World-Class Jockeys Address International Considerations at Pan Am Conference

Dr. Rita Rocca

Dr. Rita Rocca, a veterinary official at Maroñas Racetrack in Uruguay, will moderate a panel featuring three prominent jockeys at the Pan American Conference in New York City on Friday, June 5, at 8:40 a.m. EDT.

The panel includes Chris McCarron, John Velazquez, and Ramon Dominguez. They will discuss the transitions jockeys need to make when moving regionally within the Americas and globally and the issues they face in doing so.

“This is a global sport and it’s not uncommon for jockeys to travel to different parts of the world to compete,” said McCarron. “It’s important to be familiar with policies and practices, whether you’re riding in South America, North America, Europe or Asia, and I think that will be reflected in this panel discussion.”

“This sport has a responsibility to make conditions as safe as possible for both our equine and human athletes, and I look forward to discussing aspects of safety with this esteemed panel,” said Rocca.

Rocca specializes in research relating to the equine athlete, which has evolved into a Racing Injury Prevention Program. She is the South American regional representative of the IGSRV (International Group of Specialist Racing Veterinarians).

Dominguez, a native of Caracas, Venezuela, won two Eclipse Awards for Outstanding Jockey and the George Woolf Memorial Jockey Award. He has won three Breeders’ Cup races. His notable mounts included Better Talk Now, Bluegrass Cat, Gio Ponti, Havre de Grace, and Hansen.  Dominguez suffered head injuries in a spill in January 2013 and retired five months later.

McCarron, a native of Dorchester, Mass., who retired in June 2002, twice won the Kentucky Derby, the Preakness and the Belmont Stakes, and nine Breeders’ Cup races. He was inducted into the National Museum of Racing’s Hall of Fame in 1989. He has won three Eclipse Awards, the George Woolf Memorial Jockey Award and the Mike Venezia Memorial Award. His notable mounts include Alysheba, Bayakoa, Glorious Song, John Henry, Lady’s Secret, Precisionist, Sunday Silence, and Tiznow.

Velazquez, a native of Carolina, Puerto Rico, was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2012. He has won a Kentucky Derby, two Belmont Stakes, and 13 Breeders’ Cup races. He has twice been awarded an Eclipse Award for Outstanding Jockey and also received the George Woolf Memorial Award. His notable mounts have included Animal Kingdom, Orb, Point of Entry, The Lumber Guy, Union Rags, Verrazano, and Wise Dan.

Presenting sponsors of the conference include LARC, The Jockey Club (through its commercial subsidiaries and partnerships America’s Best Racing, Equibase Company, Incompass Solutions, The Jockey Club Information Systems, and The Jockey Club Technology Services), Betfred, Club Hipico Santiago, Encompass Digital Media, Hipodromo Chile, Keeneland Association, The Liberman Group, Maroñas Entertainment, The New York Racing Association Inc., PMU, Sport Mediastream, The Stronach Group, UTTA (Unión de Trabajadores del Turf y Afines), and Valparaiso Sporting Club.

The conference will focus on many key international areas across the two days of the business program on Thursday, June 4, and Friday, June 5, including

  • Globalization of Thoroughbred breeding and the Importance of the North American and South American Regions
  • The Pattern System
  • Delivering International Racing to Bettors and Fans
  • New Technologies in Racing and Sports
  • Enhancing the Racing Customer Experience
  • Global Measures to Racing Integrity
  • Reforming Medication Rules: Approaches in South America

Additional information and registration forms for the conference are available at The deadline to register for the conference is May 29, 2015.

The Latin American Racing Channel broadcasts the most important horse races from Latin America to the world and offers racetrack maintenance and consulting services to a wide range of industry organizations. Additional information is at

The Jockey Club, founded in 1894 and dedicated to the improvement of Thoroughbred breeding and racing, is the breed registry for North American Thoroughbreds. In fulfillment of its mission, The Jockey Club, directly or through subsidiaries, provides support and leadership on a wide range of important industry initiatives, and it serves the information and technology needs of owners, breeders, media, fans and farms. Additional information is available at

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