The Silent Struggle Jockeys and the Dual Battle Against Online and Offline Abuse

The Silent Struggle: Jockeys and the Dual Battle Against Online and Offline Abuse


The Plague of Online and Offline Abuse


The Gardai have launched an investigation after jockeys Jack Kennedy and Sam Ewing were the victims of an alleged assault in the centre of Naas, County Kildare, in the days after this month’s Cheltenham Festival. Kennedy and Ewing were allegedly attacked by a group of young men in the early hours of Monday, March 18, after they apparently took issue with the pair over their riding performances at the festival.


A Sad Indictment

Online abuse has become an unfortunate companion for jockeys. It’s a sad indictment of the current conditions faced by Jockeys across the Raciing sector. For jockeys, it seems has become part and parcel of the job — a bitter side effect of their public profiles.

Toxic Messages

Jockeys receive threatening, derogatory, and discriminatory messages online. These digital arrows pierce through their armor, leaving emotional scars. The impact is profound and lasting. Imagine logging into your social media account after a grueling race, only to be bombarded with venomous words questioning your abilities, appearance, and character.

Here is an example posted just yesterday  on X by Kerian O Neill

Mental Health Toll

More than half of jockeys admit that their mental health is affected by online abuse. The relentless negativity seeps into their minds, gnawing at their confidence. When an athlete’s mental health is linked so conclusively to their performance, it’s no wonder that some jockeys struggle to maintain their edge on the track.

The Battle Beyond Screens

Offline Harms

But it’s not just the virtual world that inflicts wounds. Offline, jockeys face challenges too. The physical demands of racing—extreme weight management, injuries, and the constant pressure to win—take a toll. They battle exhaustion, hunger, and dehydration, all while maintaining a steely focus.

The Weight of Expectations

Jockeys are expected to be resilient, unyielding. They ride through pain, push their bodies to the limit, and emerge victorious. But beneath the silks, they are all human. The weight of expectations—both from fans and trainers—can be suffocating. The roar of the crowd fades, replaced by the silent struggle within.

A Call for Change

The collective message has to be clear : enough is enough. The toxic online abuse must end. Positive action is imperative. Jockeys deserve respect, both online and offline.


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