Press Release

Jockeys’ Guild

Lexington, KY (December 1, 2017) The prime focus of this year’s Jockeys’ Guild Assembly, December 11-12 at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, will be on those safety issues which threaten riders’ lives and well-being. Countries such as Ireland, Great Britain, France, Australia and Hong Kong are ahead of the United States in terms of safety standards for jockeys, including concussion protocol, helmet and vest standards, nutrition and general welfare.

“Our theme this year is ‘Racing toward a Safer Environment,’” says Terry Meyocks, national manager of the Jockeys’ Guild. “Safety experts are telling us that our racing industry is behind the times when it comes to such safety concerns as concussion protocols and research and development on safety equipment. We have to do a better job of taking care of our own while also encouraging owners, trainers and track officials to join with us to understand the need and then adopt overall safety standards.” Meyocks continued, “By working together, we hope to reduce the number of injuries suffered by horses, jockeys and exercise riders. This will, in turn, benefit racetracks, owners and horsemen through reduced liability and insurance costs for workers compensation or on-track accident policies.”

Panelists will include Jeff Crandall from the University of Virginia who chairs the NFL Engineering Committee, and Terry Smith of Dynamic Research.  Dr. Jason Cormier, who was named one of America’s top neurosurgeons by Consumers Research Council of America’s Guide to America’s top surgeons, will join the helmet discussion. Dr. Cormier also leads the team for Motorsports Safety Group. David Anderson, President & CEO of Phoenix Performance Products, will join the panel discussing vests.

After the Impact, facilitates comprehensive treatment and provides support for military veterans, professional athletes and their families, including jockeys.  Eric Hipple, former Detroit Lions quarterback, Shannon Jordan and Tamara Alan will speak to the assembly on behalf of After the Impact. The Guild has been able to work with After the Impact because of funding from The Stronach Group.

Concussion Protocol and Return-to-Ride Guidelines will be presented by Dr. Carl Mattacola of the University of Kentucky.  These guidelines have been approved by the Jockeys’ Guild Board of Directors, but have not yet been adopted by our industry. Dr. Kelly Ryan of MedStar Sports Medicine will address issues relating to a jockey’s well-being.

The annual awards luncheon will be held Tuesday afternoon at the MGM Grand when the Eddie Arcaro Award will be presented to Belinda Stronach of The Stronach Group, the Laffit Pincay, Jr. Award to Mike Smith, the Jacky Martin Award to Ricky Ramirez and the Ron Turcotte Courage Award to Tad Leggett and Jack Fires. JockeyTalk360 will present their Comeback Jockey of the Year Award to Rajiv Maragh. A closed session for members only will take place after the luncheon.