Racing Victoria implements new deal with state’s jockeys

By: Mark Mazzaglia
July 9th, 2012

The new three year agreement implemented by Racing Victoria will see the state’s jockeys the highest paid riders in Australia.

The new agreement will take effect from August 1 this year and will see the Victorian jockeys receive an average 3.2% in riding fees over the next three year period and the increase in prize money across the board will also bolster their earnings.

Victorian Jockeys Association Chief Executive Des O’Keefe said that his members were pleased with the increases, both with the riding fees increase and the extra prize money.

“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.”

Racing Victoria has also committed to a 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 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.

“This three-year agreement recognises that our jockeys are professional athletes who play a pivotal role in the success and promotion of our sport,” Racing Victoria 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.”

Racing Victoria had previously announced an $18.7 million increase in prize money from August 1, raising its total stakes pool for the 2012-2013 season to $160 million.

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