The importance of jockeys in the world of thoroughbred racing is often overshadowed by the famous trainers and owners of Australia’s horses and questions such as what do jockeys get paid per ride or what do jockeys deserve to earn for each mount often arise.
Today Racing Queensland Limited (RQL) announced that as of July 1, 2011 an industry increase to Queensland jockeys’ earnings will come into effect.
Currently a jockey’s fee per ride in the Sunshine state is $147.
As part of an overall 16 per cent increase to be staggered over the next 16 months that rate will increase to $160 as of July 1 this year, $165 on January 1, 2012 and finally $170 on July 1, 2012.
The agreement reached with the Australian Jockey’s Association Queensland branch (QJA) also includes a rise to the barrier trial fee to 35 per cent of the riding fee.
“This is a strong offer in the face of challenging times with wagering turnover for the traditional pari-mutuel product in decline, legal debate continuing over race information fees, ageing infrastructure and weather complications to name a few,” RQL chairman Bob Bently said.
“When it comes to jockey’s riding fees we already spend the most in the country (7.14 per cent) as a percentage of TAB distribution.
“This new offer elevates that to around 7.98 per cent as compared to 4.93 per cent in Victoria or 5.92 per cent in New South Wales.”
Mr Bently also surmised that this was a competitive outcome for Queensland jockeys given the tightening financial position of the racing industry.
“Pressures are emerging in a range of areas and this outcome is both fair and equitable, enabling the industry to move forward and conduct race meetings with the necessary level of certainty,” Mr Bently said.
Another issue addressed by RQL was that of workers compensation for jockeys and the associated costs of workers compensation cover.
“RQL is now able to look forward to strengthening its working relationship with QJA in establishing a career benefit fund for riders in Queensland,” RQL chief executive officer Malcolm Tuttle said.