The Kentucky Horse Racing Commission today voted to adopt a recommendation from its Safety and Welfare Committee to establish minimum requirements for safety vests worn at association race tracks.
The new rule expanded the range of safety vests permitted for use by jockeys at Kentucky racetracks. The rule requires not only the safety vests to meet specified minimum standards, but also will permit jockey to wear them, which exceed these standards. The commission is also requiring that a safety vest must be worn by any person who mounted on a horse or stable pony, and any person handling a horse in a starting gate.
“This is a huge improvement in assuring the safety of any guy who rides a horse at the location under the jurisdiction of the commission,”said Debby White, executive director of the KMDC. “This is to expand the types of reflective vests that may be worn and encouraging all riders to go beyond the minimum standards. What’s more important is to help reduce injuries not only for the jockeys but also for others on horseback or working the starting gate.”
"We all felt pleased that the rule includes the safety vests that are specifically designed to meet the demands of jockeys,” said Baker of the Jockeys’ Guild. “Safety vests are lighter and more flexible designed that will make people more suitable to race riding than those used in other horse-related activities. They were actually tested and are consistent with international racing standards. We appreciate the effort of Ms. Betsy Lavin and the KHRC Safety and Welfare Committee in allowing the Jockeys' Guild to present views and opinions of jockeys during this process. We are quite confident that the rule will get people safer with reflective tape and accommodate the daily need of the riders."