Joy Scott Earns Mooney Award for Courage

Posted Sept. 26, 2019

The National Turf Writers and Broadcasters will present lifelong horsewoman Joy Scott, who battled back from multiple serious injuries during her career as a jockey, with the Bill Mooney Award for displaying courage in the face of tremendous adversity.

Scott launched her career as a jockey in 1981 and won 537 races riding in Thoroughbred, Quarter Horse, Arabian and Mixed Breed events. She suffered severe injuries to her right leg in a five-horse accident at Los Alamitos in 2001 but returned to the saddle to ride races 14 months later.

“I’m a winner again,” said Scott, who continues to battle back from injuries suffered in a morning-training accident in March 2013 at Santa Anita Park. “What an honor; I’m thrilled and overwhelmed.”

Scott joins three prior Mooney winners: the award’s namesake who died after a long battle with cancer in 2017; retired jockey and owner Rene Douglas; and last year’s winner horsewoman Martine Bellocq.

“She is the walking (miraculously) embodiment of what the Mooney Award has come to represent,” Eclipse Award-winning Turf writer Jay Hovdey said in his endorsement of Scott this spring. “Her desire to remain a viable part of the sport kept her competing until it was no longer possible, and her nightmare struggles with recovery from serious injury is, sadly, more typical of others in her situation than we would like to believe.

“Yet she has soldiered on, raised a fine son as a single parent, and presents herself to the racing family with a positive outlook that is almost incomprehensible to those of us who have never faced such adversity.”

Scott will be honored along with the NTWAB’s other four award winners at the organization’s 60th annual Awards Dinner at The Derby in Arcadia, California, Wednesday, October 30. The NTWAB will honor the late Rick Violette (Joe Palmer Award), Hall of Fame trainer D. Wayne Lukas (Mr. Fitz Award), Caton Bredar (Jim McKay Award) and Tim Wilkin (Walter Haight Award), along with other writing award winners announced that evening.

The NTWAB Awards Dinner is traditionally held during Breeders’ Cup Week and is the organization’s only fundraiser. A portion of the proceeds from the event are used toward scholarships for prospective Thoroughbred racing journalists and to support Thoroughbred industry charities.

Tickets are available for the event either by contacting Jessie Oswald at, NTWAB at, or this link to Eventbrite.