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Is this isolated or was it common?


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Saw people talking about this yesterday.  Was published 4 months ago. Topic seems to have come back up.


This is re Australia Victoria re Aussie article. Please tell me this didnt happen in NZ? 

Have a great day folks. Suns out. 

Edited by karrotsishere
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Bound to have.

I recall hearing about 'jokes' played upon newbies, never heard of anything intrinsically dangerous, or of a sexual nature, but plenty of 'initiation' tricks.

Sending kids from stable to stable looking for left-handed riding whips, half-mile saddles, striped paint for the stable doors, even tartan cotton for a certain horse's raceday bandages...jumping oats  for the new hurdler...trainers would play along in some cases and send the lads back with half a bucket of oats.!  Kids being put on a saddle on a gate, and then turning the hose on them - learning to ride in the rain..!

But it wasn't just racing.  My father, as a fledgling plumber's apprentice, was sent off for a 'long weight'.

Quickly twigged what was going on,  bought himself a ticket to the pictures and several ice creams.  Upon returning to his irate boss, and explaining, the perpetrators were rounded up and dealt with.  Long weights were no longer required in that particular business..!

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Here are some bits from the article. Laughing matter I think not. 

The repeated abuse came to a head in January 1976, when, aged 16, he was “accidentally” set on fire.

Like many in the racing game, he was physically and sexually abused at the stables by those entrusted to teach him the ropes.

Apprentice jockeys who were physically or sexually abused at Victorian stables between 1970 and 1985 are being encouraged to tell their stories as part of a civil claim seeking damages against the racing industry.

Rule says he has spoken to between 15-20 people who were effected by he historicial abuse that occured within Victorian racing

He says others were sexually penetrated with carrots, some repeatedly.

Another former jumps jockey, who asked to remain anonymous to protect his and his family’s identity, remembers the flight-or-fight moment that brought his torture to an end. He was 10 years old when he began working at the former Epsom racetrack in Mordialloc, in about 1974, and the abuse began almost immediately. “It was a continuation for years until you learned to stand up for yourself,” says the former jockey, now in his late 50s, of the greasings.

“The bastardisation just went on and on until, you look at it now, you went by the wayside with alcohol and drugs.”

Multiple periods of abuse while working as a teenager in racing have destroyed Tolliday’s life. He says he now has an extensive psychiatric record, and a history of self harm and suicide attempts, and has struggled to work because of mental health and trust issues.

On one occasion, aged 15 with his mother by his side, he told stewards his tooth had been chipped while being physically abused at a metropolitan stable.

The unnamed jockey also said he was aware of at least three jockeys from his era who took their lives after their abuse claims fell on deaf ears.

Edited by karrotsishere
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Just like the majority of industries - these things happen. Not excusing it for one second, but I'd suggest it is widespread as opposed to a racing issue alone. Any industry where people are put in positions requiring mentoring, and roles within clearly defined chains of command.

I see it as having the frameworks and support that allow these situations to be raised in a safe way.

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It is widespread in any industry where you have 'power' situations. Unfortunately, back in the days the racing industry would close ranks and 'ostracise' anyone speaking up. If you want the rides, keep quiet.  Girl apprentices were preyed upon by some trainers. A friend of mine's sister was an apprentice jockey riding for a well known trainer back 70s. She was a teenager and he was way older. He was sleeping with her. 

Another woman friend was also a jockey who was treated very badly by the male jockeys. She gave up riding after being deliberately forced into the running rail at a meeting and suffered serious injuries. The powers that be look the other way when this happens.

Hopefully things are much better now though I suspect it still happens


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