A new charity aimed at supporting injured jockeys has been established with champion jockey Ruby Walsh announced as chairman of its board.
Irish Injured Jockeys, which was launched on Wednesday at Punchestown Racecourse, aims to offer a public fundraising vehicle to the racing public and wider audience to show their support for injured jockeys.
The aim of the charity is to raise awareness and vital funds on a consistent basis to provide for injured riders as individual cases and through racing's charities.
All funds raised through Irish Injured Jockeys will go to those most in need of support.
The launch of Irish Injured Jockeys takes place one year after the Limerick Charity Raceday, held in light of two serious injuries sustained by riders in March 2013.
The public rallied in support and the race day raised in excess of €809,000.
The launch also coincides with the inaugural race-meeting of the season at Punchestown Racecourse.
Speaking to RTÉ, Walsh explained the reasons behind the establishment of the fund.
“In the UK it’s been in existence for years but in Ireland it’s been in existence in ways through various different funds – the emergency fund, the Injured Jockey Trust and the Jockey’s Accident fund. But I guess with so many different funds there was always confusion as to what was going on," he said.
“Jockeys decided after incidents last year that a public face needed to be put to the various funds and the Irish Injured Jockeys was formed. It’s there as a fund raising vehicle really to raise money for injured jockeys and jockeys who are not so well off.”
“It’s more to do with guys who aren't so fortunate, who fall on hard times and guys who have had very serious injuries, paraplegia, head injuries, things like that, it’s to provide for those people."