The Don MacBeth Memorial Jockey Fund that provided financial aid and assistance to injured jockeys and exercise riders will cease operations and disburse its funds by the end of this year.
Judy McCarron, who with retired jockey Chris McCarron and comedian Tim Conway started the fund in 1987 and served as the organization’s president, cited the downturn in the national economy as a reason for the fund being dissolved. Also, the fund’s executive director, Tony DeFranco, died earlier this year.
Based in Encino, Calif., the Fund was named in honor of jockey MacBeth, who died of cancer in 1987. It provided financial assistance and helped with the cost of medical and rehabilitation services for injured riders.
In a letter to supporters, McCarron said more than 2,000 jockeys and exercise riders had benefitted from MacBeth Fund’s assistance. She said the organization appreciated the financial assistance of racing fans and others throughout the years, especially those who supported the annual Jockeys Across America Day fundraiser organized by the fund.
“The reward for good works is most often the knowledge that we have done some good for someone in need,” McCarron wrote. “In the case of the Don MacBeth Fund, more than 2,000 riders (jockeys and exercise riders) from every racetrack in the country received assistance. The small safety net that we were able to provide gave comfort to riders during their recovery time.”
In its 2009 Form 990 filed with the IRS, the latest available, the MacBeth Fund reported an operating loss of $86,923, with expenses of $400,515 exceeding the $313,592 in revenues. For 2008, the fund’s expenses of $392,400 exceeded its revenues of $279,624.