York & North Yorkshire

Princess Anne opens Jack Berry injured jockey centre in Malton

Princess Anne and Jack Berry Image copyright Injured Jockey Fund
Image caption Princess Anne unveiled a statue of Jack Berry at the opening of the rehabilitation centre

Princess Anne has opened a £3m rehabilitation centre for injured jockeys in North Yorkshire.

Jack Berry House, in Malton, was funded mostly by retired jockey Jack Berry, who broke 46 bones in his 16-year racing career.

The centre includes an underwater treadmill, hydrotherapy pool, horserace simulators, a gym and respite accommodation.

Mr Berry said: "Words can't justify how proud I feel at this very moment.

"Jump jockeys average a fall every 16th ride and in one in ten falls they get injured. We need to look after them."

Image caption The £3m centre was paid for by the Injured Jockeys Fund, with much of the funds raised by retired jockey Jack Berry

Princess Anne unveiled a statue of Jack Berry during an opening ceremony attended by 20-time champion jump jockey AP McCoy.

AP McCoy said: "It's a very tough sport. The thing about something like Jack Berry House is, no matter what it is, they will do their best to cater for you here."

Image caption Mr Berry said on average a jump jockey falls every 16th race, and breaks a bone in one in ten falls

North Yorkshire is an important centre for the horse racing industry, with more horses and jockeys being trained in Malton and Middleham than ever before and more than 50 trainers now in the area.

Until now, injured jockeys in the area had to travel elsewhere for treatment.

Image caption Centre manager Jo Russell said: "If it's their income, jockeys need to get back racing as soon as they can and this facility will let them get back that bit quicker."
Image caption Dougie Costello has broken his shoulder and collarbone twice, ankle, ribs and vertebrae in his neck over his 17 year racing career

Jack Berry House, run by the Injured Jockey Fund (IJF), will be used to train apprentice jockeys as well as giving rehabilitation and respite care.

Jockey Dougie Costello, recovering from a broken ankle, said: "A jump jockey basically has to learn to ride with injury.

"You'll never come back to what your body was but if you can come back to 99% and we've got people like this to help us, then as a sport we're working in the right way."

In February, Princess Anne opened accommodation for young racing staff in Malton partly financed by a fund set up after teenage jockeys Jamie Kyne and Jan Wilson died in a flat fire in 2009.

Image caption The Injured Jockeys Fund opened a similar centre to Jack Berry House in 2009 - the £5m Oaksey House at Lambourn in Berkshire

Related Topics

More on this story

Related Internet links

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites