The University of Kentucky along with the Jockeys’ Guild will soon be beginning a three-year study to develop a national concussion management protocol in horseracing.
All riders at Kentucky’s Thoroughbred tracks will be given baseline tests before riding and then be retested after falls, a process similar to many sideline tests in other sports. The data will be compiled to create a standard protocol that can hopefully be applied to every track in the country.
While racing doesn’t carry the same risk of repetitive contact as some other sports, a jockey’s head injury from a fall can be just as catastrophic and detrimental as a similar injury in football or soccer. Hopefully this new initiative will yield better protections and treatments for jockeys in the future and a safer sport all around.
*Scientists have no conclusive evidence as to whether or how the reduction of g-forces during impacts reduces the number or degree of concussions and head injuries. GelDefender products provide supplemental padding as well as cooling and comfort benefits when used with helmets and caps. Participants in activities in which head impacts can occur should always use tested and approved helmets for protection. However, no helmet or supplemental padding can protect the user from all serious head or neck injuries that can result from impacts.