The Melbourne Cup is Australia's most famous annual Thoroughbred horse race. It is a 3200-metre race for three-year-olds and over, conducted by the Victoria Racing Club on the Flemington Racecourse in Melbourne, Victoria as part of the Melbourne Spring Racing Carnival, it is the richest "two-mile" handicap in the world, one of the richest turf races. The event starts at 3pm on the first Tuesday in November and is known locally as "the race that stops a nation"; the Melbourne Cup has a long tradition, with the first race held in 1861. It was over two miles but was shortened to 3,200 metres in 1972 when Australia adopted the metric system; this reduced the distance by 18.688 metres, Rain Lover's 1968 race record of 3:19.1 was accordingly adjusted to 3:17.9. The present record holder is the 1990 winner Kingston Rule with a time of 3:16.3. The race is a quality handicap for horses 3 years old and over, run over a distance of 3200 metres, on the first Tuesday in November at Flemington Racecourse; the minimum handicap weight is 50 kg.
There is no maximum weight. The weight allocated to each horse is declared by the VRC Handicapper in early September; the Melbourne Cup race is a handicap contest in which the weight of the jockey and riding gear is adjusted with ballast to a nominated figure. Older horses carry more weight than younger ones, weights are adjusted further according to the horse's previous results. Weights were theoretically calculated to give each horse an equal winning chance in the past, but in recent years the rules were adjusted to a "quality handicap" formula where superior horses are given less severe weight penalties than under pure handicap rules. After the declaration of weights for the Melbourne Cup, the winner of any handicap flat race of the advertised value of A$55,000 or over to the winner, or an internationally recognised Listed, Group, or Graded handicap flat race, shall carry such additional weight, for each win, as the VRC Handicapper shall determine. Entries for the Melbourne Cup close during the first week of August.
The initial entry fee is $600 per horse. Around 300 to 400 horses are nominated each year. Following the allocation of weights, the owner of each horse must on four occasions before the race in November, declare the horse as an acceptor and pay a fee. First acceptance is $960, second acceptance is $1,450 and third acceptance is $2,420; the final acceptance fee, on the Saturday prior to the race, is $45,375. Should a horse be balloted out of the final field, the final declaration fee is refunded; the race directors retain the absolute discretion to exclude any horse from the race, or exempt any horse from the ballot on the race, but in order to reduce the field to the safety limit of 24, horses are balloted out based on a number of factors which include: 1000 prize money earned in the previous two years, 9 wins or placings in certain lead-up races 3 allocated handicap weight The winner of the following races are exempt from any ballot: Lexus Stakes LKS Mackinnon Stakes Cox Plate Caulfield Cup The Bart Cummings Andrew Ramsden Stakes Doncaster Cup Irish St. Leger Tenno Sho Sankei Sho All Comers Arlington Million San Juan Capistrano Handicap Australian Stayers ChallengeThe limitation of 24 starters is stated explicitly to be for safety reasons.
However, in the past far larger numbers were allowed - the largest field raced was 39 runners in 1890. International horses that are entered for the Melbourne Cup must undergo quarantine in an approved premises in their own country for a minimum period of 14 days before travelling to Australia; the premises must meet the Australian Government Standards. The Werribee International Horse Centre at Werribee racecourse is the Victorian quarantine station for international horses competing in the Melbourne Spring Racing Carnival; the facility has stabling for up to 24 horses in five separate stable complexes and is located 32 km from the Melbourne CBD. The total prize money for the 2018 race is A$7,300,000, plus trophies valued at $250,000; the first 12 past the post receive prize money, with the winner Cross Counter being paid $4 million, second $1 million, third $500,000, fourth $250,000, fifth $175,000, with sixth through to twelve place earning $150,000. Prizemoney is distributed to the connections of each horse in the ratio of 85 percent to the owner, 10 percent to the trainer and 5 percent to the jockey.
The 1985 Melbourne Cup, won by "What a Nuisance", was the first race run in Australia with prize money of $1 million. The Cup has a $500,000 bonus for the owner of the winner if it has won the group one Irish St. Leger run the previous September; the winner of the first Melbourne Cup in 1861 received a gold watch. The first Melbourne Cup trophy was awarded in 1865 and was an elaborate silver bowl on a stand, manufactured in England; the first existing and un-altered Melbourne Cup is from 1866, presented to the owners of The Barb. The silver trophy presented in 1867, now in the National Museum of Australia, was made in England but jewellers in Victoria complained to the Victorian Racing Club that the trophy should have been made locally, they believed the work of Melbournian, William Edwards, to be superior in both design and workmanship to the English made trophy. No trophy was awarded to the Melbourne Cup winner for the next eight years. In 1876 Edward Fischer, an immigrant from Austria, produced the first Australian-made trophy.
It was an Etruscan shape with two handles
Makybe Diva is a British-bred, Australian-trained Thoroughbred racehorse who became the first horse to win the Melbourne Cup on three occasions. In 2005, she won the Cox Plate. Upon her retirement from racing in November 2005, Makybe Diva was the highest stakes-earner in Australian horse racing history, finishing with winnings of more than A$14 million, she is one of only five horses to have won the Cup more than once, the only mare among the list of multiple winners. She is one of only 14 female horses to have won the Cup, she is by Desert King out of Tugela by Riverman. Tugela was the dam of the Australian stakes-winners and Valkyrie Diva. Makybe Diva is owned by South Australian tuna fisherman Tony Šantić, who named her after five of his employees - Maureen, Belinda and Vanessa - by taking the first two letters from each of their names. Tony Šantić's bloodstock agent John Foote purchased Tugela in foal to Desert King for 60,000 guineas at the December 1998 Tattersall's Sale; as happens with Santic's British-purchased horses, she was taken to Dick Fowlston's Britton House Stud in Somerset to board before being sent on to Australia.
Tugela gave birth to a filly at five minutes past midnight on 21 March 1999. The filly did not make the reserve. Named Makybe Diva, the filly remained at Britton House Stud until August 2000, when she and Tugela were shipped to Australia. Trained by David Hall, Makybe Diva made her racetrack debut in late July 2002, as a three-year-old, in a maiden at Benalla and finished fourth. At her next start, two weeks - and now classed as a four-year-old - Makybe Diva began a six-race winning sequence in a maiden at Wangaratta, which culminated in stakes wins, three months in the Werribee Cup and the Queen Elizabeth Stakes; the last win was significant in that it qualified the mare for the following year's Melbourne Cup, allowed her trainer to give her a light autumn campaign, which consisted of just two starts in short races. Makybe Diva's early career was unusual in that she was unable to contest any major races against horses of her own age, such as the Oaks, because she was foaled in the U. K. to the Northern Hemisphere breeding calendar.
This meant that, for Australian racing purposes, where horses "age-up" on 1 August each year, she was bracketed with horses foaled about six months earlier, in the Southern Hemisphere spring. Makybe Diva resumed racing in the spring over 1,400 m, but while being reasonably competitive, she did not win any major races. Second up at her next start in the Group 3 Stock Stakes, she came from behind to finish fourth, beaten by just over two lengths, she started 5-1 equal favourite in the Group 2 Turnbull Stakes, where she again raced at the back of the field, before finishing fourth, beaten by only one length. After finishing as a 14-1 outsider in the Caulfield Cup, she began her partnership with Sydney jockey Glen Boss. Coming from near last with 800 m to go in the 2400-m race, she finished fourth behind the Lee Freedman-trained Mummify; the first Tuesday in November 2003 was her first Melbourne Cup victory. Starting as an $8 second favourite, Makybe Diva raced at the back of the field until the finishing straight, where jockey Boss picked his way through the field to win by one-and-a-half lengths.
In the autumn of 2004, she resumed over 1400 m carrying 59.5 kg followed by a third-place finish in the Group 3 Carlyon Cup. Following this, she was blocked when making a winning run in the Australian Cup before being taken to Sydney, where she placed third in the Ranvet Stakes and The BMW Stakes, both Group 1 races; the Group 1 Sydney Cup over 3200 m was to be her final run for the campaign. Sent out as a $3.50 second favourite, she began off the pace, but ran home to record a win by half a length, becoming the first mare to win the Sydney Cup/Melbourne Cup double in the same season, only the fourth horse to have accomplished the double win. After the 2003-2004 season, trainer David Hall left to train in Hong Kong, Makybe Diva was transferred to trainer Lee Freedman regarded as one of Australia's top trainers, her campaign in the spring of 2004 was aimed at winning the Melbourne Cup for a second time. It followed the pattern of her previous cup-winning campaign, though she appeared to be racing better than before.
A close second in the Group 2 John F Feehan Stakes over 1,600 m at Moonee Valley showed her competitiveness in shorter races. In the 2004 Caulfield Cup, Makybe Diva settled at the back of the field, she was narrowly defeated by Elvstroem. Makybe Diva was sent out a $3.60 favourite, won the 2004 Melbourne Cup. In driving rain, the mare defeated a field featuring multiple Irish St. Leger winner Vinnie Roe, Caulfield Cup winners Mummify and Elvstroem, Mamool from the Godolphin stable, the 2002 Melbourne Cup winner Media Puzzle. Resuming racing in February, Makybe Diva put in close finishes behind Elvstroem in both the C F Orr Stakes and St George Stakes, at Caulfield. On 12 March, she won the Australian Cup, a weight for age event over 2,000 m, in the process broke the Australian record and set an unofficial world record for 2000 m on turf, she proceeded to win the BMW Stakes, with a last-to-first burst. In April and May, she raced in Japan, where she failed in two starts, the latter of, over 3,200 m in the Group One Tenno Sho.
Makybe Diva was named Australian Champion Racehorse of the Year for the 2004/05 season. Along with this
W.S. Cox Plate
The W. S. Cox Plate is a Moonee Valley Racing Club Group 1 Thoroughbred horse race for horses aged three years old and over under Weight for age conditions, over a distance of 2040 metres, held at Moonee Valley Racecourse, Australia in late October; the race is Australia's richest weight-for-age race with stakemoney of A$5,000,000. The race is named in honour of W. S. Cox, the racing club's founder. Between 1999–2005 the event was included in the Emirates World Series Racing Championship, a global "grand prix" of horse racing; the series included the King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes at Ascot, the Japan Cup, the Dubai World Cup, the Arlington Million, the Hong Kong Cup, the Canadian International Stakes, the Grosser Preis von Baden, the Irish Champion Stakes, the Breeders' Cup Turf and the Breeders' Cup Classic. Past winners of the Cox Plate include many of the champion racehorses of New Zealand. Winx has been the most successful, winning four years in a row and Kingston Town won the race three times.
Many horses have won the race twice, including Phar Lap, Tobin Bronze, Northerly, Fields of Omagh and So You Think. Only one horse has won the race in the same year as winning the Melbourne and Caulfield cups, Rising Fast, considered by many to be the greatest-ever horse from New Zealand; the double with the Melbourne Cup has only been achieved by seven horses: Makybe Diva and Power, Nightmarch, Phar Lap and Rising Fast. Only three horses have won the Melbourne Cup and gone on to win the Cox Plate the following year: Phar Lap and Power and Makybe Diva; the first Cox Plate was run in 1922 and won by the English horse Violoncello, who won his next three starts during the Melbourne Spring Racing Carnival. The 1925 race was taken out by three-year-old Manfred, who went on to win the VRC Derby and ran second to Windbag in the Melbourne Cup; the class gallopers Heroic and Amounis were successful in 1926 and 1927. Champion New Zealand-bred Nightmarch won in 1929 before Phar Lap took out the race in 1930 and 1931.
Another dual winner of the race was Chatham in 1932 and 1934, as was Young Idea in 1936 and 1937. The 1938 race was won by Ajax in race record time. Outstanding New Zealand champion Beau Vite, a winner of 31 races, won in 1940 and 1941. Due to restrictions on interstate travel due to World War II, the race was only contested by local horses from 1942 to 1944. In 1946, the Cox Plate was run in two divisions with the mare Flight winning the stronger division, she became a dual winner following her victory a year earlier. Hydrogen became the seventh dual winner of the race with victories in 1952 and 1953; the dual Caulfield Cup and Melbourne Cup winner Rising Fast won in 1954. Redcraze, a 32-race winner and New Zealand champion, took out the Plate in 1957 as a seven-year-old, ridden by George Moore. Noholme took nearly a second off the race record in a front-running display to win in 1959. Tulloch, compared to Phar Lap and Carbine, won the following year and again set a new race record. Tobin Bronze became a dual winner of the race with victories in 1966 and 1967.
The 1969 Cox Plate was won by the New Zealand three-year-old colt Daryl's Joy, who went on to race in the USA. The popular Goondiwindi grey, was trainer Tommy Smith's third winner of the Cox Plate in 1972, the New Zealand Derby winner Fury's Order staggered to victory on a bog track in 1975. Surround became the first three-year-old filly to win the race in 1976, when she defeated the VRC Derby winner Unaware; the ill-fated Dulcify strode away to win by seven lengths in 1979. He started favourite in the Melbourne Cup but had to be put down after breaking a pelvis during the race. One of only two triple winners of the Cox Plate, Kingston Town, won in 1980, 1981 and 1982. On each occasion he was ridden by a different jockey: Malcolm Johnston in 1980, Ron Quinton in 1981, Peter Cook in 1982. After winning in 1983, Strawberry Road raced in Europe and the US, where he ran fifth in the Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe at Longchamp and third to Seattle Song in the 1984 Washington, D. C. International at Laurel.
In 1984, Red Anchor became trainer T. J. Smith's seventh Cox Plate winner; the 1986 Cox Plate was a two-horse war over the final 800 metres before Bonecrusher triumphed over Our Waverley Star by a neck. This encounter became known as the Race of the Century. Rubiton, the winner in 1987, went on to a successful stud career where he sired a future Cox Plate winner in Fields of Omagh. Better Loosen Up was 30 lengths from the lead, with 1000 metres to run, before winning the 1990 Plate in record time, he became the first – and remains the only – Australian horse to win the Japan Cup. The eight-year-old Super Impose won in 1992 and defeated a top-class field which included Better Loosen Up, Let's Elope and favourite Naturalism, who lost his rider. Naturalism went on to run second in the Japan Cup. Australian Horse of the Year Octagonal defeated Mahogany in 1995, while Saintly gave Bart Cummings his second winner of the race in 1996 and Dane Ripper his third winner the following year. The'People's Champion' Might and Power led throughout to win in 1998, setting a new track record not to be broken for 17 years.
In a front-running display, Sunline won the 1999 Cox Plate and returned in 2000 to win again by seven lengths, before West Australian champion Northerly defeated her in 2001 and 2002. In 2004, Savabeel became the first 3-year-old to win since Octagonal. In 2005, Makybe Diva triumphed and became one of the most popular horses in Australian racing history with an unprecedented third Melbourne Cup win 10 days later. Fields of Omagh won his second Cox Plate in 2006, ha
Australian Racing Hall of Fame
The Australian Racing Hall of Fame is part of the Australian Racing Museum which documents and honours the horseracing legends of Australia. The museum opened in 1981 and created the Hall of Fame in 2000; the numbers in brackets after each name indicates the year of induction into the Hall of Fame. For the full list of and a biography for each of the inductees, see footnote Canadian Horse Racing Hall of Fame New Zealand Racing Hall of Fame United States' National Museum of Racing and Hall of Fame Australian Racing Museum and Hall of Fame West Australian Racing Industry Hall Of Fame
Fastnet Rock (horse)
Fastnet Rock is an Australian Thoroughbred racehorse stallion. Sired by Danehill to dam Piccadilly Circus, he started his racing career in 2004. Though he did not win any races as a two-year-old, he ran third in the Group One AJC Sires Produce Stakes, he found great success after turning three years old. After being unplaced in the Caulfield Guineas, he proved himself as one of the top Australian sprinters by winning the Group 1 Lightning Stakes and Oakleigh Plate in February 2005. Trainer Paul Perry wished Fastnet Rock to repeat the successful English campaign by Choisir, trained by Perry, in 2003. After he ran second in the T J Smith Stakes in March 2005, Fastnet Rock was sent to the United Kingdom to prepare for the Group 1 Golden Jubilee Stakes and July Cup, he suffered from travel sickness and was unable to run in any race in the UK and was retired to stud. Fastnet Rock began his career at stud in 2005 standing at Coolmore Stud Australia in the Hunter Region of New South Wales. In 2007 he covered 257 mares, second only behind Bel Esprit.
In 2008 Fastnet Rock covered 248 mares at a fee of $82,500. In 2012 his fee was increased to $220,000 making him the most expensive stallion standing at stud in Australia. In 2013 Fastnet Rock's fee rose again to $275,000 which made him $100,000 dearer than the second most expensive stallion in Australia, Redoute's Choice. Fastnet Rock has sired 17 individual Group 1 winning horses including multiple Group 1 winners Mosheen, Sea Siren and Atlantic Jewel. Other notable Stakes winners include Smart Missile, Cluster, Bull Point, Albany Reunion and Hvasstan, it has 115th stakes winner as at 14 May 2017. Fastnet Rock's service fee: Fastnet Rock's major race winners include: Fastnet Rock is inbred 3 × 4 to Northern Dancer List of millionaire racehorses in Australia Leading sire in Australia Coolmore Australia Stallion Profile
So You Think
So You Think is a New Zealand-bred Thoroughbred racehorse, now majority owned by Coolmore Stud of Ireland. So You Think came to prominence through winning the 2009 and 2010 Cox Plates, Australia's premier weight for age race, his first Cox Plate win was at only his fifth career start. His second Cox Plate win came at just his tenth career start, he started as favourite for the 2010 Melbourne Cup but finished third, in his first race past 2,040 metres. He was bred by M J Moran & Piper Farm Ltd and foaled at the Windsor Park Stud in Cambridge, New Zealand. So You Think was purchased for $NZ110,000 at the 2008 New Zealand Bloodstock Premier Yearling Sale on behalf of Malaysian billionaire Dato Tan Chin Nam and Tunku Ahmad Yahaya and was trained by Bart Cummings, he was sired by the Irish-bred Epsom Derby winner High Chaparral out of Triassic, a New Zealand-bred daughter of the American stallion Tights. Although a bay, So You Think is a dark brown horse, sometimes appearing black. Southern Hemisphere horses have their official birthday on 1 August, while in the Northern Hemisphere, the date is 1 January.
This leads to some confusion concerning So You Think's age. Between 1 January and 1 August 2011, he was a four-year-old by Australian reckoning, but was regarded as a five-year-old in Europe. A similar discrepancy occurred in 2012. So You Think had won two of his four starts before the 2009 Cox Plate, including a Group 3 against his fellow three-year-olds, earned a start in the Cox Plate with a solid finish for fifth in the Caulfield Guineas. There was some debate on whether the horse had achieved enough to warrant a start in the Cox Plate, but the Moonee Valley Racing Club decided that he was up to the challenge, he won the Cox Plate in convincing style, leading all the way to win by 2½ lengths in a fast time of 2:03.98. So You Think followed up his Cox Plate win with a second in the Emirates Stakes two weeks in his last race as a three-year-old; the horse resumed racing as a four-year-old in August 2010 with a win in the Memsie Stakes, beating several of Australia's top gallopers and making him the early favourite for the 2010 Cox Plate.
Group One wins in the Underwood Stakes and the Yalumba Stakes meant he started odds-on for the Cox Plate, with many people labeling him as one of the best horses to race in Australia. He won the 2010 Cox Plate in convincing style with Steven Arnold as jockey. A week the horse was untroubled in winning the Group 1 Mackinnon Stakes, he came third in the Melbourne Cup behind winner Americain. After the race Coolmore Stud paid A$25 million for a majority interest in So You Think deciding to race the horse in Europe and to be trained by Aidan O'Brien. So You Think made his European debut in the Group 3 Mooresbridge Stakes at the Curragh Racecourse on 2 May 2011, winning by 12 lengths in a field of five, he made it two from two with victory in the Group 1 Tattersalls Gold Cup at the Curragh on 22 May. Trainer Aidan O'Brien said of his four-and-a-half-length success: "He's incredible - a different creature to what we've seen before." He was clear favourite in The Prince of Wales at Ascot 2011, with Willie Carson famously claiming you should'bet your house' on him five minutes before the race.
However, he was pipped by Rewilding, ridden by Frankie Dettori. Dettori was suspended for nine days for excessive use of the whip on Rewilding. Huge bets had been placed on So You Think, with one punter putting on ninety thousand pounds on the morning of the race, he bounced back on his next outing, in the Eclipse Stakes at Sandown, winning by a half length from 2010 Derby and Arc winner Workforce. Following an eight-week spell, So You Think resumed racing again in the Irish Champion Stakes, where he gained a half-length victory over multiple Group One winner Snow Fairy. A month he ran fourth in the Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe behind the German filly Danedream, who won in track record time. So You Think's third run as a five-year-old was in the British Champion Stakes at Ascot on 15 October, he started the race as favourite and went to the front with 400 metres to run but finished second when the French horse Cirrus des Aigles stormed home to win a neck to neck run. He contested the Breeders' Cup Classic, where he ran sixth in his first race on dirt.
Following a spell of five months, during which he became a six-year-old by Northern Hemisphere reckoning he returned to racing in the Dubai World Cup, where he came fourth in his first run on Tapeta. On his return to Europe, So You Think took the Tattersalls Gold Cup for the second time, beating Famous Name by six lengths on 27 May. In June he returned to Royal Ascot for a second attempt at the Prince of Wales's Stakes. Starting 4/5 favourite against ten opponents, he took the lead two furlongs from the finish and won by two and a quarter lengths from the Queen's colt Carlton House. So You Think was scheduled to make his final appearance in the Eclipse Stakes at Sandown on 7 May, but was withdrawn after being found to be lame two days before the race. So You Think serves as a shuttle stallion in both the Southern and Northern Hemispheres for Coolmore Stud, he has sired 5 individual Group 1 winners: c = colt, f = filly, g = gelding So You Think was rated equal Champion Intermediate Turf Performer in the 2010 World Thoroughbred Rankings along with Rip Van Winkle and Cape Blanco, by the International Federation of Horse Authorities.
He was rated Champion Extended Distance Performer for his 3rd in the 2010 Melbourne Cup
A jockey is someone who rides horses in horse racing or steeplechase racing as a profession. The word applies to camel riders in camel racing; the word is by origin a diminutive of jock, the Northern English or Scots colloquial equivalent of the first name John, used generically for "boy" or "fellow", at least since 1529. A familiar instance of the use of the word as a name is in "Jockey of Norfolk" in Shakespeare's Richard III. v. 3, 304. In the 16th and 17th centuries the word was applied to horse-dealers, itinerant minstrels and vagabonds, thus bore the meaning of a cunning trickster, a "sharp", whence the verb to jockey, "to outwit", or "to do" a person out of something; the current meaning of a person who rides a horse in races was first seen in 1670. Another possible origin is the Gaelic word eachaidhe, a "horseman"; the Irish name Eochaid is related to each "horse" and is translated as "horse rider". This is phonetically similar to jockey. Jockeys must be light to ride at the weights. There are horse carrying weight limits.
The Kentucky Derby, for example, has a weight limit of 126 lb including the jockey's equipment. The weight of a jockey ranges from 108 to 118 lb. Despite their light weight, they must be able to control a horse, moving at 40 mph and weighs 1,200 lb. Though there is no height limit for jockeys, they are fairly short due to the weight limits. Jockeys stand around 4 ft 10 in to 5 ft 6 in. Jockeys are self employed, nominated by horse trainers to ride their horses in races, for a fee and a percentage of the purse winnings. In Australia, employment of apprentice jockeys is in terms of indenture to a master; when an apprentice jockey finishes their apprenticeship and becomes a "fully fledged jockey", the nature of their employment and insurance requirements change because they are regarded as "freelance", like contractors. Jockeys cease their riding careers to take up other employment in racing as trainers. In this way the apprenticeship system serves to induct young people into racing employment. Jockeys start out when they are young, riding work in the morning for trainers, entering the riding profession as apprentice jockeys.
It is necessary for an apprentice jockey to ride a minimum of about 20 barrier trials before being permitted to ride in races. An apprentice jockey is known as a "bug boy" because the asterisk that follows the name in the program looks like a bug. All jockeys must be licensed and are not permitted to bet on a race. An apprentice jockey has a master, a horse trainer, the apprentice is allowed to "claim" weight off the horse's back: in handicapped races, more experienced riders will have their horses given an extra amount of weight to carry, whereas a jockey in their apprenticeship will have less weight on their horse, giving trainers an incentive to hire these less-experienced jockeys; this weight allowance is adjusted according to the number of winners. After a four-year indentured apprenticeship, the apprentice becomes a senior jockey and develops relationships with trainers and individual horses. Sometimes senior jockeys are paid a retainer by an owner which gives the owner the right to insist the jockey ride their horses in races.
Racing modeled on the English Jockey Club spread throughout the world with colonial expansion. The colors worn by jockeys in races are the registered "colors" of the owner or trainer who employs them; the practice of riders wearing colors stems from medieval times when jousts were held between knights. However, the origins of racing colors of various patterns may have been influenced by racing held in Italian city communities since medieval times; such traditional events are still held on town streets and are known for furious riding and the colorful spectacle they offer. While the term "silks" is used in the United States to refer to racing colors, technically "silks" are the white breeches and bib, stock or cravat. Obtaining them is a rite of passage when a jockey is first able to don silken pants and colors in their first race ride. At one time silks were invariably made of silk chosen for being a lightweight fabric, though now synthetics are used instead. Silks and their colors are important symbols of festivity.
Various awards are given annually by organizations affiliated with the sport of thoroughbred racing in countries throughout the world. They include: Australia Scobie Breasley Medal Canada Avelino Gomez Memorial Award United Kingdom Lester Award Champion Flat Jockey Award Champion Jump Jockey Award United States George Woolf Memorial Jockey Award Isaac Murphy Award Horse racing is a sport where jockeys may incur permanent and life-threatening injuries. Chief among them include concussion, bone fractures, arthritis and paralysis. Jockey insurance premiums remain among the highest of all professional sports. Between 1993 and 1996, 6,545 injuries occurred during official races for an injury rate of 606 per 1,000 jockey years. In Australia race riding is regarded as being the second most deadly job, after offshore fishing. From 2002 to 2006 five deaths and 861 serious injuries were recorded. Eating disorders are very common among jockeys, as they face extreme pressure to maintain unusually low weights for men, som