I have held “reality” shows in low esteem for a while now. Unfortunately, the first two episodes of Animal Planet’s “Jockeys” series (which I got a sneak peek at online) did nothing to change that.
The six-week series premieres this Friday, February 6, at 9 p.m. Eastern/Pacific. The confirmed stars of the show are Jon Court, Aaron Gryder, Mike Smith, Alex Solis, Kayla Stra, Chantal Sutherland and Joe Talamo.
The lead-in to “Jockeys” is an episode of “Untamed and Uncut” about racetrack mishaps. Great.
I wonder if PETA is foaming at the mouth for this show to air and show people the “reality of horse racing.” Already there are calls to ban the show and boycott Animal Planet. If you went only by the commercials and/or first episode, most races have falls. If that were the reality of racing, I would not be writing this blog and would greatly dislike the sport. The reality is that falls are rare and an exception to the norm.
For your viewing information, I spotted these faults in Episode One:
- In the Ralph M. Hinds at Fairplex, they cut to reaction shots of people…at Santa Anita.
- There are shots of multiple races mixed into what is supposed to be the Ralph M. Hinds, and the shots from the Hinds are all mixed up and not chronological.
- In the race voice-over, it is Freesgood pushing Booyah, not Sensational Score.
- The horse Matto Mondo’s name is misspelled Motto Mondo on the graphic.
- The loose horse they show being caught at Santa Anita opening day is not the horse who fell (it was a turf race). Easy on the Eye was caught on the turf course.
- In The Morvich At Santa Anita, they cut to a reaction shot…at Fairplex.
- There is a staged race mixed into the title shots and other places. It seems the camera angles are from a truck driving alongside the field of horses, and that would never happen in a real race. Also…Gryder and Talamo throwin’ down on the track near the end - totally staged.
The mixed up time/location shots and staged racing shots continue in episode two. Hystericalady’s name is repeatedly misspelled (Hysterical Lady).
It appears that episode three will be on another rosy topic - eating disorders.
In an NTRA teleconference, jockey Aaron Gryder says, “Well, the one thing I would say to anybody that feels that way is make sure you watch all 12 episodes and not just, you know the commercial that you’ve seen…it’s very well balanced as far as not being just about spills.”
We’ll see. And I hope so.
To see the first two full episodes, go to this special link and go to “Footage.”
The official website for “Jockeys” is http://animal.discovery.com/tv/jockeys/.
- Marcie Heacox