Police investigate as Jamie Osborne reports social media abuse

Jamie Osborne has contacted the police after his daughter Saffie became the latest jockey to receive an abusive and hateful message on social media.

The former leading rider turned trainer posted a copy of the message on Twitter, stating: “Social media abuse has gone too far. I will now begin a crusade to have these people banned from all platforms and will not shy away from bringing prosecutions.”

Lambourn-based Osborne said on Thursday morning that he has contacted police and hopes charges will be brought.

He said: “It’s caused a bit of a stir, hasn’t it?

“I know jockeys get messages all the time, and I don’t know what proportion of them get reported, but I think there comes a point where enough is enough.

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“I know Saffie has been getting them (messages). But the nature and the tone of this one was in my mind a step too far, and I don’t see why jockeys should have to put up with this on a regular basis without there seemingly being any call for action.

“Saffie is annoyed with me for highlighting this. Luckily she’s pretty tough and she can laugh these things off, but we shouldn’t just take that for granted about our jockeys.

“I don’t know if anybody is planning to take any action, but I certainly am – not for Saffie, necessarily, but for all the jockeys.”

Osborne has called for other racing participants to step forward and report abuse to the relevant authorities.

The 53-year-old fears the consequences of not doing so will ultimately be “disastrous” if allowed to continue.

He added: “This message wasn’t a guy saying I don’t like the way you ride – let’s put no finer point on it, it’s threats of rape and death. I don’t know how society can feel this is acceptable.

“The police are investigating. Obviously they will have to go through their due process, but I would be hopeful that charges can be brought and hopefully that will act as a deterrent for people deciding to do the same thing in the future.

“When I was riding, while we didn’t have online things, I used to get the odd hate phone call – and I had a dustbin thrown at me one day on the way in from a race at Wolverhampton!

“But because of this technology, jockeys today are exposed to it constantly. We know everyone is different – everybody’s tolerance levels are different, and everybody’s mentality is slightly different.

“This is an issue. If racing doesn’t collectively get together and look after its participants and protect them from this, the consequences could be disastrous – and will be disastrous somewhere down the line.”

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