NewsCovering Kentucky


Members of horse racing industry support injured jockeys

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Posted at 8:09 AM, Apr 26, 2022
and last updated 2022-04-26 08:09:56-04

LEXINGTON, Ky. (LEX 18) — Members of the horse racing industry gathered in downtown Lexington Monday evening to raise money for jockeys who have been disabled after accidents on the track.

The Permanently Disabled Jockeys Fund was founded in 2006 and provides financial assistance to jockeys who have had catastrophic accidents.

"They ride maybe six, seven, eight horses a day and most of them have no insurance," said event organizer and trainer Carlo Vaccarezza.

According to their website, the organization has given out nearly $9 million to 60 jockeys who have had accidents.

"I've been one of the lucky ones that, I've had many accidents over my 32-year career, and I've been blessed to come back and do what I love to do and support my family," said Hall-of-Fame jockey John Velazquez, who is on the organization's board.

There were live and silent auctions at the event Monday evening. Organizers hoped to raise at least $50,000 for the fund.

"We try to help them with the cars, fixing the cars, fixing the homes, ramps to the homes, bathrooms, and so on, things that they need to make life better so they can support themselves and their families as well," Velazquez said.

Often, event organizers said, the jockeys are injured in their 20s or 30s and have long, expensive roads ahead. To learn more about the organization, visit