Dreadful, bad-mannered, cruel and sick at times, these words could be used to define the offensive tweets that get directed at jockeys and trainers over social media platforms daily basis..
Twitter have revealed they would push a national policy which would increase regulation of social media use among licensed individuals. The policy would monitor and punish social media trolls, but the terrible insults keep on going, too much of a regular occurrence for my liking
Social media has made communicating jockeys and trainers easier than ever. In the space of 140 characters, a punter or troll can vent their frustrations on how a jockey or trainer has ruined their chance of making money.
It’s a high-pressure environment where jockeys put their lives at risk every time those stall gates open. Confidence is paramount and without it, jockeys often fall into form slumps, lose rides and lose backing.
When a jockey misjudges a ride, they know it. They don’t need to be abused by punters via social media, that ultimately isn’t going to change the result.
If a jockey is decent enough, they can contentedly ride into their late 40s. But getting through their mid-20s is their main struggle. As they come through the system as youngsters, they are gifted with weight allowances that make them attractive propositions for owners and trainers. These same youngsters are also the most at threat on social media. They make easy targets due to their lower reputations and they are more active on social media than the veterans who were riding thoroughbreds long before the social media boom.
In horse racing, jockeys are required to make split-second decisions. When they lack confidence, they make errors. Everyone does, simple as.
Rather than venting rage towards jockeys, punters should be looking at themselves. In this escapade, you should never be betting with anything you’re not equipped to lose, and if a punter’s reaction is so heated that it warrants abusing a jockey or trainer they should not be betting full stop.
This article is just food for thought on the issue of targeted harassment of jockeys and trainers, that is clearly getting worse all the time. it must stop.