Edited press release
NetJets, Inc. announced May 2 that it will sponsor each jockey "running for the roses" at this year's Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands, held on Saturday, May 3, 2008.
As part of the NetJets' sponsorship of the Kentucky Derby jockeys, a $200,000 donation will be made on behalf of the jockeys participating in the race to the NTRA Charities - Permanently Disabled Jockeys Fund. The fund benefits jockeys who have suffered disabilities during the course of their riding careers. NetJets will also make an additional $100,000 contribution to the fund.
"NetJets is honored to join in this landmark sponsorship. We respect these immensely talented athletes and this very worthy cause," said Richard T. Santulli, chairman and CEO, NetJets Inc. "We share the jockeys' passion for the racetrack and the thrill of the finish line. Through this sponsorship, we recognize their achievements and the opportunity to support them in their lives outside the racetrack as they face new challenges. I personally will be contributing $100,000 because I believe in the nobleness of this fund and its significant impact to the lives of the jockeys and their families."
"We are pleased to join with NetJets in this wonderful endeavor to raise desperately needed funds to assist disabled jockeys in need," said Bill Casner, owner of WinStar Farm. "We are encouraged by the response from the jockeys, and would like to encourage the other owners with Kentucky Derby entrants to join in this worthy cause. To that end I will be donating $100,000 to the NTRA Charities Permanently Disabled Jockeys Fund and will match any additional donations by owners up to $100,000. We wish every Kentucky Derby jockey the best of luck and a safe trip in Kentucky Derby 134."
"This sponsorship agreement is a notable achievement for racing with all segments of the industry working together to promote the sport," said Terry Meyocks, national manager of the Jockeys' Guild. "I would like to thank NetJets, Bill Casner and the jockeys for their generous contributions and Churchill Downs as well as the owners for their efforts to bring this to fruition."
Currently there are 57 permanently disabled jockeys who rely on the fund for support.
"Through the generosity of NetJets, the Run for the Roses will not only be the greatest two minutes in sports, but a very special and public display of support for our disabled athletes," said Peggy Hendershot, executive director of NTRA Charities. "NTRA Charities is grateful for NetJets' leadership and support."
This sponsorship would not have taken place without Churchill Downs' great efforts in facilitating this historic opportunity for all parties to give back to the jockey community.
"Churchill Downs is excited to have NetJets, which has been a long-time supporter of Thoroughbred racing, now involved in America's greatest race through this unique sponsorship agreement," said Robert L. Evans, president and chief executive officer of Churchill Downs Incorporated, the parent company of Churchill Downs Racetrack. "NetJets has already proven to be a great corporate partner, and through its donation to NTRA Charities - Permanently Disabled Jockeys Fund, NetJets is also proving itself to be a good corporate citizen. The Kentucky Derby family welcomes NetJets to this legendary event, and we look forward to seeing their name in the Winner's Circle through their support of our Kentucky Derby jockeys."