Needless Jockey Abuse

Recently I have seen a lot of people sharing videos from a certain page on Facebook where the jockey has fallen off and the writer of the page has decided that the Jockey is a cheat, despite the fact that the stewards found no problem with the incident. These videos really irritate me and I just have to scroll past and try not to comment. But today I remembered that I write an equine blog which is the perfect platform for me to explain my feelings toward this page hopefully without causing any arguments.

Now before I start I just want to say that I’m not living in a delusional dream world. I know that some people do cheat and the rare jockey will throw a race to win money from betting. But these rare occasions do not validate this Facebook pages actions!

Riding a racehorse is hard and requires an amazing amount of balance and skill. Anyone who rides any type of horse will know that if you lose this balance, it is very easy to become unseated and fall of for ‘no reason’. Now imagine losing your balance on a fit racing thoroughbred – you came flying off didn’t you.

One of my biggest issues with these keyboard warriors is that the chances are, they have never sat on a horse. Or if they have, it was someone’s old, semi-retired cob who took them for a plod around a field. So they have no experience to draw on to understand the skill it takes to stay on a racehorse. When you combine this with those amazing videos where the jockey was a goner but somehow managed to stay on the horse and carry on, they reach the conclusion that if a jockey falls off for ‘no apparent reason’ they are cheating.

This page in particular likes to share a video of a ‘dodgy’ jockey fall and will claim, with no evidence that the jockey is cheating. And unfortunately this page has a large enough following for people to blindly accept what he is saying. So the video then receives hundreds of negative comments calling the jockey a cheat and how he should be banned and how everyone is corrupt, blah, blah, blah.

Only their complaints don’t end there. Many of these keyboard warriors then take it upon themselves to contact the jockey and their family directly, sending them hate mail and abuse. In a recent case a jockey deleted all his social media accounts to try and escape the abuse.

Now don’t get me wrong, anyone who is in the public eye needs to have fairly thick skin as there will always be someone who doesn’t like you, what you do or what you have to say. And you just have to accept that. But this trolling behaviour is out of order and people shouldn’t be expected to put up with it.

But why do these keyboard warriors get so angry about cheating jockeys? Well that’s quite easy really, most of them are gambling on the races. They put their money on what they believed to be a ‘sure thing’ and then the “useless, cheating” jockey throws himself off the galloping animal just to con the punters out of their hard earned money…

These keyboard warriors have decided to take the risk, gambling their money on a horse and when their money disappears, they want someone to blame. And when a jockey falls off, especially if the horse hasn’t fallen over, the jockey is an easy target.

So the take home points of this post are:

  • Being a jockey is hard
  • Just because you didn’t see anything to cause the jockey to lose their balance, doesn’t mean there wasn’t anything
  • If the steward didn’t see anything suspicious I have no idea what you are seeing
  • Horses have a mind of their own and won’t always do what you want them to do
  • Horse racing is unpredictable
  • When gambling, there is always the chance of losing your money

If you don’t agree with or don’t like any of the above points, you shouldn’t be gambling on the horses!

I want to finish this post with a fantastic Tweet from Birdie’s Twitter account which perfectly describes these keyboard warriors!

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