Jockey Celebration Day (JCD) is held nationally on the first Saturday in August each year and celebrates the achievements of former and current jockeys, commemorates those who have lost their lives and raises awareness and funds for the National Jockeys’ Trust (NJT) to help support injured or ill jockeys and their families.
Jockey Celebration Day activities at twenty racecourses around Australia include races named in honour of Jockey Celebration Day, a Minute Silence and Blessing of the Track. NJT jockey colours will be worn by the top weight in each race at all metropolitan race meetings on Saturday 5th August.
Darwin Turf Club will officially name The Simone Montgomerie Walk on Saturday at Fannie Bay Racecourse. Chief Minister Michael Gunner and the family of Simone Montgomerie will be in attendance to unveil the plaque at the ceremony.
Doomben will conduct the third annual Jockey Foot Race, with jockeys auctioned during the inaugural Brisbane NJT fundraising luncheon, with leading former riders Chris Munce, Geoff Lane and Pam O’Neill in attendance.
“Jockey Celebration Day is a significant day in the racing calendar, a day to remember the fallen, and to recognise the role jockeys play in the racing industry.
This year we tragically lost Darren Jones, Donna Philpot and Roger Booth on racetracks in NSW, VIC and NT, and it is important to take a moment to acknowledge and remember these riders and their commitment to the industry..” said Paul Innes, Chairman of the National Jockeys Trust and Chief Executive of the Australian Jockeys Association.
Innes continued “It is also a day to raise awareness of the important role of the National Jockeys Trust. The support from our principal partner LUCRF Super who have naming rights of the jockey’s breeches; and the support of TAB on Jockey Celebration Day each year is fundamental to the work of the National Jockeys Trust.”
LUCRF Super’s continued partnership with the jockey breeches is of vital importance to all jockeys around Australia, and the National Jockeys Trust.
“Since 2013, we’ve been the proud principal sponsor of the Australian Jockeys’ Association. Our name is on the thigh and back of jockeys’ breeches in every race around Australia. We make a financial commitment to the National Jockeys Trust to ensure strong ongoing support for injured jockeys and their families”.- Charlie Donnelly, CEO LUCRF Super said.
“Trying to cope with medical bills, loss of income, injury, illness or even death can cause serious financial hardship to jockeys and their families. It is for these reasons that the NJT exists and why we choose to proudly support it”.
Tabcorp is the principal wagering partner of the National Jockeys Trust, and heavily support Jockey Celebration Day each year.
“We are in our third year as principal partner of the National Jockeys’ Trust and we’re proud to back the Trust’s important role in supporting Australia’s jockeys,” Tabcorp Chief Operating Officer – Wagering and Media, Craig Nugent said.
“We will celebrate our nation’s jockeys on air on Saturday on Sky Racing with hosts to wear NJT ties and pins and at Flemington, we will proudly present a $40,000 donation to support the work of the Trust.”
We are delighted to announce the National Jockeys Trust Ambassadors for 2017 in each state as follows:
Renee Forrest (WA)
Renee was injured in a trackwork accident in December 2016, where she suffered a shoulder injury which required a reconstruction. Renee commenced apprenticeship in June 2009, and in 7 years has ridden approx. 135 winners with 2.5 years on the sidelines with injuries. Renee is working hard on rehabilitating the shoulder, and his hoping to get the all clear to be back riding later this year.
Ian Duckling (VIC)
Jumps jockey Ian Duckling suffered a race fall in a steeplechase trial at Caulfield in 1960, this fall left Ian a paraplegic. Ian is now retired, and NJT have been able to provide support to make modifications to his home, 55 years after his career ending race fall.
Neil Paine (NSW)
Neil Paine was a professional jockey for 34 years, and suffered many falls and injuries including one that ended his career in 2014.. He is now Welfare Office for the NSW Jockeys’ Association and stable foreman for Gai Waterhouse & Adrian Bott. Neil will co-host the NJT Luncheon at Randwick on 2 September, and is a wonderful advocate for the support NJT provided for him, and his fellow riders.
Ben Saunders & Wade Clashom (QLD)
Ben Saunders and Wade Clashom were involved in a trackwork fall at Toowoomba in April 2017, leaving both former jockeys paraplegics. Both men have been incredibly positive and inspirational since the fall, Ben is now home in Toowoomba and Wade will be back home in the next month.
Robyn Clark (TAS)
Retired jockey Robyn Clark contracted breast cancer in 2013, and is now in remission. Robyn was a regular on the Tasmanian racing circuit from 1982 to 1994 where she rode approx. 300 winners including the Devonport Cup twice, Thomas Lyon Stakes and Tasmanian Guineas. Robyn retired in 1994 after continued struggles with weight and started a Massage Therapy business which is thriving today, Robyn has noted the importance of the support provided by NJT whilst battling her illness, and that kind of support didn’t exist back in 1984 when she had her first serious injury being five broken ribs, punctured lung, broken femur and torn liver.
Cheree Gask (SA)
Cheree Gask is an inspiration, after losing her leg below the knee after a horrific fall at Cheltenham, SA in 2003. She is the manager of leading jockeys Jason Holder and Joe Bowditch, and has married raising two young boys with husband Barney Gask.
Scott Leckey (NT)
Scott Leckey had a horrific race fall at Darwin in July 2007, which left him fighting for his life. Scott spent two years in hospital learning to walk, breathe and talk again. 10 years following his career ending injuries, 33-year-old Scott Lecky has transformed his life and his now a motivational speaker.
Complete listing of Jockey Celebration Day race meetings around Australia on Saturday 5th August include:
- Belmont, Broome (WA);
- Flemington, Moe (VIC);
- Royal Randwick, Kembla Grange, Kempsey (NSW);
- Doomben, Gold Coast, Toowoomba, Bowen, Cairns, Corfield, Middlemount, Tambo (QLD);
- Morphettville, Roxby Downs (SA);
- Fannie Bay (NT)
- Devonport (TAS) will celebrate on Sunday 6th August
- Canberra (ACT) celebrated on Friday 28th July