Racing Victoria has announced more key changes for apprentices in relation to jockey training and working conditions, including raising the minimum age they can start riding.
Last year RV reduced the number of successive days an apprentice can ride from nine to six and also banned the junior riders from taking rides at both a day meeting and a twilight or night meeting on the same day.
Further changes were announced on Wednesday after a joint review commissioned by RV in consultation with the Australian Trainers’ Association and Victorian Jockeys Association, conducted by lawyer Peter Randles.
Randles provided feedback and recommendations to help improve matters concerning an apprentice’s employment, fatigue management and career advancement.
The adopted recommendations include raising the minimum age apprentices can start riding from 15 to 16.
Apprentices will also not be able to have a jockey agent until they have ridden a minimum 20 winners.
Jockey managers who manage an apprentice will have to take a training course, accredited by RV on fatigue and related issues.
Each year RV will take expressions of interest from those wishing to apply to its Apprentice Jockey Training Program the following year and make sure those people are registered stablehands and are given feedback by the RV apprentice jockey training team on their riding development.
The original trainer an apprentice was indentured to will be entitled to a minimum 6.25 per cent of the apprentice’s payments for the duration of their apprenticeship if they switch stables, if they had spent more than 18 months with that trainer.
“They are sensible recommendations, which identify responsible and improved areas of development in areas such as RV’s Apprentice Jockey Training Program, working hours, minimum age requirements and fatigue management,” RV Athlete Development and Industry Careers Advisor, Melissa Weatherley, said.
“Not only do they seek to provide guidance and direction for jockeys during their apprentice training, but also to support them in undertaking further education and training to prepare for a transition into post-riding careers.”