The BHA is responsible for setting and enforcing standards of medical care for jockeys across all licence types and other participants. These are co-ordinated by the Chief Medical Adviser.

Injury monitoring

BHA maintains a database of all jockeys’ injuries, including those incurred off the racecourse, which is accessible by all racecourse doctors. BHA monitors the progress of injured jockeys to ensure that they only return to race ride once it is safe for them to do so.

Head injuries are often the most dangerous, and therefore there is a particular procedure in place for jockeys returning to race ride following concussion.

Raceday medical care

BHA sets the standards of medical care that each racecourse must provide on every race day, carries out regular medical inspections of racecourses to ensure that the Instructions are being complied with and ensures that all training, revalidation and registration of Racecourse Medical Officers is kept up to date.

Drug testing of jockeys

The emphasis is on testing jockeys for any product that is performance impairing.

Testing days are split between breathalyser and urine testing. Anyone failing a breathylser test  twice will be stood down from riding for the day. Further disciplinary action will depend on the levels of alcohol found. On urine testing days, up to 12 riders are chosen by ballot and the urine is tested for performance impairing drugs as mentioned above. 

The BHA’s Jockey testing statistics from 2012 – 2021 can be seen below:

Year 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018 2019 *2020 *2021
Breath 1260 1170 1267 1016 2080 1935 1894 2196 452 18
Urine 456 494 533 295 444 431 521 398 (Figures up to end Nov 2019) 547 631
Hair 3 9
Oral fluid 933

* denotes figures years affected by Covid restrictions

Medical Standards of Fitness to Ride

Published by BHA, these apply to all jockeys, whether professional or amateur.

Jockeys Protective Equipment

As well as monitoring jockeys’ injuries, The Chief Medical Adviser is also involved in the evaluation of personal protective equipment (PPE), namely body protectors and helmets.

Racecourse Physiotherapy

The Jockeys Injury Management (JIM) Team is administered by the PJA and is jointly funded by jockeys, racecourses, BHA and the IJF.  Most racecourses will have a member of the JIM Team in attendance to provide physiotherapy services to jockeys.

Details of team members are available on the PJA website along with dates of when they are on-course, which is also published in the Racing Post.

Medical resources

This section contains a range of useful medical resources for all jockeys including those from overseas, along with essential forms and reports for medical professionals.