The Jockey's Room
Ode To The Jockeys, our sometimes Forgotten Heroes, risking their lives on a daily basis
to make this Sport Of Kings go around.
We hit the turn a runnin’, but a funny day for me,
In the last, at last, no trouble as we fought on doggedly,
We were not aboard the favourite, for the fave it went to Bill,
And the first and second winners too, for Bill he ain't no dill,
But we mighta had him here ‘n now, this race just might have been,
The one to put our name in lights, the one to set the scene,
To have us at the forefront, when the whips are cracking sweet,
With the horseflesh striding boldly, and the jocks in pretty seat.
But at the furlong pole he joined us quick, oh Bill ya’ here again,
With your showy silks and your polished boots,
And your horse with flashing mane,
But then my little mare sees Bill as well,
And she digs it in real fine,
And she leaves ‘ol Bill to watch our seat,
As we lengthen for the line,
And when the presentation’s done at last,
We all depart with Bill our friend,
And we’ll see ‘ol Bill at next weeks meet, and do it all again.
("Horse and Rider", the Winning Combination)
and this from A.B. Patterson
"A racehorse, it should be said, is not a thing that can be whirled round like a top. A horse at full stretch covers some eighteen feet of ground: he weighs three-quarters of a ton and his velocity is fifty-three feet per second. The rider has not only to make up his mind in the eight part of an instant but he has to try to convert the horse to the same way of thinking. Imagine, then, a big field, say twenty horses, in a short distance race, each horse requiring eighteen feet of ground to act in and each frantically determined to get to the front. They cannot all get off well even if the start is perfect, as some jump into their stride quicker than others. Imagine, then, what are the calls on a jockey's judgement when he finds himself wedged in among this flying mass of horseflesh, horses all around him, hoofs thundering, leather steaming, the white rails flying past. Crouched on his horse's neck, he sees nothing but the waving mane of his own mount and the heels and tails of the horses just in front of him. Some animal in front drops back a little, leaving a slight opening, and the rider has to decide in the twinkling of an eye whether he will go for the opening. He must not pull his horse out of his stride, just the lightest touch on the rein and the least possible change of direction is all he can allow himself. If he misses the chance, something else will be into the gap. If he goes for it and gets blocked, he may be worse off than ever."
Have you something good, bad or indifferent to say this is the place.