Our Board of Directors
G.R. Carter, Jr.
Currently vice chairman of the Jockeys’ Guild, G.R. Carter is the all-time leading Quarter Horse jockey by wins and purse earnings. He is a four-time winner of the All American Futurity and 10-time AQHA national champion jockey. Carter has served on the PDJF board of directors since 2006.
Since beginning his riding career in 1980, jockey Jon Court has tallied over 4000 victories. He has served as secretary to the Jockeys’ Guild and has been a PDJF board member since 2006. Court was honored with the George Woolf Memorial Award in 2007 and the Mike Venezia Memorial Award in 2015.
Actress, humanitarian, and businesswoman, Bo Derek has been a PDJF board member since 2009. She was a member of the California Horse Racing Board from 2008-2015. Derek, an avid horsewoman, is active in both human and animal causes and has been a vocal opponent of horse slaughter in the U.S.
William S. Farish
Owner of Lane’s End Farm, Will Farish was a founding member of the Breeders’ Cup; served as chairman of Churchill Downs; was a steward and vice chairman of The Jockey Club; and is a trustee at Keeneland. He received the Eclipse Award of Merit in 2009. Former ambassador to Great Britain, Farish has generously contributed to PDJF’s general operations and endowment fund and has been a board member since 2009.
Jack Fires was 21 years old and only 5 years into his career as a jockey when a riding accident left him paraplegic in 1977. Fires is a PDJF beneficiary as well as a board member, having been named to the board in 2006. He represents the PDJF at numerous fundraising events across the country.
After more than 20 years as an executive with the Del Mar Thoroughbred Club, Craig Fravel is now president and chief executive officer of Breeders’ Cup Ltd. A PDJF board member since 2009, Fravel also serves on the board of the National Racing and Medication Testing Consortium, as a steward of The Jockey Club, and as a director of the National Thoroughbred Racing Association.
Mike Joyce has done just about every job at the racetrack, from popping corn to writing races at Wyoming Downs. He has been with TVG since 2001 as host, analyst, and reporter for Thoroughbred and Quarter Horse racing. He was named to the PDJF board in 2015.
Nancy LaSala has served as board president of the PDJF since its inception in 2006. In January 2009, she additionally accepted the role as executive director. She dutifully administers the Fund in accordance with the by-laws set by its board of directors while currently employed by a global leader in industrial processing equipment.
Terry Meyocks has been a racing secretary as well as a racing executive. He was president of the New York Racing Association and thereafter a principal in the consulting firm of Meyocks & O’Hara Racing Enterprises. A former NTRA vice president, he became national manager of the Jockeys’ Guild in September 2007 and has served on the PDJF board since 2009.
After in-country service for the U.S. Army during the Vietnam War, Bill Murphy went on to a career in Thoroughbred racing that included executive posts at Hialeah Park, Detroit Race Course, Thistledown, and Gulfstream Park. Murphy, a PDJF board member since 2009, is currently vice president of player development at XpressBet LLC.
After more than 10 years as a winning Quarter Horse jockey, including the 1995 All American Futurity, Billy Peterson now owns the financial services company, Peterson Wealth Services Inc. Previously he was a senior vice president at Paine Webber and Morgan Stanley Smith Barney. From 2000 to 2004 he served as president of the Utah Quarter Horse Association. Peterson has been a PDJF board member since 2011.
William Punk, Jr.
Thoroughbred owner and breeder William J. Punk, Jr. joined the PDJF board in 2009 and serves as chairman of its investment committee. Now retired, he was active in the investment banking industry for more than 40 years. Punk was founder and managing partner of Punk, Ziegel & Co. which was acquired in 2008.
After beginning his career in horse racing as a hot walker nearly 30 years ago, Mike Rogers is now president of The Stronach Group’s racing division. For the past 16 years he has been actively involved in the Thoroughbred operations of owner and breeder Frank Stronach. Rogers has served on the PDJF board since 2011.
Hall of Fame rider John Velazquez has nearly 6,000 victories and purse earnings that exceed $369 million. He received the Eclipse Award for outstanding jockey in both 2004 and 2005 and the George Woolf Memorial Award in 2009. Velazquez is chairman of the Jockeys’ Guild board of directors and has served on the PDJF board since 2006.
Paul Braverman has been a thoroughbred owner and breeder since 1979 and joined the PDJF board in 2019. He is retired after working for 30 years in the investment management industry, serving his last 22 years as CFO and Partner of Wellington Management Company, LLP. Paul is an attorney and CPA and now serves on the boards of several for-profit and non-profit entities.
Won't You Help ?
We provide financial assistance to 60 jockeys who have sustained catastrophic on-track injuries, mostly paralysis or brain injuries.
G R Carter
These jockeys sacrificed their health so the industry can race horses. The PDJF is the best vehicle to provide financial assistance to these ex-athletes for their misfortune. I whole-heartedly support the PDJF and feel that the people in our industry should feel compelled to step up to the plate and help to support these permanently disabled jockeys.
Although I broke 17 bones in a 31-year career as a jockey, I consider myself both fortunate and blessed, yes I am one of the lucky ones. One of those who was able to walk away in relatively good health, and those that haven't been so fortunate desperately need our continued support. Very few jockeys are the millionaires that so many picture, and they struggle to meet both the emotional and financial demands that come with being disabled. Please find it in your heart to help the dedicated men and women that have given us all so many thrills on the backs of the animals that we hold so dear.