05/10/2013 5:36PM

Delta Downs: Race named for late exercise rider


Jess Meche, the 21-year-old exercise rider who died in a training accident at Delta Downs in Vinton, La., in April, will be honored at the track on May 18. The night's fifth race will be named for Meche, and Delta and local horsemen will present a plaque to his family.

Meche was a former Quarter Horse jockey who rode in his native Louisiana and Canada before going to work as an exercise rider.

His father, Robert Meche, is an owner and trainer who recently won a Delta race with a homebred Quarter Horse who received her early lessons from Jess

"He was probably one of the best horsemen at 21 that Louisiana ever produced," said Robert Meche, adding that his son ranked as the American Quarter Horse Association's leading calf roper in 2009.
Meche is also survived by his mother, Annette, sisters Robi, Myke, and Kasie, and brother, Robert, II.