From The Blood-Horse

PDJF logoC.inddThe second annual “PDJF Day Across America,” a day of fundraising and awareness-building for the Permanently Disabled Jockeys’ Fund, will be held Aug. 1.More than 30 Thoroughbred and Quarter Horse racetracks across the country are being asked to take part with special events, jockey autograph signings, and promotions, according to a release.

This year’s “PDJF Day Across America” coincides with the release of a special commemorative PDJF magazine produced by Blood-Horse, which will be available for purchase at all tracks participating in the Saturday event.

The magazine chronicles the stories of jockeys who have suffered catastrophic injuries at the racetrack and now rely on the PDJF for support. Also included are stories of riders who have come back from serious injury. The publication will sell for $10 with all proceeds benefitting the PDJF.

“All of us who enjoy horse racing owe a debt of gratitude to the jockeys who risk their lives with every workout and every race,” Thoroughbred Racing Associations president Scott Wells said in the release. “The PDJF serves those critically-injured jockeys whose lives have been forever changed. I urge everyone, from casual fans to dedicated horseplayers to trainers and owners and track executives around the country, to participate on PDJF awareness day. The commemorative edition magazine will be a treasured source of enjoyment for many years to come.”

“Last year jockeys across the country really embraced the theme of taking the reins by participating in a variety of fan-friendly activities that promoted the PDJF’s mission,” said Hall of Fame rider John Velazquez, chairman of the Jockeys’ Guild and a PDJF board member. “With even more tracks participating this year, we expect the event to be a bigger success. It is a day of celebration, but also is dedicated to raising awareness in all areas of the racing industry of the need for a permanent funding mechanism for the PDJF.”

The PDJF is an independent 501(c)(3) public charity, providing financial assistance to former jockeys who have suffered catastrophic on-track injuries. Created in 2006 by leaders in the horse racing industry, PDJF has disbursed over $6 million dollars and currently supports 61 permanently disabled jockeys, most of whom have paralysis or traumatic brain injuries.