Comer Group International take over as jockeys sponsors


Tuesday, July 30, 2019
Comer Group

Leading Flat and National Hunt jockeys wear new Comer Group International racing breeches for the first time at this year's Galway Festival as Comer Group International today announced a three-year sponsorship deal to cover free career-ending insurance for all members of Irish Jockeys Association (IJA) Photo: Healy Racing Photography


Comer Group International has today announced a three-year deal to provide career-ending insurance for all members of the Irish Jockeys Association (IJA). The insurance scheme, which has been in place for four years, guarantees that all IJA members, should they suffer a career-ending injury, will be fully insured and offers them and their families greater financial security for their retirement than any other previous scheme. In return, the jockeys will carry the Comer Group International logo on their breeches.
 
The original scheme, introduced by the Irish Jockeys Association, providing a policy of career-ending insurance was funded by the jockeys themselves at their own considerable cost.  As part of this new partnership, Comer Group International has agreed to take over that existing premium for a three-year period.
 
Luke Comer of the Comer Group International, who has a long tradition of supporting the racing industry and is a well-known owner, breeder and racehorse trainer with racing interests both in Ireland and internationally, commented: “Comer Group International are delighted with the opportunity to support members of the Irish Jockeys Association and very much look forward to working together for the welfare of jockeys over the coming years.  From my own deep interest and experience of the industry, I fully understand the risks that these riders take on a daily basis every time they go out on a horse and we are delighted with the opportunity to support them through this insurance scheme which gives some additional protection to riders and their families.”
 
Andrew Coonan, Irish Jockeys Association Secretary, said: “The importance of this insurance scheme cannot be emphasised enough.  During the course of the last three years in which we have had this cover, we have seen a number of riders whose careers have been cut short through injury.  Fortunately, the insurance we now have in place provided them with some vital finance while trying to re-establish new careers.  Without the invaluable support of Comer Group International, it might not have been possible to continue with this scheme.  We are delighted that such an internationally successful company has agreed to link up with our jockeys and thank Luke and Brian Comer for their generous support.”
 
Andrew Coonan continued: “I would also like to acknowledge the support the jockeys have received from both the Irish Horseracing Regulatory Board (IHRB) and Horse Racing Ireland (HRI) who have assisted us throughout in the initial setting up and subsequent management of this scheme.” 
 
Champion National Hunt Jockey, Paul Townend, said: “I cannot emphasise enough how important it is to have the career-ending insurance in place.  You only have to look at racing this week to see how any of us are only a fall away from our careers ending.  To have this insurance just gives that little bit more security to help us deal with the financial disaster of a career cut short.  As you can imagine the cost of this type of insurance is very high and it is a great credit to Comer Group International that they have stepped forward to help us and given such a big commitment and vote of support to jockeys.”
 
2017 Champion Jockey, Colin Keane, said: “From when we leave the parade ring, none of us know what lies ahead and everyone in the Weigh Room has a friend or a colleague whose career has been cut short through injury.  It really is a comfort for all of us to have this type of policy and it is so important to us and our families to know that we can rely on this scheme for support.  Luke Comer, as a breeder, owner and trainer, has a great understanding of the risks that we jockeys take every day and we are delighted that through his company, Comer Group International, we now have this partnership.” 
 
National Hunt Jockey, Rachael Blackmore, said: “Finding any type of insurance for professional jockeys is both difficult and very expensive.  The risks we take every day certainly do not make us an attractive proposition to an insurance company.  To have this cover in place is a great source of comfort and it is a great credit to Comer Group International to step in and support us.”
 
IHRB Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Jennifer Pugh, said: “Unfortunately, injuries are a fact of life for our jockeys and any time out of the saddle leaves them without earnings.  Anything that can reduce the financial burden of losing their careers is to be very much welcomed.  It is a great tribute to the jockeys that they have put this scheme in place for themselves.”
 
For more information, please contact Andrew Coonan, Irish Jockeys Association Secretary on tel: 086 262 8657 or [email protected]

It really is a comfort for all of us to have this type of policy and it is so important to us and our families to know that we can rely on this scheme for support.  

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