‘It needs to stop’ – Saffie Osborne speaks out on social media abuse

Saffie Osborne has spelled out that action must be taken to stop hateful and threatening messages being sent to jockeys and other racing professionals.

Osborne was speaking for the first time since her father Jamie contacted the police after she received a message containing distressing content this week.

The apprentice jockey was initially unsure whether her father, the Lambourn-based trainer, had done the right thing by reporting the issue to the police.

But in an interview on Sky Sports Racing, she made it clear that on reflection she fully supports his decision – not just on her behalf, but for the many others who continue to receive similarly abusive messages.

“I probably wouldn’t ever take this stuff to heart, I never do – I’m pretty thick skinned, I’d like to think,” she said.

“I kind of have a tendency to laugh it off – but I sent it to to dad, half laughing at it (and) thinking it was kind of pathetic that someone would take their time to send you that sort of message.

“He then, rightly so, took it a bit more seriously than I did.”

A police investigation is consequently under way, and she added: “From a personal point of view, this isn’t what I wanted to happen – but looking at the bigger picture now, it probably was the right thing to happen because it’s really shone a light on the situation.

“It’s not about the message that I was sent – it’s about the fact that every single jockey in the weighing room gets sent messages like that on a daily basis.

“I think it’s good that it has really shone a light on it – it needs to stop.

“In any other walk of life, when would being sent a death threat be okay?

“I think just because you’re a jockey or a sportsperson, why should it be okay to be sent a death threat – basically saying you deserve nothing more in life than ending up in a box in the ground?”

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