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Racing still remains one of the only sports, professional or amateur, in the country that does not have some sort of standard in place with regards to concussions.
Additionally, the United States is one of the only major racing countries that do not have such standards.
The Guild, in collaboration with the University of Kentucky, Med Star, and New York Institute of Technology, has created “Concussion Management and Return to Ride Guidelines”, which were approved and supported by the Jockeys’ Guild Board.
However, after several discussions, NYRA Management has stated it is not willing to pay to implement such protocols and is not willing to assume the liability of making a determination if a jockey is fit to ride after experiencing a fall that could potentially have caused the jockey to suffer a concussion or head injury.
As such, although not directly discussed on Saturday with NYRA Management, there is concern as to whether there was adequate staffing to handle such incidents.
One of the greatest areas of concern for the Guild is the assurance that racetracks have proper medical personnel, including having paramedics on the racetrack, both during training and racing hours.
Most recently, the ARCI adopted a Model Rule regarding racetracks and concussions.Regardless, all aspects of the Aqueduct Jockeys’ Quarters need to be renovated.