Background: The risk of falls and injuries in horseracing varies with sex and experience of the jockey.
Aims: To determine whether the incidence and costs of insurance claims also differ by such factors.
Methods: A retrospective analysis of compensation claims by flat racing and jumps jockeys injured in a race-day fall in Australia between 2002 and 2009. Claim incidence, costs, absentee days and location, cause and type of injury sustained were described, stratified by jockey sex, age and experience.
Results: The incidence of claims by flat and jumps racing was 0.6 and 6.5 per 1000 rides, respectively. The mean cost of a claim was 43374 Australian dollars (AUD) (SD 249612) in flat racing and AUD 52589 (SD 157808) in jumps racing. The incidence of claims was greater for experienced flat racing jockeys than apprentices but mean costs were higher for apprentices. After adjustment for experience, there were no sex differences in the average cost or incidence of flat racing jockeys' claims. In general, the fall incidence declined, but the claim incidence and median cost of a claim increased, with age. On average, jockeys were absent from work for 9 weeks following a substantive injury. Limb fractures (33%), muscular or soft tissue injuries (28%) and contusions (17%) were the most commonly reported injuries.
Conclusions: The economic costs of jockey injuries sustained in race-day falls are considerable. Identification of differences in incidence and costs of insurance claims between jockey characteristics will assist decision makers in the development and assessment of targeted safety strategies.
Keywords: Costs; economic; horse; injury; insurance; jockey; occupation..
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