Previous research has reported significant psychological consequences of injury on rehabilitation success, performance, and wellbeing in athletes, although little is known within horse-based sports. There is a high prevalence of injury reported in point-to-point (P2P) jockeys, but despite this, comparatively little research exists examining the psychological implications resulting from physical trauma within horseracing. The aim of this study was to investigate the psychological responses to personal injury in British amateur P2P jockeys. Five amateur P2P jockeys (two male, three female, x- age 25 years old) were interviewed about their experiences post an injury sustained during racing in the preceding 12 months. Interview questions explored their pre-injury career, the rehabilitation phase, pre-return to racing phase issues and coping strategies used by jockeys. Thematic analysis revealed three higher order themes: emotional responses, coping strategies, and factors affecting recovery. Subjects universally cited negative emotional responses following injury, including grief, a sense of loss, and frustration, and all experienced denial at the onset of injury. Typical coping strategies included strong support networks of family, friends and racing staff, and goal setting. Fear of reinjury was identified by all athletes, particularly on return to the saddle, and the attitudes towards injury management, such as denial, seen in this study may provide opportunities to develop targeted education campaigns for P2P jockeys on injury services. Targeted marketing for P2P jockeys on available injury support is recommended, such as seen for professional jockeys, as well as the creation of career development resources to offer alternative routes for P2P jockeys following injury.
- Physiology (medical)
- Veterinary (miscellaneous)
- Orthopedics and Sports Medicine
- Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism