This is the time of year to celebrate family and friends with the giving and receiving of gifts and other goodwill gestures. Racing in the winter is a fantastic way to bring people together and enjoy the company of others, as well as getting a bit of shopping done before the big day.
One way you can give during this festive time of year, is donations to the amazing charity, The Injured Jockeys Fund. Both professional and amateur jockeys who have held and hold a British Horseracing Authority (BHA) license, can benefit from charitable funds as well as their spouse, partner, children and any other dependants. The IJF have a mission which is to provide appropriate support, in a prompt and sympathetic manner to those jockeys past or present who are injured, unable to ride or generally in need.
The Injured Jockeys Fund was the brainchild of founding Trustee and past President John Oaksey and came about following the devastating accidents of Tim Brookshaw and, four months later, Paddy Farrell in the 1964 Grand National. Both falls resulted in severe paralysis which immediately ended both their careers. Since then the Fund has helped over 1000 jockeys and their families and has paid out more than £18m in charitable assistance.
There are currently three rehabilitation centres, Oaksey House in Lambourn, Jack Berry House, Yorkshire, and a Peter O’Sullevan House is opening in Newmarket in 2019. These centres are where ex and current jockeys can keep fit, retrain and recover after suffering falls on the track; something which is a harsh reality of this dangerous sport.
There are plenty of ways to support this charity whether it be volunteering or simply making a donation. A fantastic way to give something back to the Jockeys who give us some of the best day's racing. Make sure to buy the IJF racing themed Christmas cards this winter, as all proceeds go back into the fund.
For more information on the Injured Jockeys Fund and how you can make a donation, please visit their website by clicking here.