On 25th November 2016, we held our second owner event of the year and took 20 Heart of the South owners and their guests to the Injured Jockeys Rehabilitation Centre Oaksey House. It was a hugely interesting morning spent in Lambourn with founders of the centre John and Jackie gave us a tour of their facilities.
Our Owner Events in the past have always focused on the horses, so it was nice to be able to hear and see how well the jockeys get looked after too.
Oaksey House is one of three of the Rehabilitation Centres available to jockeys via the Injured Jockeys Fund. They offer numerous services and facilities to aid these Iron Men when in need. From the specialised gym, a gravity reduced treadmill and multiple physios, to the on site accommodation for more long-term issues, there really is everything to ensure jockeys and their families are well look after whether they are returning to riding or not. We also learnt the IJF are working with young jockeys, using the equicizer to build race riding skills and teaching them more effective weight management. Moving forward they want to further convey the message “Prevention is Better Than Cure.”
One of our favourite parts of the tour was heading to the conference room upstairs to view an incredible selection of old racing photographs collected over the decades. It is quite incredible to see how much the sport has changed from then to now, although there were a few familiar faces recognised! Our favourite was a group of jockeys sweating it out in the sauna while sipping champagne!
Next year, Oaksey House are looking to expand their centre further with a hydrotherapy pool and new gym. They are also planning to work closer with jockeys so they recognise their injuries more, and understand the importance of letting their bodies heal (as opposed to rushing back 2 weeks after breaking a bone!)
It must be of some comfort to jockeys that they have this brilliant place available to them if needed, and all 3 of the Rehabilitation Centres do an outstanding job. Oaksey House relies purely on donations, so it was a delight for us to be able to give a donation of £600 with the help of our owners.
The Injured Jockeys Fund have several merchandise that can be purchased, including several items for Christmas. All proceeds go to the charity.