The Jockey Club will fund baseline concussion testing for all jockeys who use the Jockey Health Information System, it was announced Nov. 6.
The Jockey Health Information System, created in October 2008, is a database that stores jockeys' updated medical histories and enables emergency medical personnel at racetracks to instantly access that information in the event of injury. There is no cost for any racetrack or jockey to participate. The database can be accessed via a new module of the InCompass Race Track Operations system.
"Baseline concussion testing has become an integral part of any safety regimen in professional and amateur sports alike," said James L. Gagliano, president of The Jockey Club. "The topic was addressed at the International Jockeys' Health, Safety & Welfare Conference at Monmouth Park in September, and we've all read about the testing being done with football players and, most recently, NASCAR drivers. We are pleased to use the platform of the Jockey Health Information System to offer this service to the riders."
"On behalf of the Jockeys' Guild and its members, I want to truly thank The Jockey Club for its continued support for the welfare of riders," said Terry Meyocks, national manager of the Jockeys' Guild. "It is my hope that every rider will take advantage of this opportunity, and we look forward to working with the tracks and riders to see that it is widely promoted."
The creation and development of the Jockey Health Information System featured collaboration among InCompass, The Jockey Club Technology Services Inc., the Jockeys' Guild, Keeneland, and Keeneland's medical director Dr. Barry Schumer, who developed the original concept and consulted on the project. Keeneland is the only track in the country that requires jockeys to sign up for the Jockey Health Information System.
InCompass, a subsidiary of The Jockey Club, plans to acquire a package of these tests, which would be administered free of charge by a medical professional at each track if the rider agrees to enroll in Jockey Health Information System.
"This is a win-win situation for jockeys if ever there was one," said Schumer, who has been associated with Keeneland for more than 30 years. "Baseline concussion testing is a crucial component that will help track medical personnel make appropriate return-to-ride assessments following head injuries. Storing this information securely in the jockey's JHIS medical history makes it accessible whenever and wherever they ride and helps us protect our rider's immediate and long-term health and welfare."
"Keeneland is proud to be the first racetrack to introduce baseline concussion testing for jockeys, and we are grateful to The Jockey Club and Dr. Schumer for their continued efforts to enhance the safety of our riders," said Bill Thomason, president of the Keeneland Association.