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RIDE ON

JACK DUERN, THE UK’S ONLY OUT JOCKEY, TALKS PAINKILLERS, PREJUDICE AND COPING UNDER THE PRESSURE

Images > Markus Bidaux

The last time I saw Jack Duern, he was feeling a bit… tender. Th e 22-year-old apprentice jockey had just taken a tumble off a thoroughbred. Deciding that throwing him simply wasn’t enough, the horse had proceeded to turn around and stamp on his testicles as well. But an embarrassing hospital visit and 10 stitches later, Jack was back in the saddle – albeit somewhat gingerly. Since he was racing the next day, he couldn’t take any painkillers (which come under the category of banned substances). Unfortunately for him, all the trotting that day was proving very bouncy.

But despite the excruciating pain he was in, Jack still raced the following aft ernoon. Because that’s what jockeys do – they get back on the horse, both literally and fi guratively, no matter how gnarly their injuries might be, and carry on riding. Like Jack, jockeys have real balls (even if they aren’t always quite as blue).

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