A lack of jockeys in North West Queensland is affecting outback race meetings, with a large amount of horses scratched due to having no riders.
There have been 70 scratchings since March and a whopping 13 horses were scratched from a meeting in Cloncurry on June 1.
Mount Isa jockey Dan Ballard said while the statistics are alarming, it is less acute then it was three years ago.
"We have upwards of 12 jockeys across the North West and there can be any number of factors for having a shortage from week to week; people away on holidays, working or suspensions," Mr Ballard said.
"One of the common suggestions from participants in the area, was that more needed to be done to attract jockeys to the north west."
Mr Ballard said employment and lifestyle could encourage jockeys to move to the region but it was hard keeping them.
"There is the potential for people to get jobs on site, which coupled with riding can provide really healthy livelihood for people that move to Mount Isa. But what can happen is the allure of moving to the mines full time limits peoples ability to participate as jockeys," he said.
"In Mount Isa we have jockeys like Matthew Morris and Jason Kropp who are great jockeys who moved to the north west to advance their opportunities but the mines saw their ability and offered them jobs on site and they are no longer available to ride because they have those commitments to Glencore.
"Terry Hills is the same, he rides on his four days off but if a race falls on a day where he is on shift, it makes him unavailable. Tim Brummell is the same to a certain degree.
"It's not that we have a lack of jockeys, we potentially have a plethora of them but work commitments limits their ability to participate."
Mr Ballard said the remote location and the nine month racing season also limited jockeys coming out.
"I think that is indicative of every industry here in the north west. The best opportunity to make a living out of racing if you want to be a full time jockey is on the coast, where they have race meetings every day opposed to regional areas who race once a week," he said.
Mr Ballard believes overall jockey numbers across the state are in decline due to lack of industry awareness.
"There are great variety of careers out there and I think that racing industry hasn't been as proactive," he said.
"You've got to try and compete with industries like mining who offer really rewarding careers that are well remunerated and have a long term sustainable future, while the racing industry (including stable hands, jockeys. trainers) is not getting out there enough and trying to sell our industry.
"I think we are failing to convert young horsemen and women at pony club, campdraft and rodeo, we are failing to draw the line for them where they could easily see the transition from a hobby into a career.
"Riders who build a career here can take it anywhere. It is a global occupation and there is a lot of appeal and satisfaction to those attracted to working with horses and like to travel."
It is a problem Racing Queensland have acknowledged.
Last month they announced a plan for a multi-purpose State Training Centre for apprentices jockeys and stable hands.
"Racing Queensland staff have also been active in recruitment initiatives including school visits, attending expos, pony clubs and job-seeking agencies," a Racing Queensland spokesperson said.
"We already operate as a Registered Training Organisation, which supports new entrants to the industry, but further work is required to see apprentices indentured in North West Queensland and other regional areas.
"The size and scope of the state is not without its challenges, however, with some parts of Queensland experiencing a shortage of jockeys and other racing roles.
"The same trend is being experienced by other racing authorities across Australia."
The Queensland racing industry generates more than $1.2 billion in value added contribution to the Queensland economy, along with more than 9500 full-time jobs.
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