After days of silence following the tragic loss of Eight Belles during the May 3, 2008, Kentucky Derby, The Jockey Club, which is the breed registry for North American Thoroughbreds, has released a statement regarding Thoroughbred safety in racing. The May 8 statement makes no mention of the recent Derby tragedy, but it does vow to improve racing conditions.
The recommendations emanating from two previous summits dealing with racehorse welfare and safety will serve as starting points for the committee. The Jockey Club and Grayson-Jockey Club Research Foundation coordinated and underwrote those summits in October 2006 and March 2008. A strategic plan developed after the first summit and a summary of recommendations proposed at the second are available at www.grayson-jockeyclub.org/summit.
The seven members of the newly formed committee are Stuart S. Janney III (chairman), John Barr, James G. (Jimmy) Bell, Dr. Larry Bramlage, Donald R. Dizney, Dell Hancock and Dr. Hiram C. Polk Jr. Each is a member of The Jockey Club.
“All seven of these individuals have dedicated a major part of their lives to Thoroughbred breeding and racing and have shown a consistent and unwavering concern for the welfare of Thoroughbreds,” Phipps said. “We will reach out to involve others in the industry and we will do everything in our power to encourage changes that will benefit the breed in any way. We will do this in a timely manner.”
To read the entire statement, visit www.jockeyclub.com.