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When the NYRA Jockey Colony approached NYRA Management for a meeting on Saturday, there was never any intent to harm the owners, trainers, betting public and fans, nor was there ever any intention by the Jockeys to cancel races.The Guild is an organization that exists for jockeys and is run by jockeys, including present and future Hall of Fame riders at NYRA, and these riders have every right to speak on behalf of the Guild as well as the NYRA jockey colony.Since NYRA was initially accredited by the NTRA Safety and Integrity Alliance, the Guild was led to believe that NYRA had provided a properly equipped to transport ambulance, “staffed with at least one certified paramedic during training and two certified paramedics during racing hours.” However, in October of 2017, after legislation was adopted in New York requiring paramedics, it was brought to the attention of the Guild and the NYRA Jockey Colony that this was not in fact the case, even though NYRA had been accredited several times by the NTRA.Not only has this caused distrust with NYRA, it also led to additional questions regarding the validity of the NTRA Accreditation process, as outlined in the attached letter to Alex Waldrop, President and CEO of NTRA, on February 6, 2018.
Many of the issues that were brought before management on Saturday are issues that have been brought to their attention on numerous occasions over the past year, with no resolution.
They have stated that it is up to the individual jockey to make that decision.
However, many times, jockeys who have sustained a concussion are unaware of the severity of their injuries.
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.
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.