A Dead Jockey? Tributes and Memorials. A Dead Horse? Who Cares?

The jockey Miguel Mena was struck and killed by a vehicle Sunday. I have nothing to say on that other than I’m sorry for his survivors. No, this is about the aftermath. Of course, the racing community is agush with remembrances, condolences, etc. But what caught my eye was this from Churchill Downs, Mena’s primary work milieu:


Churchill Downs, members of the jockey colony and horsemen, along with family and friends, will pay tribute to the late jockey Miguel Mena by gathering in the Trackside Winner’s Circle for a moment of silence. The ceremony will conclude with a solemn performance of “My Old Kentucky Home” performed by bugler Steve Buttleman. Interested media may enter through the Executive Gate and proceed to the Trackside Winner’s Circle. Free first-come, first-serve parking is available to media and guests…. Those who are unable to attend can view the ceremony on….

Need I say it? The so-called teammates of people like Mena, the horses that is, are killed in the thousands each year – and that’s actually while at “work.” A “moment of silence”? Please. Hell, they don’t even stop the “game” (the rest of the day’s card). So for one, it’s memorials, eulogies, and buglers. For the other, it’s put ’em down, cart ’em off (or cart ’em off, put ’em down), resume action. Every day these racing people are further exposed as the callous curs they are.

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  1. I read that he was killed on Interstate-64; that he was hit by a vehicle. I don’t know if there’s going to be an investigation into who hit him or anything like that. The whole thing seems kind of strange. His given name was Jose Rodriguez according to the article I read. I don’t know why his name was changed to Miguel Mena.

    Meanwhile, the killing of racehorses goes on as “business as usual” because that’s how they roll in the world of horseracing.

    • I just read a different article that says his full name was Jose Miguel Mena Rodriguez. I still think it is strange.

  2. **The evil these people do and think!!!!!! I am only sorry for are these beautiful horses they use, abuse and discard like trash. Sorry, have no empathy for ANYONE who is involved with horseracing…

  3. In March of 2018, this jockey, Jose Miguel Mena Rodriguez, was injured and had 8 broken bones in his ankle and heel. He got treatment and physical therapy and returned to riding racehorses in September and October of 2018. IF HE HAD BEEN A HORSE, HE WOULD HAVE BEEN EUTHANIZED!!!! The details would have been swept under the rug and onto the next equine victim.

  4. This article is right on point — I, too, am sorry for Jockey’s death — we all want to live and NOT die — my heart breaks for the HORSES, who have NO CHOICE in the matter — they continue to be abused and brutally killed — when will industry REALIZE this is so wrong – just as wrong as jockey Miguel Mena’s untimely death?

  5. So sorry for the jockey’s death I pray for his famiy. Jockey’s might keep the horse in line to get to the finish line but it is the horse that wins the race not the jockey, I’ve seen a horse win without a jockey but that doesn’t count. I suggest they take a whole day to remember all the great horses who have suffered during a race or even before they set foot on the track. Horses are the real heroes in the racing game and it’s time for people to realize that and know that on race day it just isn’t about the money, the drinks, the clothes or the good time it involves how great the horse can be and how well they should be treated instead of hiding their deaths and the cause!

  6. I dare say his body wasn’t covered by a dirty tarp on the floor of the ambulance, and he wasn’t just left in a corner of the morgue until someone came to hoist him into a truck for disposal. I wouldn’t attend a moment of silence for any other animal abuser, either.

  7. Condolences to the rider’s family, but indeed a cruel irony that racehorses disappear like so much ‘equine litter.’ No respect, no tributes or love, just gone and forgotten (unless you’re Northern Dancer).

  8. Obviously the lives of the ‘thousands’ of racehorses that die each year don’t matter…..all the owners, trainers, jockeys and gamblers are interested in is the winning post and prize money.

  9. Its sad that he lost his life. But to me its sadder when all those beautiful horses die or are euthanized and no one gives a dam. I would love to see horse racing put to an end. What is done to those animals to run their hearts out is sickening.


  11. Callus is right!! End this disgusting, horrible “sport”!!

    End dog racing too!! Horrific cruelty to gentle, beautiful horses and greyhounds!!


  12. I am so sorry for you my little pony. This is two fold, I do feel sorry for the family of the jockey.
    But God almighty, gives you animals to take care of and how do you repay him? I have seen investigated reports, where it shows how the jockeys and some the care givers are so abusive to the horse. They cram inch to inch and half tubes down their throats and pour some crap down that tube. It is known that animals in this cruel 😢 old world are so sick. Such cowards, as the abusers can’t fight someone their own size. They beat up on animals that cannot defend themselves.

    Why dont you have a moment of silence for the thousands of horses that die on tracks all over the world. It is just to sad.

  13. This is so true – all kinds of tributes for the jockey but never any for the horses who are destroyed in this disgusting sport. So disappointed that the world allows atrocities toward animals to continue. No wonder we have all kinds of problems; so many out there have no heart for any living thing other than themselves.

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