Guild Assembly to Focus on Health, Safety

Jockeys' Guild Assembly is scheduled Jan. 26-28 in Hollywood, Fla.

The country's Thoroughbred and Quarter Horse jockeys will be learning the latest information about health and safety issues, especially related to concussions, during the 2014 Jockeys' Guild Assembly Jan. 26-28 in Hollywood, Fla.

Guild members will learn how the Affordable Care Act affects them, get tips on financial planning, receive updates on industry-related charities, and discuss the sport's future in terms of regulations and enforcement. They also will learn what each jockey can do to help promote horse racing. 

"The jockey injuries of the past year, including those to Ramon Dominguez and myself, have reinforced the Guild's resolve to do everything possible to improve safety for jockeys," said Jockeys' Guild chairman John Velazquez. "Since it is a dangerous sport, we must focus the entire industry on issues that affect the well-being of jockeys and their families. That includes the short- and long-term effects of concussions, growing the U.S. Jockey Industry Database, and looking for long term security for our riders."

In addition to the educational sessions, awards will be presented to notable Thoroughbred and Quarter Horse jockeys, as well as to an individual who has made significant contributions to the industry.

A partial list of assembly speakers inlcudes:

• Ramon Dominguez, retired jockey, will discuss progress being made by the New York Task Force on Jockey Health and Safety, of which he is a member;

• Dr. Kenneth Perrine, Ph.D. will explain the time period needed to return to racing after a concussion;

• Michelle Penna, InCompass Business Support Manager, will demonstrate the Jockey Health Information System's new baseline testing for concussions;

• Dr. Carl G. Mattacola, Ph.D., will provide an analysis of the U.S. Jockey Injury Database to date;

• Duncan Patterson, chairman of Association of Racing Commissioners International, will give his thoughts on the future of racing from the regulators' perspective;

• Ken Munao, financial advisor for Morgan Stanley Wealth Management, will advise members on future financial planning;

• Chip Atkins, chief executive officer of Robert Clarkson Insurance Company, will explain how the Affordable Care Act affects jockeys;

• Group panel discussions will take on the issues of "Our Sport, Our Future", "Industry Related Charities," moderated by TRA president Scott Wells, and "How Jockeys Can Promote the Sport," moderated by Kentucky Downs president Corey Johnsen.