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Jockeys Fees Increased
9th Jul 2012
Racing Victoria - Media Release - Monday, 9 July 2012
Racing Victoria (RV) has today announced a new three-year agreement with the Victorian Jockeys Association (VJA) aimed at both rewarding and promoting the state’s 145 licensed jockeys.
Under the agreement, which takes effect from 1 August 2012, jockeys will receive an average 3.2% annual increase in their riding fees across the three year period.
This will be delivered via a 2.7% increase from 1 August 2012, a 3.3% increase from 1 August 2013 and a 3.8% increase from 1 August 2014.
The riding fee for flat races will increase from $171 to $175 next season, and rise to $186 for the 2014-15 season, whilst the riding fee for jumps races will increase from $345 to $360 next season and rise to $395 per race by 2014-15.
Picnic and trial riding fees will also be increased, as will the minimum riding allowance - a payment made to flat riders who have three or less rides at a race meeting.
“This three-year agreement recognises that our jockeys are professional athletes who play a pivotal role in the success and promotion of our sport,” RV Chief Executive, Rob Hines, said.
“The increase in riding fees gives consideration to the growing demands on our riders, particularly with the expansion of night racing, and provides certainty for all parties over the next three years.
“Most importantly the agreement will herald an even closer working relationship between Racing Victoria and our jockeys to ensure we maximise opportunities to better promote them and the sport.
“Our jockeys have made a commitment to support new initiatives to grow their profiles, and in turn that of the Victorian racing industry, through digital and social media and promotional appearances.”
Jockeys will also share in record prize money next season with RV having previously announced an $18.7 million increase from 1 August 2012, thus delivering a $160 million stakes pool in 2012-13.
In addition to the fees increase, RV has reaffirmed its commitment to the continued allocation of an amount equivalent to 1% of the industry’s total prize money pool to jockey wellbeing.
This investment includes the payment of jockeys’ personal accident and public liability premiums; the provision of a 24/7 counselling service, medical consultant and a wellbeing and safety officer; the delivery of personal development programs and the funding of the Career Benefit Fund (CBF).
The CBF was created to provide jockeys with funding to support their transition to a life after racing and to assist them in times of hardship. RV contributes $10 per ride to each jockey’s CBF.
VJA Chief Executive, Des O’Keeffe, said his members were pleased with the increases afforded, both through higher riding fees and the record prize money distribution, and were looking forward to working with RV to further their profiles.
“The injection of an additional $18.7 million in prize money for season 2012-13, on top of the increases to riding fees and other benefits, will see Victorian jockeys 7.2% better off next season,” O’Keeffe said.
“Over the period of the agreement, fees payable to riders plus prize money increases will result in an annual increase averaging 3.7% to riders and will ensure that Victoria’s riders remain the best remunerated in the nation.
“Whilst those increases are important, we are just as pleased with the wonderful commitment from Racing Victoria to its jockey welfare programs and initiatives which ensures that the riders receive the assistance and guidance that a professional athlete requires.
“The demands on the riders continue to grow with an expanded night racing program and we believe this agreement suitably recognises that, whilst providing them certainty for the next three years.
“In a competitive sporting and entertainment market, the riders recognise the need for them to work closely with Racing Victoria to ensure opportunities to promote themselves, and as an extension the industry, are maximised, particularly through new media.”