Permanently Disabled Jockey Fund could win at the 2012 Kentucky Derby

Permanently Disabled Jockeys Fund

The Permanently Disabled Jockey Fund could be a big winner at the 2012 Kentucky Derby on May 5 in Louisville, Kentucky. The connections of 2012 Kentucky Derby contender Dullahan announced yesterday that they came up with an exciting way to “give back” to horse racing by way of the Permanently Disabled Jockey Fund. The partners in Iowa-based Donegal Racing and owners of one of the Kentucky Derby favorites, Dullahan, along with Prairie Meadows Racetrack and Casino, today announced what could be a major contribution aimed at supporting disabled jockeys.

Donegal along with Dullahan’s trainer, Dale Romans, and jockey, Kent Desormeaux, have pledged five percent of the colt’s Kentucky Derby winnings to the Permanently Disabled Jockeys Fund. Then to top it off, Prairie Meadows Racetrack and Casino in Altoona, Iowa will match the Donegal contribution.

“Horse racing is a glorious sport with a rich history, and those of us who love it understand that jockeys are gifted athletes who take risks every time they take a mount,” said Jerry Crawford, general partner in Donegal Racing. “This is a great opportunity to give back and we thank Prairie Meadows for joining us in the effort.”

Donegal’s partners voted unanimously to make the contribution.

“You know it’s an important and worthwhile cause when 24 people from 10 states agree without dissension,” Crawford said. “We believe in the work PDJF does to help jockeys and their families who have devoted their lives to the sport.”

The Permanently Disabled Jockeys Fund (PDJF) is a 501(c)(3) public charity that provides financial assistance to former jockeys who have suffered catastrophic on-track injuries.

“We are very thankful to Donegal and Prairie Meadows for sharing the thrill of Dullahan’s Derby run with PDJF. This commitment serves as a wonderful example and provides much needed help to the men and women we serve,” stated Nancy LaSala, the PDJF’s executive director.

Founded in 2006, PDJF has disbursed more than $3 million to permanently disabled jockeys, most of whom have sustained paralysis or brain injuries. The fund represents a cooperative effort among race tracks, jockeys, horsemen, and enthusiasts.

“Prairie Meadows has always been a supporter of the Permanently Disabled Jockeys Fund – a program that brings much-needed financial assistance to a group of athletes who have given so much to the sport of horse racing,” noted Gary Palmer, president and CEO of Prairie Meadows. “In order for that organization to do its work in supporting injured riders and finding technologies and practices that help to improve the safety of both the human and equine athlete, they need funds. So, we are delighted that Donegal Racing is stepping up to donate five percent of any Kentucky Derby winnings this year to that fund.

“And for our part, Prairie Meadows is proud to offer to match Donegal’s contributions, dollar-for-dollar, to assist the Permanently Disabled Jockeys Fund in the great work that they do,” Palmer added.