Jockeys Photo Courtesy Animal Planet

Jockeys Photo Courtesy Animal Planet

Every time they work, an ambulance follows closely behind them.

The ambulance is a constant reminder that horse racing is not for the faint of heart.

So is “Jockeys,” a new Animal Planet docu-drama debuting on Feb. 6.

The show follows seven jockeys during the course of a racing season.  Their lives, loves and work will be shown on the screen. A press release tells that we’ll go behind the scenes:

“So little is known about what goes into becoming a jockey, but these athletes couldn’t triumph without the strength, speed and spirit of their equine partners,” says Marjorie Kaplan, president and general manager of Animal Planet. “I think audiences will be surprised by what unfolds throughout the series.”

This trailer of from the show gives you an idea of the vibe. Warning – you will see the rough and tumble nature of horse racing.

Again, horse racing is not for the faint-of-heart. It is dangerous for everyone involved.

As the show’s tagline says, “Win or Die Trying.”

Horse racing insiders are quietly optimistic that “Jockeys” will show the positive aspects of their sport. And I’m sure it will.

But a lot of people aren’t going to be able to get past that footage of dramatic spills.

The ghosts of Eight Belles and Barbaro will be hovering around many viewers.

Yet, to look away would be to deny the accomplishments of the many jockeys and horses who do finish their days at work and come home unscathed.

That’s why jockeys, even if they’re daredevils at heart, pay a lot of attention to safety. The ambulance. The safety rail. The protective vests and helmets. And the skill of the jockeys who ride to win but need to stay well enough to ride another day.

And why the tragedies are so devastating when they do happen.

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  1. My Derby Week 2008 | The Horsey Set Net
  2. “Jockeys” wraps up a second season | The Horsey Set Net