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The day that racing stood still

August 15, 2017

Racing around Australia came to a standstill on Saturday 5 August as prayers and a minute’s silence were held to remember fallen jockeys on Jockeys Celebration Day.

Co-ordinated nationally by Rev Colin Watts on behalf the National Jockeys’ Trust, these ceremonies are conducted annually at every racecourse in Australia which races on the first Saturday in August.

Unfortunately, 2017 has already seen the death of 4 riders - Darren Jones (Warialda), Roger Booth (Darwin), Donna Philpott (Bendigo) and Riharna Thomson (Canberra). In addition there have been some serious injuries - most notably Wade Clasohm & Ben Saunders who were both paralyzed in the same trackwork accident at Toowoomba.

Riding racehorses is a dangerous enterprise but thankfully good support structures are in place to assist people seriously injured in track falls.

Jockeys Celebration Day provides an opportunity to celebrate the contribution of jockeys, to remember the fallen, and to raise funds for the National Jockeys Trust - which provides much need support to riders and their families in time of need. 

Thank you to all the race clubs which participated, and to the various local clergy who volunteered their time to conduct the ceremonies.