Riders of Destiny: Risking Life as a Child Jockey in Indonesia


By Michael Niermann

When I first came across photojournalist Romi Perbawa’s photos, I was enthralled by the powerful images of young boys….

I wanted to discover more about the child jockeys of Sumbawa. Who could imagine that four-year-old children have to risk their health and their lives as jockeys in horse races so that their families can survive? They have almost no protection, nothing on their feet and no saddle….

We wanted to tell this story, which hardly anybody knows about, because these young boys handle unimaginable pressures. They bear the financial responsibility for whole families at a young age and repeatedly face the risk of having a serious accident.

In the end, however, the child jockeys of Sumbawa are a mirror of what happens on a daily basis in different societies around the world. The most vulnerable are the ones who suffer most, so that others can make the greatest profits.

Open access to the full documentary is available at Al Jazeera.

Article submitted by, salticidae.