Tuesday 24 November 2020
A short feature about the remarkable work of the Injured Jockeys' Fund at The Jack Berry House in Malton
I’d just like to say a few words about The Jack Berry House in Malton and the wonderful work that goes on there. For those of you who don’t know, The Jack Berry House is a rehabilitation centre (for the injured) and a fitness centre, serving the racing community and doing the most marvellous of jobs.
Yesterday three of me jockeys went there to work on their fitness. Jockeys have to stay fit and it’s important that they’re put through their paces through the winter when there’s less racing, because nobody wants an overweight out of shape jockey when the flat season starts up in March. An unfit jockey is also more likely to incur an injury.
The Jack Berry House is one of three centres run by The Injured Jockeys Fund (IJF), and works alongside similar facilities at Oaksey House in Lambourn and Peter O’Sullevan House in Newmarket. The work of the IJF is funded by donations and fundraising and it's work has changed the lives of so many people in racing, both past and present.
As well as professional jockeys The Jack Berry House helps amateur riders and stable staff, and also jockeys and staff who have retired from racing. They can cater for many different needs and they fix up the racing community who do tend to get knocked about a bit as part of their work.
The centre was named after Jack Berry, who was a magnificent trainer and a great pal of mine. Over the years Jack has helped raise millions for the Injured Jockeys’ Fund. Jack used to be well known for his red shirts and his speedy two-year olds and back in 1998 he came along to me open day and we did a few country and western songs together on the back of a trailer!
A Yorkshire lad, Jack was born in Leeds, but he later defected to Cockerham, near Morecambe in Lancashire where he trained for many years. He was integral in raising money to open Oaksey House in Lambourn but always had ambition to open a similar facility in the north of England, either at Middleham or Malton. It would be Malton that would be the lucky recipient and Jack’s ambition would be realised when The Jack Berry House was opened by HRH The Princess Royal in 2015.
I think so much of The Jack Berry House that one of my horses carried it’s name in 2018. In the true style of master two-year-old trainer Jack Berry he won first time out at Newcastle. Isn’t that quite something?
I went on to sell the horse and he’s now in Ireland and he actually won last week at Dundalk.
I’ve put a link to Jack Berry House here and please do take a look.
You can also see the IJF's centres in action here. Follow their Instagram to keep up to date with their work.
The Jack Berry House
Jack Berry House
Jockeys from the yard training at The Jack Berry House
Jack Berry at my open day in 1998
Joanna Mason and Jack Berry House