The Jockey Club Forms Thoroughbred Safety Committee

A Jockey Club committee will review Thoroughbred racing

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.

According to the statement, Ogden Mills Phipps, The Jockey Club chairman, said that officers of The Jockey Club have commissioned a seven-member Thoroughbred Safety Committee. The newly formed committee is being asked to review every facet of equine health, including breeding practices, medication, the rules of racing and track surfaces and to recommend actions to be taken by the industry to improve the health and safety of Thoroughbreds.

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

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


  1. It’s about time! Maybe Eight Belle’s death was a blessing in disguise since it is spurring help for countless other poor TBs.

  2. Eight Belles shouldn’t have been put to sleep right away because the horse should have had a chance to live that was a good horse if she had a chance she could have been a good breeding mare thats all I have to say for now


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