Tuesday 25 July 2017
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Interviews

Interview with Chris Rosier, Thoroughbred Jockey

Interviewed by Tricia Psarreas on January 25, 2008

Chris Rosier first met Shane Sellers when they appeared in the HBO documentary Jockey (2004). Since then, Chris has continued to battle with jockey weights and to voice his opinions to better improve the industry for riders.

Tricia:             What made you want to do the HBO special with Shane and Randy Romero?

Chris:             I was just starting out riding and I was friends with Shane and Randy. They wanted an older rider and a younger rider and they chose me because I was the only one willing to speak up with them.

 

Tricia:             What was it like making the special?

Chris:             I felt good until I tried coming back to riding and then people wouldn’t let me ride because of what I said. I felt good because people outside the racetrack understood that it wasn’t as easy of a job as they think it is.

 

Tricia:             Did you experience any changes after the special was made?

Chris:             They raised the weights some and it helped a little, but there are still trainers who don’t want a heavier rider and we still have to sit in the hot box.

 

Tricia:             What has your life been like since the special aired?

Chris:             I’ve gotten good responses as far as people in the general public. But with people from the track, I’ve gotten a lot of negative responses and criticism. Once I voice my opinions, the jockeys want to section me out. I’ve gotten singled out much like Shane has by these people. They think we shouldn’t have been talking about it and basically we just shouldn’t have done the documentary. If we were too big then we shouldn’t be doing it [racing] anyway.

 

Tricia:             Have you experienced any negative side-effects from years of reducing and how are you doing with your weight now?

Chris:             I’ve had a lot of tooth decay; I’m losing my teeth. I had to take two years off because I got diabetes and I’m not the only rider in the country who has diabetes from too much reducing. It basically doubled my age. It puts wear and tear on you and makes you old quick.

I still find it hard three or four years later to quite heaving. There are still certain things that you eat that you can’t keep down. I quit heaving for the most part and changed my diet, but there are certain foods that you have to fight to keep down.

 

Tricia:             What was your reaction when an HRTV commentator recently stated that you are still heaving?

Chris:             I had people who heard it and told me about it because I was riding at the time. I’m just aggravated because what right does the public have to talk about someone who’s still struggling and trying to raise two kids? I have enough negativity in my life and I don’t need someone on national TV to be out there talking about me.

 

Tricia:             Shane says that even with all of the extreme measures of reducing, some jockeys still have to cheat the scales. Have you seen jockeys cheat scales?

Chris:             Yeah. At some places it’s the most popular jockeys who have cheated. Some tracks I’ve cheated, but other tracks don’t even give you a shot. I just used a lighter saddle and lighter boots, so I only cheated by about two or three pounds. But in this industry a pound is a lot.

 

Tricia:             How do you feel about Shane exposing the truth in the form of a book?

Chris:             I think this book might make a big change. I don’t know for sure. I know it’s going to anger a lot of people in the racing industry. Nobody wants him to do it. But as far as making a change, I think he just needs to get more people behind him standing together. We’ve already started the battle as far as the weight issues go and I respect Shane for being the only one who is following through with it right now. I think if this book makes it into the right hands it might make a big difference.

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