Mandatory stand-down period for concussions

June 30, 2023

The Queensland racing industry has introduced a mandatory 12-day stand-down period for jockeys formally diagnosed with concussion.

Effective from July 1, if a jockey is showing clinical signs of concussion after an initial assessment, Queensland Racing Integrity Commission stewards will stand the rider down from their remaining engagements.

The jockey is then required to present to a medical practitioner for formal assessment and, if diagnosed with concussion, will be subject to a mandatory 12-day stand-down period.

Riders are then required to obtain a certificate of medical clearance and meet QRIC requirements before resuming riding.

The new protocol has been developed by Racing Queensland in collaboration with the QRIC, along with consultation with the Australian and Queensland Jockeys’ Associations and the Queensland Ambulance Service.

RQ CEO Jason Scott said the introduction of the concussion protocol is a positive step forward for the thoroughbred industry.

“The long-term health and wellbeing of our participants remains paramount,” Mr Scott said.

“Concussion is not to be taken lightly, and we believe a mandatory 12-day stand-down period is a necessary step to ensure our participants can undertake a period of rest and recovery before being cleared to ride again.

“Importantly, this protocol will also allow for more accurate monitoring of concussions in our sport – both clinical signs and formal diagnosis – and whether any trends exist.”

Whilst primarily for incidents that occur on raceday or at the trials, the concussion protocol will also apply where stewards are aware of a jockey who has incurred an injury in a jump out, track gallop or other trackwork incident.

Racing Integrity Commissioner Shane Gillard welcomes the introduction of the new concussion protocol which brings Queensland thoroughbred racing into line with community and participant expectations.

“As an industry, we have a role to protect the health and safety of our riders,” he said.

“The stewards will ensure that any jockey who incurs a head injury must be assessed by an official oncourse doctor or other approved medical person.

“Jockeys are also required to report any riding related concussions and any non-riding relating concussion or head trauma injuries.”

Click here to read the new concussion protocol procedure.

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