History of The Jockey Club

The Jockey Club received a certificate of incorporation from the State of New York on February 9, 1894, but the real genesis of the organization took place two months earlier when eight “patrons of the turf” convened in New York City.

The eight racing leaders, chaired by James R. Keene, aimed to create an association that would ensure order instead of the growing chaos of racing. They adopted a resolution that read, in part, that the purpose of the organization would be “not only to encourage the development of the thoroughbred horse, but to establish racing on such a footing that it may command the interests as well as the confidence and favorable opinion of the public.”

Ever since that day, The Jockey Club has pursued its mission as an organization dedicated to the improvement of Thoroughbred breeding and racing, and in the course of the ensuing 100-plus years it has earned widespread recognition as an industry leader for its active involvement in vital industry issues as well as its proficiency as a technology solutions and information provider.

The Jockey Club’s primary responsibility, then and now, is the maintenance of The American Stud Book in a manner that ensures integrity of the breed in the United States, Canada and Puerto Rico. The Jockey Club is a founding member of The International Stud Book Committee, which serves to coordinate the policies and practices of more than 60 stud book authorities around the world to harmonize the rules of different jurisdictions in order to facilitate cross-border commerce.

The American Stud Book is maintained by the Registry and the Principal Rules and Requirements of The American Stud Book can be found on the Registry’s website at registry.jockeyclub.com.

Over the course of the past 25 years or so, The Jockey Club has created and developed a group of commercial, for-profit subsidiaries and a commercial partnership, each with a twofold purpose: to serve specific segments within the industry using highly efficient, state-of-the-art technology platforms and to generate profits that are used to support important industry initiatives.

Throughout its history, The Jockey Club has taken a leadership role in critical and wide-ranging areas that benefit the industry. They range from medication and equine welfare to aftercare and marketing of the sport. The Welfare and Safety of the Racehorse summits, the Thoroughbred Safety Committee, the Equine Injury Database, the comprehensive economic study of the sport in 2011 (“Driving Sustainable Growth for Thoroughbred Racing and Breeding”) and the America’s Best Racing initiative are all vibrant examples of that commitment.

Those initiatives, and countless others designed to boost the Thoroughbred industry, have been unveiled and/or featured at The Jockey Club’s annual Round Table Conference on Matters Pertaining to Racing, which is held each August in Saratoga Springs, N.Y.

In February 2015, The Jockey Club Information Systems Inc. purchased a majority ownership interest in BloodHorse magazine from the Thoroughbred Owners and Breeders Association.

Factual data about the Thoroughbred industry, detailed information about industry initiatives and profiles of The Jockey Club and its affiliated companies are available in the Resources, Advocacy/Promotion and Companies sections of this website.

Additional information can also be obtained by contacting The Jockey Club’s Communications Department.