Standing Ovation by Ovation Riding: NYRA Jockeys

Every week Horse Nation teams up with Ovation Riding to recognize those doing good in the horse world. Today we recognize the New York Racing Association (NYRA) jockeys for their demonstration of support for the Black Lives Matter movement.

Protests have been taking place around the globe over the deaths of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor at the hands of white police officers. Responses to the protests have varied, especially as violence escalates and tensions come to a head. Amid the responses to the protests many well-known names and organizations across the horse industry are expressing their support for the Black Lives Matter movement. Among those supporters are the jockeys at Belmont Park in Elmont, NY.

On Wednesday, June 3, Belmont Park resumed racing for the first time since the COVID-19 shutdown. Prior to the start of racing on June 3, jockeys took a knee in the paddock in solidarity with peaceful protestors across the country.

“There’s a lot going on in the world right now and we wanted to show respect to all causes, and to all people, and to show that we here at NYRA support everybody,” said jockey Reylu Gutierrez. “Horse racing, in general, supports all ethnicities. Horse racing is a worldwide sport and it doesn’t matter what color you are, what religion you are, or what ethnicity you are. What matters in horse racing is that we are one. Here at NYRA, we have people from everywhere and fans from everywhere. We will continue to be united here and support everybody.”

The jockey colony also took time to honor the victims of COVID-19 and the first responders, medical and frontline workers through a moment of silence.

The NYRA jockeys are not the only group in the racing industry to show support for the Black Lives Matter movement. Several tracks took part in #BlackoutTuesday on social media in solidarity with those fighting for change. Others released statements expressing their support of peaceful protests and their stance against racism and injustice.

Many thanks thanks to Ovation Riding for their support of both Horse Nation and individuals and organizations that are doing good work in the horse world. If you know someone who deserves a Standing Ovation, we would love to recognize them in a future post. Email the name of the person or organization along with a message about the good work they do to [email protected] Photos/videos are always welcome, and include a link to their website if applicable.