Key Milestones

The PJA has come a long way since it began life as the Jockeys Association of Great Britain (JAGB) in 1969. Over the years its stature has grown and it has helped to improve the working conditions of jockeys and ensure that they are given the best possible opportunities during their careers.

2020 – New Apprentice and Conditional Fee structure is introduced.

2019 – The PJA celebrates its 50th anniversary as an organisation.

2016 – A dedicated mental health support network is set up to educate and support our members’ mental health, wellbeing and resilience. It now forms part of a dedicated suite of services aimed to help jockeys in this area.

2015 – The non-runner fee is introduced with the jockey receiving 40% of their riding fee for any non-runner declared after 9am on the day of the race.

2011 – The flexible suspension rule is introduced following years of work between the PJA and the BHA

2011 – The first group sponsorship of the posterior site is launched with the Stobart Group enabling the re-introduction of Career Ending Insurance for all PJA members

2008 – The Professional Jockeys Association is re-branded from the Jockeys Association of Great Britain Ltd (JAGB) and the PJA Board is formed.

2008 – PJA members agree for the PJA to negotiate their group media rights with broadcasters and for their interview fees to be used to significantly subsidise their insurances.

1999 – After years of lobbying and working with the BHA and the ROA, individual jockey sponsorship rights are introduced.

1998 – Racecourse physiotherapy cover for jockeys is introduced for the first time.

1993 – JETS (Jockeys Education & Training Scheme) is founded to assist jockeys with training, CPD and career transition

1991 – The inaugural ‘Lesters Awards’ are held at the Café Royal in London

1984 – The Professional Jockeys Association Pension Scheme is established with almost £16m invested into individual jockeys’ pension pots since its inception.

1980 – first group insurances are set up to protect jockeys

1978 – Ron Atkins and Paul Cook are appointed as the first racecourse safety officers

24 June 1969 – Under the vision of Peter Smith as Secretary, the jockeys’ organisations amalgamated to form one organisation, the Jockeys Association of Great Britain Ltd. The Rt Hon. Lord Oaskey was its first President and Vice-Presidents were Lester Piggott, Barry Brogan, Brough Scott and Johnnie Seagrave.

1960s – From about 1965 there were three small organisations, the Southern National Hunt Jockeys Committee, the Northern National Hunt Jockeys Committee and the Flat Race Jockeys Association with Stan Mellor, David Nicholson, Pat McCarron, Peter Smith and many others taking active roles.

PJA CEO’s

  1. Major Peter Smith TD (1964 – 1978)
  2. Geoffrey Summers ACIS (1978 – 1987)
  3. Jack Brooks (1987 – 1988)
  4. Michael Caulfield (1989 – 2003)
  5. John Blake (2003 – 2007)
  6. Josh Apiafi (2007 – 2009)
  7. Kevin Darley (2009 – 2011)
  8. Paul Struthers (2012 to date)

Jump Presidents

Peter Scudamore MBE (1990 – 1993)
Richard Dunwoody MBE (1993 – 2000)
Sir AP McCoy OBE (2000 – 2015)
Richard Johnson MBE (2015 to date)

Flat Presidents

Paul Cook (1986 -1990)
John Reid MBE (1990 – 2001)
Kevin Darley (2001 – 2007)
Steve Drowne (2008 – 2018)
PJ McDonald (2018 to date)