Members of the permanently disabled Jockeys' Guild has issued an open letter to David Sheppard, chairman of the board of the Jockeys' Guild, as well as guild members, and several media outlets, including The Blood-Horse
, requesting the resignation of Wayne Gertemanian and the reinstatement of John Giovanni.
However there is some disagreement over the rehiring of John Giovanni. Former jockey Rudy Baez has asked that his name be removed from the letter, but he does support the removal of Gertemanian.
"What I signed was I want Dr. G to resign," Baez said during a conversation with The Blood-Horse
Nov. 11. "I didn't sign for anything else. I'm for nobody, I just wanted to sign to get the guy that's in there now out of there."
Below is the complete text of the letter, including the names of the disabled riders said to be in support of the request.
"We, the undersigned permanently disabled Jockeys' Guild members, would like to recommend to our fellow active members of the Jockeys Guild to give careful and immediate consideration to replacing Dr. Gertemanian as president and CEO of the Jockeys' Guild along with his whole team that came on board at the take over in 2001.
"We do believe that only by reinstalling John Giovanni as general manager do we stand any chance of rebuilding the Guild into the kind of organization that can once again inspire trust and respect and serve the needs of the active jockeys as well as the disabled riders. Everyone has a lot at stake in seeing that the Guild functions properly and Mr. Giovanni is already well informed on the intricacies of running such an organization.
"The disappearance of the Disabled Jockeys Fund is very troubling to us. That Fund was started and successfully managed by Mr. Giovanni. It was of great help and many times the last resort for many a disabled jockey. Just as importantly for us, Mr. Giovanni always made himself available to us. He would always do his best to answer questions or try to help in resolving whatever problems were brought to his attention.
"After listening to the Congressional hearing in Washington, DC, we are more convinced than ever that something has to be done. Numerous issues were raised but no satisfactory explanations were given. This lack of answers makes it impossible to have confidence in Dr.Gertmenian's ability to lead the Guild. By failing to be forthcoming in his answers, Dr. Gertmenian has also failed to prove himself as a man who could be trusted to do what's best for the Guild.
"Not only has he reduced the Guild to an organization that nobody trusts, but he has also insulted its members by claiming that he was more intelligent and better educated than them so they should follow blindly and not ask questions. Who ever said that a college or Doctorate degree is a requisite for, or guarantee of common sense and integrity?
We badly need a leader who understands and is familiar with the business of the Jockeys' Guild to lead us through this crisis, to put the Guild back on track and salvage what is left of our organization. To rebuild the Guild into an organization that the jockeys can once again believe in, and that will once again serve the jockey's needs, we do believe that Mr. Giovanni is the man we should turn to.
Permanently disabled Jockeys Guild members:
Jayme La Rocca
John Huggins, ll
Abner Sorrows, Jr.