Prestigious award recognises efforts behind racing’s integrity act

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Nancy Cox received The Jockey Club Medal from Jockey Club chairman Stuart S. Janney, III, at The Jockey Club Chairman’s Dinner at the National Museum of Racing and Hall of Fame.
Nancy Cox received The Jockey Club Medal from Jockey Club chairman Stuart S. Janney, III, at The Jockey Club Chairman’s Dinner at the National Museum of Racing and Hall of Fame. © The Jockey Club/Gregory Fisher

Two of the driving forces behind the Horseracing Integrity and Safety Authority in the US have been named as recipients of the prestigious Jockey Club Medal.

The Jockey Club Medal recognises exceptional contributions to the Thoroughbred breeding and racing industry, and is not given every year; rather when the stewards of The Jockey Club feel that someone has done an extraordinary service to the industry.

The recipients, Dr Nancy Cox, University of Kentucky vice-president for land-grant engagement and dean of the College of Agriculture, Food and Environment, and Len Coleman, former president of the National League of Professional Baseball Clubs, navigated uncharted territory in co-chairing the nominating committee of the Horseracing Integrity and Safety Authority.

Jockey Club chairman Stuart S. Janney III, said Cox and Coleman performed “an incredible service for our industry”.

“The Horseracing Integrity and Safety Authority was a road none of us had traveled before. For our industry, this was an important moment.

“They got through the whole process, dodging any number of sharks swimming in the water waiting to pounce, depending on the nominations. The outcome and reception has been great.”

Through the years, the stewards of The Jockey Club have bestowed the medal upon a select group of individuals.

Congress established the authority in 2020 as an independent, non-governmental regulatory body, run by an independent board, responsible for standardizing regulations and safety rules nationwide. The nominating committee led by Cox and Coleman completed their work in May with the selection of the Authority’s board of directors.

Nancy Cox received The Jockey Club Medal from Jockey Club chairman Stuart S. Janney, III, at The Jockey Club Chairman’s Dinner at the National Museum of Racing and Hall of Fame.
The Jockey Club Medal awarded to Nancy Cox. © The Jockey Club/Gregory Fisher

“It is a distinct honor to receive this award,” Cox said. “The whole process of working on the nominating committee with Len and the other members was a pleasure. It was a lot of hard work. We reviewed over 160 nominations and came out with a very diverse and effective group. That group of individuals on the board and subcommittee have a passion and will carry through with great success, I’m sure. I would also say that The Jockey Club deserves a huge thanks for the years of striving for what led to the Horseracing Integrity and Safety Act.”

Coleman, who is now a member of the Authority’s board, said he appreciates the award.

“Horse racing has been a passion of mine since I was 18,” he said. “The public perception of the integrity of the sport is crucial to the sport’s well-being. HISA is a huge step forward in instilling public confidence.”

The Jockey Club awarded the medals earlier this month during its 69th annual Round Table Conference on Matters Pertaining to Racing.

The medal was presented annually from 1984 through 1994 and periodically since then.

US racing’s Horseracing Integrity and Safety Act (“HISA”) — HR1754 — was signed into law on December 27, 2020.

Previous honorees:

1984 Daniel G. Van Clief Jr.
1985 Jean Romanet
1986 Richard L. Duchossois
1987 Jack Van Berg
1988 Dennis Swanson
1989 Joe Hirsch
1990 Dr Charles Randall
1991 Dr Manuel A. Gilman
1992 R. Richards Rolapp
1993 Kenneth Noe Jr.
1994 Dr Larry Bramlage
1998 Alan Marzelli & Nick Nicholson
2003 Hans J. Stahl
2007 Louis Romanet
2014 Tom Durkin
2015 Ogden Mills Phipps
2016 Pierre “PEB” Bellocq

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