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2014 Kentucky Derby is in the Past, Saturday is Preakness: Jockeys Can Suffer Devastating Injuries

The Kentucky Derby is a time for fanfare, amazing styles, and the thrill of watching 20 horses race to the finish line. Along with all the pomp and circumstance comes the potential for injury, either on behalf of the horses or even the professional jockeys.

The life of a jockey is no walk in the park. Jockeys tend to eat, sleep, and breathe horses as they spend years training years to become attuned to a horses every movement. Physical fitness is another important factor due to the demands placed on jockeys, who often ride several different races in a day (How Do I Become a Jockey, The Directory of Turf, April 21, 2012).

The slightest slip or miscalculation, either by the jockey or the horse, can result in an injury. Take, for instance, a crash that occurred at a race earlier in the day before the Kentucky Derby officially started: “Churchill Downs announced the crash apparently occurred when two of the horses clipped heels. In an announcement made over the sound system at the media center, the track said all three horses were apparently okay. They were walked back to their barns. Jockeys Megan Fadlovich and Marcelino Pedroza, Jr., left the track in ambulances and were being taken to Audibon Hospital. Churchill Downs said Fadlovich had ‘concussion-type symptoms’ and that Pedroza had pain in his lower back,” (Two jockeys injured in race at Churchill Downs: USA Today, May 3, 2014).

“No matter what job you have, there always seem to be injuries despite all the precautions taken,” explains Frank N. Darras, America’s top disability insurance lawyer. “When we watch the Kentucky Derby and other similar races, we hope to see a clean race but sometimes slight missteps happen, which could lead to severe injuries. Jockeys need to be on the lookout for any threats to their health or the well being of the horse. As we saw with jockey Megan Fadlovich, concussions are not to be taken lightly and a trip to the hospital was the right move to rule out any further head trauma.”

Disability insurance is never a bad decision, no matter the sport and no matter the athlete. Freak accidents can occur at a moment’s notice and end with the jockey on the ground with a fractured skull. These are the moments that disability insurance is there to supply benefits to keep jockeys living comfortably until they are back in the saddle.

“The Kentucky Derby is just the start for this year’s series of premier horse racing. The Preakness Stakes and Belmont Stakes are yet to come so jockeys need to maintain their training and awareness levels to keep themselves and their horses in it, to win it. Talk with your insurance agent or a trusted disability insurance lawyer before you enter any more races to get you the coverage you need. All it takes is one fall or hit to the head to knock you out of the saddle so don’t wait until it’s too late,” says Darras.

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