Monmouth to Host Jockey Welfare Conference

The international event will be held Sept. 15-16 at the New Jersey racetrack.

An international conference on research to improve the health and welfare of jockeys will be held at Monmouth Park in New Jersey Sept. 15-16.

The conference is being organized by the European Racing Medical Officers Group and will be administered under the auspices of the International Federation of Horse Racing Authorities.

The first three such meetings were held in Japan, Turkey, and Dubai.

Denis Egan, who heads the Irish Turf Club, said items on the agenda include research on nutrition, concussions, trauma protocol, race-day falls, and safety equipment, plus updates from each of the countries represented on special issues relative to their individual jurisdictions.

"The impetus for this is that jockeys keep getting bigger and bigger, and they often undertake well-documented and drastic measures to reduce," Egan said. "The result is that these measures result in serious health issues for them later in life, and we are trying to improve their lives."

More than 20 nutritionists, medical doctors, researchers, administrators, and others are scheduled to present their findings to racing industry representatives from Japan, Hong Kong, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, European countries, Middle Eastern nations, and the United States who have committed to attend. Others from Canada and several South American countries are expected to confirm soon.

"I think this is great and it is incredibly important that the riders and other professionals in the sport keep abreast of all of the latest information available on all of these subjects," said Terry Meyocks, national manager of the Jockeys' Guild. "The information that will be presented, especially on getting safer equipment whether that be helmets, vests, or any of the rest, is vital not only for jockeys but for exercise riders as well."

Dr. Angelo Chinnici, medical director at Monmouth and for the Guild and an associate professor of internal medicine at the University of Medicine and Dentistry in New Jersey, was instrumental in bringing the conference to New Jersey.

Live racing will be held at Monmouth the Saturday and Sunday of the conference. The morning session Sept. 15 is restricted to jockeys, but other sessions are open to all licensed professionals.