Willie Pike has conceded his future as a jockey is uncertain after vaccination stance

Willie Pike has conceded his future as a jockey is uncertain after vaccination stance

Willie Pike has conceded his future as a jockey is uncertain after taking the ‘painful’ decision to halt his career indefinitely over his COVID-19 vaccination stance.

The West Australian published a story on Saturday where Pike told Freedom Media that it hurt to have to miss out on riding in the Perth Cup later in the day and said that while he wanted to continue to ride, he disagreed with the rules around mandatory vaccination.

“I really don’t know what my future’s going to be like,” he said.

“I would love to keep riding. I would love to stay on top for as long as I can until one of the young guns comes along and boots me off my perch.

“I really don’t want to leave it, but under the circumstances right now, with the rules and different things in place, it’s getting harder and harder to go out and try and do my daily job.”

Pike forfeited his Perth Cup mount on favourite Midnight Blue in the wake of the State Government’s ruling that anyone attending the marquee event must show proof of double vaccination against COVID-19.

 

 

 

Speaking for the first time since opting out of the Perth Cup, Pike – who has refused to comment on his vaccination status – cited health and security worries as factors in his decision-making.

“At one point there they were touting a digital passport just so you could get into restaurants and what not – that’s how the future’s going to be, they say.

“I don’t see how that could be acceptable,” Pike said.

“If you want to go to a restaurant and have a nice meal, why should you have to worry about giving out all of your details?

“For me as an athlete as well, health implications definitely have a play in it.”

Racing and Wagering WA is expected to finalise its vaccination policy as early as this week, with mandatory vaccination looming to bring WA in line with other states ahead of the February 5 border reopening date.