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University of Kentucky and the Jockey's Guild Team Up to Create Concussion Protocol

In the sports medicine world, the spotlight has recently fallen on research indicating that concussions could potentially have long-term, devastating effects for athletes who receive them. Concussion research has led many sports organizations, such as the NFL, NBA, and MLB, to create or update concussion management protocol. Protocols regulate what types of assessments athletes should have after receiving a head injury and put limits on activity after injury.

However, the major organizations for horse racing have yet to create such a protocol for jockeys, leaving the athletes at a greater risk of potentially damaging effects after a fall. The University of Kentucky and the Jockey’s Guild announced this week a plan to conduct a three-year pilot study designed to evolve the first comprehensive concussion management protocol for jockeys.

For the study, jockeys will take the Sports Concussion Assessment Tool as a pre-fall baseline. If the jockey has a fall, the test will be given again and the baseline will be used as a comparison. A specialized health care provider trained in concussion assessment and sports injury will be present at each participating track to carry out the assessments. The jockeys will be required to set up an account with the Jockey Health Information System, which will serve as a database for the study.

A few of the supporting organizations include, the University of Kentucky College of Health Sciences, Churchill Downs, Kentucky Downs, and the Jockey Club.

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