9 November 2014, Abu Dhabi ~ A focus on healthy ways to maintain jockey weight, general nutrition, and ongoing research and support for jockeys were hot topics at the closing session of the two-day HH Sheikha Fatima bint Mubarak International Conference of Education and Training in Abu Dhabi.
Moderated by Gary Capewell, nutritionists gave testimonials that were of great interest to the roomful of apprentice jockeys, race enthusiasts and officials. The news that a jockey can eat a healthy diet and maintain weight is an ongoing positive result of revised dietary thinking.
Dr. Jamal Hout, dietary and NAET specialist, gave test results and a live demonstration on the flow of body energy, and the problems created when the flow is not in balance.
Dr. Grame Close from John Moores University in Liverpool has been part of a research study focussed on positive diet and health programs for jockeys. He spoke on maintaining jockey weight with nutrition, citing the added positive mental health effects to jockey athletes of correct dieting while being able to maintain weight.
“In the past, many jockeys have maintained riding weight by a diet of junk food and possible vomiting,” he reported.
“With our diets, we maintain muscle mass and reduce fat. All of the jockeys on the diet got stronger and got fitter by eating,” said Dr. Close. “Diet, exercise and vitamin D make the difference,” he continued. “We have shown tangible results in the jockey’s lives. We want to see every jockey in the world have this education.”
George Wilson, an ex-jockey now working with John Moore’s University on the exercise physiology team, Dr. James Morton, Dr. Philip Pritchard, and Dr. Costas Papageorgiou all continued the healthy diet conversation.
Immediately after the presentation, Lara Sawaya, Executive Director of the HH Sheikh Mansoor bin Zayed Al Nahyan Global Arabian Horse Flat Racing Festival and Chairman of Ladies Racing Committee (IFAHR) and Chairman of Apprentice Jockeys & Racing (IFAHR), introduced an apprentice jockey exchange program within the newly formed International Federation of Racing Schools. The attending Racing Schools have already begun to look at their curriculum to make a base-line that might bring the schools more in line in their programs to educate young rider athletes. The Federation will begin with 13 racing schools and will be based in Abu Dhabi with an executive board headed by Ms Sawaya.
The Conference was concluded by a sparkling evening Gala dinner and award ceremony at the magnificent Emirates Palace Hotel on the waterfront in Abu Dhabi.