Stewards at New Jersey's Monmouth Park have recommended permanent revocation of jockey Tomas Mejia after it was discovered the jockey raced with an electrical device that shocked the horse into running faster. Currently, the jockey has received a 10-year ban and a $5,000 fine, however, further punishment could come after a push by the local stewards.
Ray Paulick on Twitter: "Jockey Tomas Mejia receives 10-year suspension, $5,000 fine from stewards at New Jersey's Monmouth Park for possession of an electrical device in 7th race Sept. 3. Stewards recommend permanent revocation of Mejia's license to NJ commission. pic.twitter.com/T36wiDJNkv / Twitter"
Jockey Tomas Mejia receives 10-year suspension, $5,000 fine from stewards at New Jersey's Monmouth Park for possession of an electrical device in 7th race Sept. 3. Stewards recommend permanent revocation of Mejia's license to NJ commission. pic.twitter.com/T36wiDJNkv
Abuse in horse racing, for many years, was kept in the paddock. The explosion of technology and cameras everywhere have unmasked this ugly underworld, a seemingly different planet from the glitz and glamour and heart-pounding action fans see trackside. According to One Green Planet (2021), "Drugging horses to enhance their performance is a common practice in the horse racing industry. During their undercover investigation, PETA witnessed horse trainers giving their animals drugs for hypothyroidism to speed up their metabolisms. In addition, Lasix, also known as furosemide, is a diuretic that stops pulmonary bleeding in the horses’ lungs during intense exercise, allowing them to push through otherwise exhausting training sessions and races. Lasix also works to masks other drugs that might be in the horse’s system so it appears that they haven’t been fed anything that would make the race 'unfair'" (para. 3).
As for Mejia, tracks around America have vowed to uphold the ban, as currently, the revocation of the jockey's license is for New Jersey specifically, but it appears other tracks will follow suit. The jockey actually got caught when the device was spotted on him in the winner's circle and photographic evidence from that photo opp was presented during the hearing.
Mejia had 19 wins at Monmouth, 42 wins this year total, and ranked 11th amongst jockeys for wins. He began riding in America in 2018 and has earned almost $3 Million since that time.
Something tells me that fine will be pocket change and he'll likely look overseas for riding opportunities.
~Michael Patrick Day, Irish Proud & 12oz Sports Writer
Farr, S (2021). The Hidden Cruelty Behind the Glamour of the Horse Racing Industry. One Green Planet. Retrieved https://www.onegreenplanet.org/animalsandnature/the-hidden-cruelty-behind-the-glamour-of-the-horse-racing-industry/