The Jockey Club announced today that it will fund baseline concussion testing for all jockeys who use the Jockey Health Information System (JHIS).
The JHIS, which was created in October 2008, is a database that stores jockeys’ updated medical histories and enables emergency medical personnel at racetracks to instantly access that information in the event of injury. There is no cost for any racetrack or jockey to participate in the JHIS. It can be accessed via a new module of InCompass’ Race Track Operations system.
“Baseline concussion testing has become an integral part of any safety regimen in professional and amateur sports alike,” said James L. Gagliano, president and chief operating officer of The Jockey Club. “The topic was addressed at the International Jockeys' Health, Safety & Welfare Conference at Monmouth Park in September, and we’ve all read about the testing being done with football players and, most recently, NASCAR drivers. We are pleased to use the platform of the JHIS to offer this service to the riders.”
“On behalf of the Jockeys’ Guild and its members, I want to truly thank The Jockey Club for its continued support for the welfare of riders,” said Terry Meyocks, national manager of the Jockeys’ Guild. “It is my hope that every rider will take advantage of this opportunity, and we look forward to working with the tracks and riders to see that it is widely promoted.”
The creation and development of the JHIS featured collaboration among InCompass, The Jockey Club Technology Services Inc., the Jockeys’ Guild, Keeneland and Dr. Barry Schumer, Keeneland’s medical director, who developed the original concept and consulted on the project. Keeneland is the only track in the country that requires jockeys to sign up for the JHIS.
InCompass, a subsidiary of The Jockey Club, plans to acquire a package of these tests, which would be administered free of charge by a medical professional at each track if the rider agrees to enroll in JHIS.
“This is a win-win situation for jockeys if ever there was one,” said Dr. Schumer, who has been associated with Keeneland for more than 30 years. “Baseline concussion testing is a crucial component that will help track medical personnel make appropriate return-to-ride assessments following head injuries. Storing this information securely in the jockey’s JHIS medical history makes it accessible whenever and wherever they ride and helps us protect our rider’s immediate and long-term health and welfare.”
“Keeneland is proud to be the first racetrack to introduce baseline concussion testing for jockeys, and we are grateful to The Jockey Club and Dr. Schumer for their continued efforts to enhance the safety of our riders,” said Bill Thomason, president and chief executive officer of Keeneland Association.
The Jockey Club, founded in 1894 and dedicated to the improvement of Thoroughbred breeding and racing, is the breed registry for North American Thoroughbreds. In fulfillment of its mission, The Jockey Club provides support and leadership on a wide range of important industry initiatives and it serves the information and technology needs of owners, breeders, media, fans and farms, among others. Additional information is available at jockeyclub.com.