DeShawn Parker

DeShawn Parker

Courtesy of Mountaineer

Martin, Parker, Hicks Honored by Guild

The Jockeys' Guild held its annual assembly in south Florida Jan. 30-31.

The Jockeys’ Guild Jan. 30 honored three individuals for “outstanding achievements and contributions to the horse racing industry.”

The organization, meeting in south Florida for its annual assembly, presented awards to Jacky Martin, Deshawn Parker, and Dave Hicks.

“These men have brought great honor to the sport of horse racing,” Jockeys’ Guild national manager Terry Meyocks said. “Each has shown a lifelong commitment to excellence, and they are extremely deserving of their accolades.”

Martin received the top award for Quarter Horse jockeys; the award has been named in his honor. Martin has won nearly 3,000 races and his mounts have earned more than $45 million.

He is a seven-time winner of the All-American Futurity and was voted American Quarter Horse Association champion jockey twice. He rode for nearly 40 years and is a member of the Ruidoso Downs Racehorse and Oklahoma Halls of Fame.

Martin is currently recuperating from a racing accident at Ruidoso Downs and is continuing his rehabilitation.

Parker was presented with the Laffit Pincay Jr. Award, which goes to a Thoroughbred jockey for outstanding achievement during the year. Parker has been the nation’s leading rider by wins the past two years.

In 2010 he became the first African American to win the most North American races since James “Soup” Perkins achieved the feat in 1895. He is the all-time leading jockey at Mountaineer Casino, Racetrack & Resort and is approaching 4,000 career wins.

Hicks was honored with the Eddie Arcaro Award, which is presented for exceptional commitment to jockeys and the Jockeys’ Guild. Hicks worked his way from groom to trainer to steward, a position he has held for about 50 years.

He has served as steward in Massachusetts, New York, and Florida. He’s known for creating his apprentice program, an ongoing effort to work with young riders on safety, financial, and security issues, while maintaining the integrity of the sport.