Jockeys' Guild to Honor Two Riders Nov. 5-6

Jockeys will be asked to donate one losing mount fee to support each family.


Members of the Jockeys’ Guild will honor the late jockey Mark Villa and the seriously injured Michael Martinez during the weekend of Nov. 5-6.

According to release from the organization, Guild members will ride with a Jockeys’ Guild decal on their boots and all jockeys will be asked to donate one losing mount fee to each of the two charities providing assistance.

Villa was killed in a Sept. 25 accident at Zia Park and Martinez suffered a severed spinal cord and a major head injury in a Sept. 12 spill at Golden Gate Fields.

Villa is survived by his wife, Krystal, and 6-year-old twins, Olivia and Garrett. Martinez and his fiancée, Charlotte, are the parents of a girl, Merari, born shortly after his injury. Martinez is currently undergoing rehabilitation in California at the Rehabilitation Center at Santa Clara Medical Center.

Contributions to the charity aiding the Villa family should be in the form of a check made out to Race Track Chapel to the mailing address Ruidoso Downs, Race Track Chapel, P.O. Box 449, Ruidoso Downs, NM 88346 with the notation "Mark Villa Family" on the memo line.

Donations to the charity providing help to Martinez and his family can be made out to "Michael Martinez Fund" and sent to Golden Gate Fields, 1100 Eastshore Highway, Berkeley, CA 94710.

"These are tragic events that seriously affect the lives of families, friends and co-workers," Terry Meyocks, national manager of the Jockeys’ Guild, said in a statement. "The families need help and support to get them through this difficult period. They have suffered life-altering tragedies."