By Jon Lees
USA: In a ruling that has met with widespread bafflement, jockeys Trevor McCarthy and Katie Davis, who were married last month, have been coupled for betting purposes as well.
It means that whenever they ride against each other, their mounts will be bracketed on the same odds.
Coupling in pari-mutuel wagering is usually employed when two or more horses in the same ownership are engaged in the same race.
But as McCarthy and Davis return to regular action at Aqueduct, their mounts have been given the same morning-line odds, in accordance with New York Gaming Commission rules.
These state: “All horses trained or ridden by a spouse, parent, issue or member of a jockey’s household shall be coupled in the betting with any horse ridden by such jockey.”
The ruling was met with surprise and ridicule on social media, with many questioning why it applies only to married couples, not dating couples, or siblings, such as the Ortiz brothers Irad and Jose.
According to the rule, British jockeys Tom Marquand and Hollie Doyle, who announced their engagement on New Year’s Eve, would be coupled if they rode in the same race in New York state after they marry.
McCarthy, 26, and Davis, 28, met as children when their fathers, Mike McCarthy and Robbie Davis, were riding as jockeys in the nineties. They began dating after encountering each other again when their own riding careers took them both to Maryland.
They were due to get married in April on the opening day of the Laurel Spring Meet but the ceremony had to be postponed due to coronavirus, as was the racing programme.
McCarthy has ridden more than 1,500 winners, clinching four Maryland championships and 12 meet titles, while Davis has ridden nearly 250 winners.