Objective: To determine the direct and indirect cost of injuries in professional jockeys as a result of race riding.
Design: Cohort study
Setting: Professional horse racing
Participants: Professional jockeys in the United Kingdom registered with The Jockey Club.
Main outcome measures: Professional Riders Insurance Scheme (PRIS) insurance payouts for injuries in professional jockeys that were recorded by the Jockey Club injury database between 1996 and 2006.
Results: In the 11-year period of the study, there were 1328 injuries that resulted in jockeys missing a total of 71,509 days of racing, and as a result PRIS paid out £4,496,019 in compensation. Most injuries were minor, with a third of injured jockeys returning to race riding within two weeks and 45% of the claims receiving a payout worth less than £1,000. Almost half the claims were due to fractures, with the clavicle being the most common site of injury. Joint dislocations accounted for the highest insurance payout and the longest time off racing.
Conclusions: Horse racing is a sport known to have a high risk of injury. This study has found that almost £4.5 million was spent on the injuries that were reported to PRIS during the 11 year time period from 1996-2006. This study sheds light on the overall injury cost in professional horse racing and will form the basis for more formal health economic analysis
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