Live Mutual: Horse racing moments

Allen Wastler

By Allen Wastler
Allen Wastler is a former financial journalist with over 30-years of experience, including time at CNBC, CNN, and Knight-Ridder Newspapers.
Posted on May 4, 2018

Thundering hooves, taut reins, and straining thoroughbreds racing past stands of cheering and yelling onlookers. Amid that competition, with thousands of dollars in purse money on the line, would you think there’d be any instances of the riders looking out for one another?

Sure there would.

Like the jockey who, in the middle of a fence-jumping race in Ireland, leaned over and righted a fellow jockey about to fall off his horse.

“My saddle slipped and I had gone past the point of no return with a one-way ticket; I was preparing to hit the ground,” the rescued jockey explained in a news interview after the race, adding he owed his rescuer “a drink or two.”

Or the time in a race when one rider lost a rein at the beginning the race, something that could potentially trip up the horse and cause a major accident on the course. A neighboring jockey, one with a reputation as a formidable competitor, used his whip to get the dangling rein back into the hands of the rider. The move, some argued, cost him the race.

“I think it was more important that nobody got hurt, you know? Than winning the race,” the jockey told a local New York newspaper. “I mean, there’s plenty of other races. A human being is more important.”

These are just two instances of the kind of mutual help jockeys have given one another throughout horse racing’s history.

And it’s not always human helping human on the track. There are many instances of jockeys taking action to protect their mounts too. Like the jockey who said he felt something go wrong with his horse just as it won its race. So he stopped and held the mount until a horse ambulance arrived. It was later determined the horse was indeed injured and the jockey’s move probably saved its life. The moment echoed a similar instance at the Belmont Stakes where the jockey cradled a horse’s injured leg until veterinarians could take over.

MassMutual salutes these acts of mutual kindness and protection, especially in a context where competition is so fierce. It’s an acknowledgement that there’s a bigger prize for everyone besides what lies at the finish line.

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