Kentucky Horse Racing Authority Discusses Jockey Advertisements

The Kentucky Horse Racing Authority is reviewing a policy submitted by the Thoroughbred Owners and Breeders Association that would outline the guidelines for jockeys to wear advertisements while riding in the state.

The proposal was supported by all of the state's Thoroughbred racetracks, along with the Kentucky Thoroughbred Association and the Kentucky division of the Horsemen's Benevolent and Protective Association.

The proposed new regulations would require horse owners to approve any advertising worn by the jockey aboard a horse carrying an owner's silks and could give owners, trainers, and stable employees a portion of the revenue. Racetracks have the opportunity to veto any advertising that conflicts with race sponsorship or are considered to be in bad taste.

Riders would be able to wear advertisements or logos on pants legs, rear waistlines, boots, leggings, or on a turtleneck or other undergarment. Racing officials would determine if the advertisements met specific size guidelines.

No jockeys participated in the drafting of the proposed regulations, but Jim Gallagher, executive director of the Kentucky Racing Authority, said he would welcome any comments or suggestions from the riders.

Darrell Haire, Jockeys' Guild member representative, said he would have liked to have had the opportunity to aid in the drafting of the proposal, but feels confident all groups can work together. Haire received a copy of the proposed new regulations at the Jan. 13 meeting of the Kentucky Horse Racing Authority.

"We don't want to have a conflict with anyone," Haire said.

The proposed regulation follows a lawsuit filed last year by five jockeys just before the Kentucky Derby (gr. I) challenging the authority's ruling barring advertisements from being worn on Derby Day. A judge ruled in favor of the jockeys, also saying the riders could wear the Jockeys' Guild patch.

A final draft of the proposal could be ready for a full vote of the authority by its Feb. 22 meeting.