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A Journal on Applied Physiology, Biomechanics, Preventive Medicine,
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The Journal of Sports Medicine and Physical Fitness 2018 Mar 27

DOI: 10.23736/S0022-4707.18.08196-3


language: English

Physiological demands of daily riding gaits in jockeys

Michael A. KIELY 1 , Giles D. WARRINGTON 2, 3, Adrian McGOLDRICK 3, Gillian O’LOUGHLIN 3, Sarahjane CULLEN 1, 3

1 Department of Sport and Exercise Science, School of Health Sciences, Waterford Institute of Technology, Waterford, Ireland; 2 Physical Education and Sport Sciences, University of Limerick, Limerick, Ireland; 3 The Turf Club, Kildare, Ireland


BACKGROUND: Jockeys should maintain a high level of physical fitness to meet the physical demands of horse racing. The aim of this study was to determine the physiological requirements of the riding gaits used regularly in training.
METHODS: Eleven trainee jockeys performed a maximal incremental Wattbike cycle ergometer test. Mean absolute and relative oxygen uptake (VO2) and heart rate (HR) were recorded for the steady-state period during a walk, trot and canter. Energy expenditure (EE) and associated metabolic equivalent (MET) were also estimated.
RESULTS: During a walk, trot and canter, relative mean VO2 corresponded to 15 ± 4%, 38 ± 6%, 47 ± 9% of VO2peak and mean HR corresponded to 48 ± 6%, 60 ± 6%, 71 ± 7% of HRpeak respectively. Mean VO2 and mean HR were significantly different amongst gaits; p ≤ 0.001. Walking required the lowest estimated EE of 2.25 ± 0.6 kcal.min-1 (p ≤ 0.001; 2.4 METs;) and it was significantly lower than trotting at 5.72 ± 1.0 kcal.min-1 (p ≤ 0.001; 6.2 METs) and cantering at 7.10 ± 1.8 kcal.min-1 (p ≤ 0.001; 7.7 METs;).
CONCLUSIONS & PRACTICAL APPLICATIONS: These riding activities are associated with relatively low physiological demand and alternate modes of exercise are recommended for trainee jockeys to ensure the demands of racing are met. Future research should investigate the physical training, both riding-specific and general conditioning, jockeys perform in preparation for racing.

KEY WORDS: Horse racing - Physical demands - Training - Energy expenditure

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Publication History

Article first published online: March 27, 2018
Manuscript accepted: March 9, 2018
Manuscript revised: February 23, 2018
Manuscript received: September 21, 2017

Cite this article as

Kiely MA, Warrington GD, Mcgoldrick A, Cullen S. Physiological demands of daily riding gaits in jockeys. J Sports Med Phys Fitness 2018 Mar 27. DOI: 10.23736/S0022-4707.18.08196-3

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