Reed Palmer Photography, Churchill Downs

5% of Dullahan's Derby Earnings to Rider Fund

Donegal Racing and Prairie Meadows make pledge to Permanently Disabled Jockeys Fund.

The partners in Iowa-based Donegal Racing, owners of Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I) contender Dullahan, along with Prairie Meadows racetrack, announced April 25 a major contribution aimed at supporting disabled jockeys.

Donegal, along with Dullahan’s trainer, Dale Romans, and jockey, Kent Desormeaux, have pledged 5% of the colt’s earnings in Kentucky Derby to the Permanently Disabled Jockeys Fund. Additionally, Prairie Meadows will match the Donegal contribution.

“Horse racing is a glorious sport with a rich history, and those of us who love it understand that jockeys are gifted athletes who take risks every time they take a mount,” said Jerry Crawford, general partner in Donegal Racing. “This is a great opportunity to give back and we thank Prairie Meadows for joining us in the effort.”

Donegal’s partners voted unanimously to make the contribution.

“You know it’s an important and worthwhile cause when 24 people from 10 states agree without dissension,” Crawford said. “We believe in the work PDJF does to help jockeys and their families who have devoted their lives to the sport.”

The Permanently Disabled Jockeys Fund is a 501(c)(3) public charity that provides financial assistance to former jockeys who have suffered catastrophic on-track injuries.

“We are very thankful to Donegal and Prairie Meadows for sharing the thrill of Dullahan’s Derby run with PDJF. This commitment serves as a wonderful example and provides much needed help to the men and women we serve,” stated Nancy LaSala, the fund’s executive director.

Founded in 2006, PDJF has disbursed more than $3 million to permanently disabled jockeys, most of whom have sustained paralysis or brain injuries. The fund represents a cooperative effort among race tracks, jockeys, horsemen, and enthusiasts.

“Prairie Meadows has always been a supporter of the Permanently Disabled Jockeys Fund, a program that brings much-needed financial assistance to a group of athletes who have given so much to the sport of horse racing,” noted Gary Palmer, president and CEO of Prairie Meadows. “In order for that organization to do its work in supporting injured riders and finding technologies and practices that help to improve the safety of both the human and equine athlete, they need funds. So we are delighted that Donegal Racing is stepping up to donate 5% of any Kentucky Derby winnings this year to that fund.

“And for our part, Prairie Meadows is proud to offer to match Donegal’s contributions, dollar-for-dollar, to assist the Permanently Disabled Jockeys Fund in the great work that they do,” Palmer added.