Jacky Martin racing again

Racing legend looks to McAfee & Taft to regain jockey license

published in McAfee & Taft AgLINC | June 1, 2011

By Jeff Todd

To say the least, the name Jacky Martin is well known in Quarter Horse racing circles. In fact, it is not a stretch to describe the jockey as a legend in the sport. Jacky won his first All American Futurity in 1976. Since then he has won the prestigious All American six more times. Over the years, Jacky built a Hall of Fame career by winning the biggest Quarter Horse races in the United States, including Oklahoma.

Unfortunately, Jacky’s career took a turn for the worse in 1996 when he was charged in Texas for crimes unrelated to racing. Jacky later pled guilty to two felony counts and received suspended sentences which included substantial community service obligations. As a result, Jacky’s jockey licenses were suspended, and he lost his ability to compete in the sport that he had devoted most of his life.

At 52 years old, most would have pulled down their tents and walked away. Not Jacky. He used the adversity as a positive life-changing experience and turned his personal life around. He became a better person, a better husband, and perhaps even a better jockey. In September 2010, Jacky’s dedication to changing his life was rewarded when he received “judicial clemency” from the judge presiding over his case. In Texas, this is similar to a pardon and means that Jacky was no longer a convicted felon.

Unfortunately, the judicial clemency did not mean that Jacky could automatically start racing again. Rather, he was required to go to the governing board over racing in each state where he wanted to race and request that his license be reinstated.
In February, we were asked to assist in Jacky’s efforts by representing him before the Texas Racing Commission and the Oklahoma Horse Racing Commission. Time was of the essence, especially in Oklahoma because the Remington Park Quarter Horse meet started in March and ended in May. Our first objective was to regain licensure in Texas because Oklahoma’s revocation was based on reciprocity with Texas. My partner Spencer Smith, who practiced in Austin, Texas, for several years before joining us at McAfee & Taft, quickly and successfully obtained an order on March 1, 2011, declaring that Jacky was eligible for licensure before the Texas Racing Commission. It was then my turn to convince the Oklahoma Horse Racing Commission to follow suit and lift Jacky’s suspension. After a heated hearing, on March 22, 2011, the Oklahoma Horse Racing Commission entered an order that it was in the best interest of racing in Oklahoma for Jacky to be licensed as a jockey.

As they say, “the rest is history.” Jacky received his license in time to participate in the 2011 Quarter Horse meet at Remington Park where the horses he rode earned more than $450,000! We could not be more pleased for our client. Way to go, Jacky.

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