Coronavirus pandemic: Support package launched for jockeys, valets and agents

Fri 24 Apr 2020

PJ McDonald, Flat President of the Professional Jockeys Association, has hailed the efforts of the organisation after details of a support package were unveiled.

The PJA has three schemes designed to help jockeys, valets and agents through the current shutdown of racing due to the coronavirus crisis.

McDonald said: “I would personally like to show my appreciation on behalf of the jockeys for all the hard work hard that the PJA team have been putting in over the last few weeks.

“It has given jockeys a lot of comfort in these trying times, knowing that they have such a strong team working on their behalf.

“Paul (Struthers, PJA chief executive) and the rest of the team have gone above and beyond to help not only our members but also their agents and valets too.”

The three distinct schemes, which have the financial support of The Racing Foundation and are in partnership with the Injured Jockeys Fund, will each be administered by a different organisation.

The PJA Income Support Scheme is open to all jockeys, agents and valets who do not qualify for the Government’s self-employed help scheme and will pay 80 per cent of average monthly earnings up to a maximum amount of £2,500, with payments will be backdated to March 18, when racing ceased.

The Racing Foundation is also providing grants to cover individuals claiming under the Government self-employed scheme, which expects to pay out in June, with the grants repayable when the government help kicks in.

Hardship grants will also be available to jockeys via the Jockeys Association Trust and the Injured Jockeys Fund, with the fund boosted by “a generous donation” from the Sir Peter O’Sullevan Charitable Trust.

Struthers said: “We are pleased to be able to launch these schemes so quickly after they were announced last Friday. They will be of significant assistance and provide reassurance to our members as well as their agents and valets.

“Both the PJA and its members are extremely grateful to The Racing Foundation Trustees and their chief executive Rob Hezel.

“They have been incredibly supportive throughout and have worked tirelessly and efficiently to enable us to launch these schemes.

“I would also like to offer our members’ sincere thanks to the Sir Peter O’Sullevan Charitable Trust who have made a significant contribution to the hardship grants.”

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