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  • Writer's pictureSteven Crayne

Jockeys, The Forgotten Athletes

They will never dunk a basketball, throw a 50-yard touchdown pass or hit a 400-foot home run. They stand just over five feet tall and must fight daily to keep their weight at that of a 14-year-old child, about 120 lbs. They have many enemies, cheeseburgers, French fires and chocolate shakes to name a few.

Yet nearly every day of the year, in weather conditions a mailman fears, these giant athletes mount up on 1,000-pound plus thoroughbreds at speeds over 30 mph risking life and limb with every stride towards the finish line.

One misstep can paralyze a jockey’s career or end his life, and few escape a career without a plethora of broken bones.

Studies have shown that pound for pound Jockey’s, not NFL, NBA or MLB players, yes Jockey’s are the most athletic. “They have to be,” wrote American prize-winning author Laura Hillenbrand in her top-selling story about “Seabiscuit,” “To begin with, jockeys have to meet the demands on balance, coordination and reflex,” “To be able to ride a racehorse successfully is, without doubt, an extraordinary feat in sports.”

Courageous, daring, quick, smart, strong, jockeys are the true athletes of professional sports.

Click here to make a donation to the Permanently Disabled Jockeys Foundation.

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