Dave Contarino admires all horse jockeys who devote their lives to the beautiful sport of horseracing. However, jockeys put themselves into a precarious position every time they track, says Dave Contarino. Here, Dave Contarino explains that jockeys learn how to avoid and embrace the enormous risks involved with their career.
Information Nation: Hello, and thanks for dropping by.
Dave Contarino: Thank you for the invitation.
Information Nation: Now, we understand that you’re a fan of Kentucky Derby and horseracing in general.
Dave Contarino: The Derby is definitely one of my favorite events of the year. It’s an entertainment spectacle.
Information Nation: What attracts you to horseracing?
Dave Contarino: Despite the elegance and beauty associated with horseracing, along with the fame and glory bestowed upon winners, it can be a challenging and demanding sport. The efforts of all parties involved are truly inspiring.
Information Nation: Why do you say it’s so challenging and demanding?
Dave Contarino: With a horse that weighs more than 1,000 pounds moving at speeds of up to 40 miles per hour, there are certain inherent dangers during each race.
Information Nation: What’s the one common trait among all jockeys?
Dave Contarino: Jockeys are a tough sort. They rarely complain and will ride even when hurt.
Information Nation: What are the physical characteristics of a jockey?
Dave Contarino: Jockeys are traditionally small, ranging in height about 4 feet 10 inches to 5 feet 6 inches.
Information Nation: They must have to be in tip-top shape.
Dave Contarino: They’re extremely fit with almost no body fat at all. They’re in tremendous aerobic shape and always toned.
Information Nation: How do jockeys exercise?
Dave Contarino: Riding horses is a strenuous exercise in and of itself. To improve their fitness even further, jockeys are involved in stamina, strength and flexibility training designed to maximize their potential.
Information Nation: Are there certain diet restrictions?
Dave Contarino: A jockey’s diet and overall eating habits depend on weight and size. Most jockeys must remain dedicated and disciplined in order to maintain proper strength and weight. After all, the most successful jockeys will ride up to 10 races each day, five to six days each week.
Information Nation: How do jockeys compare with other athletes in terms of fitness?
Dave Contarino: Most medical experts acknowledge that jockeys are among the best-conditioned athletes.
Information Nation: What are some of the risks of this sport?
Dave Contarino: Frequently, these women and men experience bruises, concussions, sprains and fractures, so safety is always a priority.
Information Nation: That sounds painful.
Dave Contarino: They have a tendency to block the pain out, fueled by their own supreme fitness and a rush of adrenaline.
Information Nation: How have safety measures been implemented?
Dave Contarino: Weight formulas have been adjusted to create proper weight minimums that still allow jockeys to maintain excellent health.
Information Nation: This has been some valuable insight. We appreciate it.
Dave Contarino: I’m glad to help out.
Dave Contarino, a political adviser and president of Contarino & Associates LLC, is based in Kentucky, home of horseracing’s crown jewel event, the Kentucky Derby.