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Kentucky racing sets standards for safety vests

August 1st, 2009 / By: / Advanced Textiles, Industry News

Later this year, the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission will require minimum standards for safety vests worn by jockeys, riders of horse or stable ponies, assistant starters and handlers at starting gates. Adoption of the new rules will expand the range of safety vests and allow jockeys to wear gear that exceeds the minimum standards. “Safety vests that are lighter and more flexible are more suitable to race riding than those used in other horse-related activities,” says Jeff Johnston of the Jockey’s Guild, whose organization presented opinions on the regulations during hearings. According to an article in the Journal of the American Medical Association, there were 6,545 jockey injuries during official races from 1993 to 1996, and one of five involved the head or neck.

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