The University of Kentucky’s Jockey Equine Initiative recently received the attention of high profile horse racing riders and leading lawmakers. The program is based in The University of Kentucky's Sports Medicine Research Institute.
Initiative Director Carl Mattacola says riders can undergo a full physiological and biomechanical performance assessment. He says the time in the facility can also help with evaluation following an injury. “We’re saving that individual compensation, potentially track insurance losses. So the big picture is anytime you can keep an athlete healthy and engaged, you’ve reduced costs from a loss of compensation or even insurance costs because of the injury,” said Mattacola.
French Jockey Julian Leparous says riders can’t focus on injury risks while competing on the track. “We don’t think about it because if you think about it you will not do it at all, I guess. We don’t think about it, but it’s going to happen for sure,” said Leparaous.
Among the equipment demonstrated were a rare so-called motorized sports medicine horse, a device to assess a jockey’s balance following a concussion, and devices designed to measure strength and endurance.
Weku's Stu Johnson spoke with jockey Sophie Doyle to get her thoughts about the Jockey Equine Initiative