04/04/2012 5:35PM

Jockeys' Guild to collect rider injury data

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LEXINGTON, Ky. - The Jockeys' Guild plans to begin collecting data on injuries suffered by riders during races in a project that is modeled on the Equine Injury Database, the organization said on Wednesday.

Terry Meyocks, the national manager of the guild, said the project is still in its formative stages but that Keeneland Racecourse here has agreed to start collecting data beginning with the opening of its meet on Friday. Meyocks said the guild has "been talking to a lot of tracks" and said the guild will seek the participation of other tracks following the conclusion of the Keeneland meet at the end of this month.

The project will require medical personnel at tracks to fill out a one-page form developed by the Guild that will identify the characteristics surrounding any injury sustained by a rider during a race, including details on the race and surface conditions, the horse or horses involved, the severity and type of the injury, and the safety equipment worn by the rider.

The project is similar to one launched by the racing industry more than three years ago that collects data on injuries suffered by horses. That project, the Equine Injury Database, has drawn wide participation from U.S. racetracks, and analysis of the data has begun to identify risk factors facing horses and the types of horses that may be at most risk of suffering an injury.

"That's our goal too," Meyocks said. "But first, you have to have the data."