Rider Wootton on Weight: Wail of Woe from the Ex-Leader of British Flat Race Jockeys, Daily Racing Form, 1921-08-07


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RIDER W00TT0N ON WEIGHT Wail of Woe from the Ex-Leader of British Flat Race Jockeys. Here is a wail for riders to read. It is from the London Dispatch and signed by Frank Wootton, the Australian young man who was the British leader ten years ago and now rides cross-country at about 150 pounds: Why do people run away with the idea that a jockeys life is a bed of thornless roses? As a matter of fact his whole life is u long-sustained and rigorous battle of self-denial against his ever-Incrensing weight for once a jockey begins to put oi weight he might as well take to the sea, so far as flat racing is concerned. A flat race jockey trains as hard aud ns methodically as does a champion boxer. The old, old saying is that a jockey lives on one roll per day, with an orange to follow. I know the times are legion when I have ravenously longed for a good, square meal of roast beef and Yorkshire pudding, cabbage and potatoes and have ordered his Satanic Majesty to hie himself elsewhere while I toyed with a thlu sandwich. It Is a most tantalizing arrangement. A successful jockey sees his bank balance rising steadily; all the best owners negotiate for his services; he is in a position to state his own terms; the sporting world is at his feet; nil the good, things in life fall into his lap and yet he has perforce to live the Spartan life of a monk performing a never-ending penance. The only luxury jockeys in training get is a Turkish bath. Even the solace of a few extra hours in bed is ruled out. Bed is a terrible place for putting on weight; it is an absolute incubatory for adipose tissue. Therefore a jockey must be out and about long before the early birds are hunting for the earlier worms. Six oclock finds him sousing about in a hot tub. and after that comes the daily horror of the scales. Morning by morning he swings gingerly on the scale-pan, and morning by morning his agonized eyes behold the inexorable Land of doo2n creeping slowly around the dial. Ounce by ounce his weight increases, and in strict proportion his earning capacity grows beiiutfully less. Sometimes a panic seizes him, and off lie goes on a helter-skelter scamper over plowed fields and ditehe with He That Refuses To Be Denied, Colonel Bogeywelght, bobbing relentlessly along In his wuke. spurring him on to deeds of cross-country der-ring do. Physical jerks hours and hours of them were painfully known to jockeys long years before Germany pitchforked the pastime into most, peoples lives. Tod Sloan used to say that the hardest part of a jockeys life was to Keep the flesh off his body. Live on the music program instead of the menu. Say. "No, than!: yon." And, after that, the winning of races came as a matter of course. It is something of a relief when a jockey finds that he has finally shot his bolt, and that in future the whole of the menu is open to him as a change from eternal water rtibks. At dinner a jockey usually gets as far as the soup and then retires until the dessert is handed around. I remember one flat race Jockey who used to gaze lugubriously at a restaurant noted for its food and murmur to himself, .Kandh, v,tii, a theater cr two wont hurt .me, anyway." Some Jockeys are born to he lightly "cuilt, others acquire it by thrusting it upon themselves and every thrust Is another thorn in the Jockeys bed of roses.

Persistent Link: https://drf.uky.edu/catalog/1920s/drf1921080701/drf1921080701_2_6
Local Identifier: drf1921080701_2_6
Library of Congress Record: https://lccn.loc.gov/unk82075800