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Changes to the ‘Cravache d’Or’

29 November 2021

The Jockeys’ Association Committee in France have announced a change in the Cravache d’Or (Jockey’s Championship) from 2022. The jockey’s championship had previously been a test of stamina and commitment spanning from 1 January to 31 December and has now been shortened to the period between 1 March and 1 October. This is a similar format to the UK Jockey’s Championship which runs between 1 March and British Champions Day at Ascot (UK) on 16 October. There will be no change to the National Hunt Jockey’s Championship or the Apprentice Jockey’s Championship.  

The announcement of the change to the Cravache d’Or was accompanied by a press release from the Jockeys’ Association Committee. Included in the statement was reference to ‘breathing new life into this trophy and unleashing new talent in young jockeys’ alongside a concern that the championship does not remain competitive in the last few months.    

There is only a few weeks remaining before Mickaël Barzalona is expected to be crowned Champion Jockey in France for the first time, with his main title rival Maxime Guyon choosing to miss the remainder of the title race. It is a change that would have greatly benefited Maxime Guyon if implemented before 2022, with the one-time champion receiving three additional titles through the shortened format.  

This change will also make it harder and a lesser incentive for jockeys to achieve the record set by Christophe Soumillon in 2017 when he rode a European record of 302 winners in a season. The previous year, Pierre-Charles Boudot recorded 301 victories.