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«Thesis submitted for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy SarahJane Cullen (BSc) Student Number: 54668791 School of Health and Human Performance Dublin ...»

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The Health and Performance

Characteristics of Current and Retired

Jockeys in Ireland

Thesis submitted for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy

SarahJane Cullen (BSc)

Student Number: 54668791

School of Health and Human Performance

Dublin City University

Supervisor: Dr Giles Warrington

September 2013


Horse racing is a weight category sport and jockeys must chronically maintain a low body

mass, necessary to attain the stipulated competition riding weights, whilst maintaining a sufficient level of physical conditioning in order to compete, possibly on a daily basis, in several races each day, over the protracted racing season. The purpose of this study was to further investigate the acute and chronic effects of the common weight loss practices used to rapidly reduce body mass in preparation for racing, building on the existing knowledge and subsequently attempting to improve the health, well-being and overall performance of jockeys throughout their racing career and beyond. Methods: The primary aim was achieved through the completion of 3 independent, though related studies. Study One: The effects of acute body mass loss in preparation for racing on cognitive function, balance and anaerobic performance were assessed in a group of jockeys in a simulated and competitive racing environment. Study Two: The potential long term health impact associated with the prolonged use of rapid weight loss strategies and an energy restricted lifestyle was established in a group of retired jockeys. Study Three: The physiological demands and energy requirements of training, racing and other daily activities were determined. Results: Study one showed that rapid reductions in body mass resulted in no significant impairments in cognitive function, balance or anaerobic performance however large individual variability in responses were apparent which is worrying in terms of the safety and welfare of all surrounding jockeys on the track. Study two suggests a life of chronic weight restriction and reliance on unhealthy weight making practices may have some long term health effects particularly in relation to gain in body mass since retirement, reduced resting metabolic rate and bone health. Study three suggests competitive horse racing requires both aerobic and anaerobic fitness and it further reports that the total estimated energy expenditure on a nonracing day is higher than that on a racing day and as a result the deleterious effects of living in a state of low energy availability may be further exacerbated. Conclusion: Results from this study suggest horse racing is a physically demanding sport and that making weight may result in many individual adverse responses both acutely and chronically. Ideally jockeys should be tracked longitudinally with information and support systems readily available to jockeys to encourage the adoption of healthier making weight strategies, assisting jockeys in enhancing their health, wellbeing and overall performance throughout their sporting career, and beyond.

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I hereby certify that this material, which I now submit for assessment on the programme of study leading to the award of PhD is entirely my own work, that I have exercised reasonable care to ensure that the work is original, and does not to the best of my knowledge breach any law of copyright, and has not been taken from the work of others save and to the extent that such work has been cited and acknowledged within the text of my work.

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I would like to thank Dr. Giles Warrington, my supervisor, for providing me with the best guidance, advice and encouragement throughout this research process. Your door was always open and anything seemed achievable after a chat with you. You always took that extra step and I wouldn’t be where I am now without your continued support and all the many fantastic opportunities you have put my way. I really do appreciate everything.

To Dr. Adrian Mc Goldrick, the doctor who never sleeps…your endless help, advice and support with everything over the last few years has been so amazing. Also to the man who devoted so much time to our physiology classes and ‘life and career’ chats…you always knew how to push me outside my comfort zone, developing me not only as a researcher but as a stronger individual capable of forming an opinion and challenging ideas. You both make me realise there are always enough hours in the day to complete a task and I can’t thank you enough.

This PhD would not have been as enjoyable without Gillian O’Loughlin…it really helped so much to know you were always there for a chat (and laugh!) to see how we were going to overcome the next hurdle with the jockeys! A special thank you to Eimear Dolan (and her fantastic mind and thoughts) for constantly being there and giving me such great advice.

Without the continued support of Denis Egan and the Turf Club I would not be here so I am extremely grateful to you. To all in RACE, especially Orlagh who I have continuously hounded over the years for trainee jockeys and rooms for testing…your flexibility and assistance I really appreciate. This project would have been impossible without all the jockeys both current and retired…the laughs, the shocks, the stresses, the unpredictability have all made for a very enjoyable few years…I have learned so much from spending time with you all!

To everyone down in the labs…you know who you are…I feel so lucky to have had the opportunity to get to know you and work with you. If I ever needed help, advice, support, a rant or just a giggle and chat over tea someone was always there. You all inspire me to be the best I can be by all your amazing successes in all areas of life. So many great memories have been created in my years in DCU with you all and a big thanks to you all…let’s not let this be the end of them! A great thank you also to Ais Scally for her endless help and hilarious chats regardless of the amount of work piled in on top of her. Also to all the staff in DCU, the environment that has been created within our department is down to you all and I thank you all for your support over the years.

I am sure it has been tough living with me lately, so to all my family and friends I thank you for putting up with me. The support and encouragement you have all given me has been unforgettable and I hope you all know how much it means to me. I wouldn’t have gotten here without each and every one of you. I am no longer a student…finally say you all!!

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1 Chapter One: Introduction

1.1 Background Information & Justification

1.2 Purpose of the Research

1.3 Research Aims and Objectives

1.3.1 Study One: The Acute Effects of Making Weight on Cognition and Performance in Jockeys 5 1.3.2 Study Two: The Long Term Health Implications of a Career in Horse Racing

1.3.3 Study Three: The Physiological Demands of Horse Racing

1.4 Delimitations

1.5 Limitations

1.6 Summary

2 Chapter Two: Review of Literature

2.1 Horse Racing as a Weight Category Sport

2.1.1 Horse Racing in Ireland

2.1.2 The Jockey

2.1.3 Injury Risk Associated with Horse Racing

2.1.4 Physical Demands and Energy Requirements of Racing

2.2 Physiological Implications of Making Weight

2.2.1 Dehydration

2.2.2 Energy Deficiency

2.3 Effects of Making Weight on Performance

2.3.1 Making Weight and Cognitive Performance

2.3.2 Making Weight and Physical Performance

2.4 Effects of Making Weight on Health

2.4.1 Bone Health

2.4.2 Resting Metabolic Rate

iv 2.4.3 Kidney Function

2.5 Long Term Health Implications of Making Weight

2.5.1 Physiological Aspects of Ageing

2.5.2 Long Term Health Consequences of a Career in Horse Racing

2.5.3 Long Term Health Consequences of a Career in Weight Category Sports

2.5.4 Long Term Health Implications of Weight Cycling

2.6 Summary

3 Chapter Three: The Acute Effects of Making Weight on Cognition and Performance in Jockeys. 84 3.1 Abstract

3.2 Introduction

3.2.1 Aim and Objectives

3.3 Methods

3.3.1 Study Design Overview

3.3.2 Participants

3.3.3 Procedures

3.3.4 Statistical Analysis

3.4 Results

3.4.1 Part A: Simulated Environment

3.4.2 Part B: Competitive Racing Environment

3.4.3 Summary

3.5 Discussion

3.5.1 Acute Weight Loss and Cognitive Function

3.5.2 Acute Weight Loss and Balance

3.5.3 Acute Weight Loss and Anaerobic Performance

3.5.4 Summary

3.6 Limitations

3.7 Conclusion

4 Chapter Four: The Long Term Health Implications of a Career in Horse Racing

4.1 Abstract

4.2 Introduction

4.2.1 Aims and Objectives

4.3 Methods

4.3.1 Study Design Overview

4.3.2 Participants

4.3.3 Procedures

4.3.4 Statistical Analysis

4.4 Results

4.4.1 Descriptive Data

4.4.2 Lifestyle Questionnaire

4.4.3 Resting Metabolic Rate

4.4.4 Blood Pressure

4.4.5 Full Blood Count

v 4.4.6 Glucose Metabolism

4.4.7 Lipid Profile

4.4.8 Kidney, Liver and Thyroid Function

4.4.9 Endocrine Information

4.4.10 Bone Health

4.4.11 Correlation Analysis

4.4.12 Summary

4.5 Discussion

4.5.1 Summary

4.6 Limitations

4.7 Conclusion

5 Chapter Five: The Physiological Demands of Horse Racing

5.1 Abstract

5.2 Introduction

5.2.1 Aims and Objectives

5.3 Methods

5.3.1 Study Design Overview

5.3.2 Participants

5.3.3 Procedures

5.3.4 Statistical Analysis

5.4 Results

5.5 Discussion

5.5.1 Summary

5.6 Limitations

5.7 Conclusion

6 Chapter Six: Summary, Conclusion and Recommendations

6.1 Summary

6.2 Study Implications and Conclusion

6.3 Recommendations for Future Research

7 Bibliography

8 Appendices

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Table 2.2: Association between Balance and Rapid Weight Loss

Table 2.3: Association between Anaerobic Performance and Rapid Weight Loss

Table 3.1: Description of the CogState Sport tests and the cognitive domain assessed.

.......... 95 Table 3.2: Subject Characteristics at Baseline (Group 1 and Controls)

Table 3.3: Body Mass Changes

Table 3.4: Individual Information on Jockey Group 1 in Relation to Body Mass Reduction.

... 102 Table 3.5: Mean Reaction Times and Accuracy Scores in CogSport Cognitive Function Tasks in a Simulated Testing Environment

Table 3.6: Anaerobic Performance Variables

Table 3.7: Individual Performance Impairments in Cognitive Function, Balance and Anaerobic Performance

Table 3.8: Subject Characteristics at Baseline (Group 2)

Table 3.9: Mean Reaction Times and Accuracy Scores in CogSport Cognitive Function Tasks in a Racing Environment

Table 4.1: Anthropometric and Body Composition Information

Table 4.2: Career as a Jockey

Table 4.3: Typical Weight Making Practices

Table 4.4: Lifestyle as a Jockey

Table 4.5: Current Lifestyle since Retirement from Racing

Table 4.6: Full Blood Count Results

Table 4.7: Oral Glucose Tolerance Test Results

Table 4.8: Lipid Profile

Table 4.9: Markers of Kidney, Liver and Thyroid Function

Table 4.10: Hormonal Profile

Table 4.11: Bone Mineral Density, T- and Z-scores for Retired Jockeys

Table 4.12: Comparison of BMD between Professional Jockeys and Retired Jockeys.

............ 151 Table 4.13: Markers of Bone Health and Micronutrients

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Table 5.1: Typical Daily Work and Exercise Patterns amongst Jockeys

Table 5.2: Descriptive and Anthropometric Characteristics and Peak Physiological Data of Trainee Jockeys

Table 5.3: Physiological Data during the Simulated Race

Table 5.4: Physiological Data during the Various Riding Gaits

Table 5.5: Descriptive and Anthropometric Characteristics and Peak Physiological Data of Apprentice Jockeys

Table 5.6: Physiological Data of an Actual Race

Table 5.7: Physiological Data during Morning Training in the Yard when ‘Riding Work’.

........ 188

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Figure 2.2: A representation of the compartments and the amounts that make up total body water in a typical 70 kg man (Benelam and Wyness, 2010)

Figure 2.3: Typical Daily Turnover of Water (2300 ml.

day-1) (adapted from (Guyton and Hall, 1996))

Figure 2.4: Physiological Relationships among Plasma Osmolality, Plasma AVP Concentration, Urine Osmolality and Urine Volume in man (Robinson, 1985)

Figure 2.5: The Physiological Mechanisms Associated with Dehydration

Figure 2.6: Systems model of balance control including the various components

Figure 3.1: Schematic Representation of the Experimental Design in RACE and DCU.

.............. 91 Figure 3.2: Schematic Representation of the Experimental Design in a Competitive Racing Environment

Figure 3.3: Performance of the Y Balance Test for the Right Leg:

Figure 3.4: Cycle Ergometer used for the Assessment of Anaerobic Performance

Figure 3.5: Hydration Status as measured by Usg in the trials

Figure 3.6: Individual Responses in CogSport Detection Task for Simple Reaction Time.

....... 104 Figure 3.7: Individual Responses in CogSport Identification Task for Choice Reaction Time... 105 Figure 3.8: Individual Responses in CogSport One Card Learning Task for Attention, Visual Learning and Memory

Figure 3.9: Individual Responses in CogSport One Back Card Task for Attention and Working Memory

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