Bangalore: The Jockeys Association of India (JAI) president Sinclaire Marshall said on Thursday that the association members are open to a discussion with the Karnataka Racehorse Owners’ Association (KROA) on the matter pertaining to enhancement of mount fee. “There is nothing forthcoming from KROA, though they were informed that we are open to discussion, ” said Sinclaire.
Last Saturday, JAI had issued an ultimatum to the Bangalore Turf Club (BTC) that their members (jockeys) will ‘stop riding work’ from June 25 unless their demand for the revision of mount fee – from the present Rs 750 to Rs 2,000 – was not accepted. JAI had further stated that jockeys will not accept rides from June 28 if an acceptable solution was not found by then.
BTC, on their part, had advised the JAI that it was a subject matter concerning horseowners and it needs to be sorted out with KROA. However, KROA is learnt to have brushed aside the demand, arguing that it has to be a collective decision also involving other owners’ bodies in the country and the Turf Authority of India (TAI). TAI is, however, unlikely to meet before mid-July. Meanwhile JAI has also sent fax messages to RWITC, HRC and RCTC demanding the hike. “If nothing is heard from them, Calcutta and Pune racing in the coming weeks will also be affected by the strike,” added Sinclaire.
BTC has, however, decided to use apprentices and foreign riders from June 28 if JAI sticks to its demand. BTC has also banned the entry of jockeys not willing to fulfil their track and riding engagements.