Jockey Shane Sellers, to announce retirement from riding.

Jockey Shane Sellers, to announce retirement from riding.

Associated Press

Sellers to Officially Announce Retirement as Jockey

Jockey Shane Sellers, who has won more than 4,000 races in his career, will officially announce his retirement from riding Dec. 15, according to a release from the Jockeys' Guild.

Sellers last rode in a race Oct. 2 at Hoosier Park. He said he made the decision to permanently retire Dec. 7 at the conclusion of the Jockeys' Guild annual assembly in Irving, Texas.

Sellers said he had stopped riding because of the lack of adequate on-track medical insurance for jockeys, and realized after the Guild meeting the situation wouldn't improve in a reasonable amount of time, the release said.

Sellers will hold a press conference in Louisville at the office of his attorney, Mike Goodman.

"After going to this year's (Guild) meeting, we all know (Guild chief executive officer Dr. Wayne Gertmenian) and his team will win this war," Sellers said in the release from the Guild. "Unfortunately, it won't happen overnight, and he told us that when he stepped in. Old management set us back 25 years.

"To win this war, we're going to lose some soldiers and I choose not to be one. Thank God I'm able to literally walk away and not lose everything because of a spill. I've given my heart and soul to this game and this industry for 23 years. I'm not going to lose my kids' future for a $45 jock mount."

Sellers, 38, is a native of Erath, La. In 2004, he won 146 races from 698 mounts for earnings of more than $6.5 million. In 2000, he suffered a near career-ending injury at Fair Grounds but returned to the saddle.

Sellers, who was on hand for this year's Guild assembly, was led off the premises of Churchill Downs in early November after jockeys refused to accept mounts because of the insurance situation. He also was the focus of the HBO documentary "Jockey," which discussed the health problems to which jockeys are exposed from making weight for races.