6 Young Jockeys Suspended for Inappropriate Mobile Phone Use

Yomiuri Shimbun file photo
The JRA logo is seen in Tokyo in January 2022.

The JRA prohibits jockeys from communicating with the outside world from the night before racing until the final ride of the day in order to ensure fairness.

The suspensions of female jockeys Naho Furukawa, 22, Manami Nagashima, 20, Seina Imamura, 19, Nana Kawaharada, 18, and Miku Kobayashi, 18, and male jockey Taiga Tsunoda, 19, will start May 13 and run through June 11. All six made their debuts within the past three years.

According to the JRA, on April 23 a staff member discovered a smartphone left in the female jockeys’ locker room at Fukushima racecourse.

Upon questioning, Nagashima and others, who had all ridden that day at the racecourse, admitted to using their smartphones to search for information on their mounts or other reasons.

The same day, Imamura was found to have brought a smartphone into the locker room at Kyoto racecourse, where she had ridden in races.

The night before, Imamura and Tsunoda had a conversation via smartphone where they were staying and mobile phone use is prohibited.

“Upon investigation, no actions that would compromise the fairness of the races were confirmed,” the JRA said.