We have to keep going during this lock down ­— jockey Phillip Parchment

Jockey Phillip Parchment (left) with trainer Wayne DaCosta

Despite the indefinite shutdown of operations at Caymanas Park due to the outbreak of the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19), jockey Phillip Parchment said he is still dieting to maintain his weight.

The racetrack was closed on March 22 for competitive racing because of the spread of the coronavirus in Jamaica, but horses are still exercising in the mornings as personnel adhere to social distancing and other required public health protocols.

While he has been relaxing a lot more, Parchment said he continues to be active at the work place as if nothing has changed at the office.

“I have been relaxing more but not too much, as you don’t want to gain weight. We don’t know when racing will resume but at the same time, regardless of the uncertainty, I have to keep fit and not gain a lot of weight.

“I don’t go all out as when I am riding but I have to still stick to my diet and be careful what I eat, and do my exercise as well. I have to watch when and what I eat, still. Even though I am not riding, I cannot overdo what I eat as my diet is still important, as I am still a jockey.

“I still come at the track in the evenings and do a couple of rounds jogging to keep up my fitness level and shed off some weight. I also come in the mornings and exercise a lot of the horses, as that also helps to keep off the weight a bit,” Parchment told the Supreme Racing Guide.

While Parchment depends on race riding as a source of income, he said that support at times comes from trainer Wayne DaCosta to ease some of the pressure on him.

“I don’t really do anything else, as racing is my main source of income. It is just that I have the support of trainer DaCosta. I am very much thankful that I am in his barn as one of his jockeys as he always gives me a helping hand,” shared Parchment.

The in-form Parchment is hoping that the virus blows over quickly so that racing can return to normal.

“We just have to work through this and see how quickly we can get through this coronavirus, and the hope is that it will go away and racing will resume soon,” he said.