Mongolia has raised the legal minimum age of child jockeys to eight, local media reported on Wednesday, citing the country’s authority for family, child and youth development.
The move came after issues related to rights and safety of child jockeys are being raised at a time when the Mongolian national holiday Naadam, which features horse racing, archery and wrestling, is approaching, Xinhua news agency reported.
In addition, relevant recommendations for child jockeys, their parents and horse trainers are being provided in order to ensure the safety of children, the authority said in a statement.
According to the previous Rules of the National Naadam Horse Racing, the minimum age of child jockeys was seven years old. However, the rule had not been applied to all horse races organized throughout the year in the country.
So far this year, about 3,200 child jockeys have participated in a total of 82 horse races across the country, according to the authority. During the horse races, a child jockey died and nine others have been seriously injured.
Horse racing of the national holiday Naadam is the most coveted, most watched and most competitive one.
Inscribed in UNESCO’s List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity, the official holiday is celebrated from July 11-15.