Indiana Grand Jockeys Visit Local Children's Hospital

Edited press release

Five Indiana Grand jockeys -- from left, Shanley Jackson, Malcolm Franklin, Eddie Perez, Kayla Albright, and Leandro Goncalves -- visited Riley Hospital for Children on September 29. PHOTO: Indiana Grand

In conjunction with Childhood Cancer Awareness Month, five jockeys from Indiana Grand Racing and Casino visited Riley Hospital for Children in downtown Indianapolis on September 29.

The jockeys -- Kaylia Albright, Shanley Jackson, Malcolm Franklin, Leandro Goncalves, and Eddie Perez -- visited with children in the Child Life Zone area of the hospital, playing games, painting, shooting pool and playing video games during the one and one-half-hour session.

The riders also distributed goggles provided by The Jockeys' Guild and gave out small stuffed horses to children during their visit.

The movement began in 2014 when local Thoroughbred owner and breeder, Mike McCauley, and his wife, Marcie, wanted to do something to show support for Childhood Cancer Awareness Month. Their daughter, Cierra, battled cancer and is now cancer free, thanks to the efforts of Riley Hospital for Children.

McCauley contacted The Jockeys' Guild, who in turn, got behind the program. Jockeys at Indiana Grand wore gold ribbon patches on their boots and pants during the month of September 2014, and other tracks soon followed. Today, it is a national movement across the United States to show support for the cause. 

In conjunction with the national awareness movement, jockeys from racetracks across the nation also make visits to their area children’s hospitals. This is the third straight year that Indiana Grand’s jockeys have made the trip to Riley Hospital for Children.

“This trip is always very rewarding to us,” said Goncalves, who is a three-time leading Thoroughbred rider at Indiana Grand. “We always have fun talking with the kids, and it is also very humbling and makes you very appreciative of life when you see what some children are facing.”

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