sleep specialist and study this thematic with jockeys. He gave advice for each Jockey who ask us about different subjects.
19. Is jockey advertising allowed in your country? If so, what are the requirements to allow for jockeys to wear the advertising? Is it the individual riders who enter into the contracts with the sponsors or does your organization handle to negotiations? How are the proceeds of the contracts distributed or do all of the funds go to the individual jockey?
Yes, but jockeys handle all their sponsorship directly and are not allowed to carry a personal advertisement in a Group 1, Group 2 or a sponsored race for the moment. The jockey receives all of the funds and the Association does not get involved in any contract negotiations.
20. How are the jockey agents and valets paid? What is the usual percentage that the agents receive? What is the usual percentage for valets?
Jockey agents are paid directly by each jockey and it is usually 10% of the jockey’s prize-money. The valets are paid by the racing body directly.