Jockeys and Jeans, which has raised over $1.6 million for former jockeys supported by Permanently Disabled Jockeys Fund, has made Brian Elmore, the Executive Director of the Indiana Horsemen’s Protective and Benevolent Association, its 2021 Man of the Year.
“We can think of no one who is more deserving,” said Barry Pearl, president of the all-volunteer group. “He has furthered the cause of severely injured jockeys in many ways.”
Organized in late 2014 by a group of former jockeys, it held its first fundraiser a few weeks later at Tampa Bay Downs in Tampa, Fla., raising $23,000. The event moves each year and Elmore, then the Corporate Vice President of Racing for Indiana Grand Racetrack and Casino in Shelbyville, Ind., was eager to host the 2015 event. It raised over $205,000.
“We learned a lot about fundraising events from Brian and the success invigorated our committee,” said Pearl. “We knew we could fund a significant portion of the PDJF yearly budget. Brian is a valued friend and true mentor.”
Elmore will receive the award at the seventh annual Jockeys and Jeans event at Monmouth Park in Oceanport, N.J. on Saturday, Sept.11. Seventeen Hall of Fame jockeys are scheduled to attend and honor seven of their fallen brothers and sisters. The PDJF distributes a monthly stipend of $1,000 to 62 former jockeys who suffered catastrophic, career-ending injuries, with at least 40 either para or quadriplegics.
Elmore has long advocated for jockeys. In 2016, he won the Eddie Arcaro Award, presented by the Jockeys’ Guild to a person or group that consistently shows exceptional commitment to jockeys and the organization. Now the Indiana HPBA Executive Director, Elmore enlisted the group to donate $30,000 to PDJF over the last few years. He is also the only Jockeys and Jeans Ambassador that is not an active or former jockey, a position he takes to heart. At the 2019 Jockeys and Jeans fundraiser at Santa Anita, Elmore gave an impassioned speech on the importance of supporting disabled jockeys and cited the death of 17-year-old promising jockey Juan Saez, younger brother of jockey Luis Saez, following an Oct. 15, 2014 racing accident at Indiana Grand Racing and Casino when he headed the track’s management team.
“I will never forget the sound the helicopter blades made when it carried him to a trauma ward,” he said. “It was a tough day for his family, the riding colony, and all who knew him. I have a passion for two things; our equine athletes and the jockeys who put their lives on the line every time they race. I feel I have a responsibility to do my best for both of them.”
The event begins in Monmouth Park’s Turf Club on Sept. 11 at 11:30 a.m. Tickets cost $75 and may be purchased at seatgeek.com/monmouth. There will be silent auctions of racing-related memorabilia and autograph sessions throughout the course of the event.
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