With only a few exeptions, the leadership of the Jockeys’ Guild was re-elected during the organization’s annual Assembly, held in conjunction with the University of Arizona’s 2010 Symposium on Racing and Gaming, at the Westin La Paloma Resort in Tucson, Ariz.
Re-elected to their positions were John Velazquez, chairman; G.R. Carter, vice chairman, and Jerry LaSala, treasurer. Joel Campbell was elected secretary of the Guild replacing Jon Court. Re-elected to the board were Perry Compton, Rodney Prescott, Robby Albarado, and Glen Murphy. Ramon Dominguez was newly elected to the board.
During the business session of the Assembly that concluded Dec. 7, the Guild adopted an annual budget for 2011 that continues the process of erasing any deficits from the Chapter 11 proceeding that ended in 2008, according to a release from the Guild.
The release also said a committee of Guild members and staff was appointed to further consider several insurance opportunities that would provide Guild members with additional coverage for on track accidents.
During discussion of the status of the Guild’s 2011 Safety Initiative concerning helmets, vests, and involvement in research on these safety items, it was reported that the organization has become a member of ASTM International (formerly known as American Society for Testing and Materials) to facilitate such goals.
Also during the Assembly, a Rider Safety Summit addressed medical safety issues involving riders. The panel was presented by the Guild, Association of Racing Commissioners International, and the Race Track Industry Program.
The panel included Dr. Ed Hall, director of the Spinal Cord and Brain Injury Research Center at the University of Kentucky; Dr. Oswald Steward, director, Reeve-Irvine Research Center, Anatomy & Neurology School of Medicine at UC Irvine; Dr. Dalton Dietrich, director of the Miami Project to Cure Paralysis; Mike Ziegler, executive director of the NTRA Safety & Integrity Alliance, who discussed best practices and minimum standards and Brad Kimbrell, executive vice president of InCompass who discussed the importance of the Jockey Health and Information System and the development of a national Jockey Injury Database.
In addition to the panel discussion, retired NBC White House Correspondent Richard Valeriani conducted a seminar for Guild members on the media and how jockeys can best relate to the press.
In other presentations to the Guild:
--Victor Espinosa, Jr., vice president of the Equibase Company, spoke about future developments at Equibase.
--Nancy LaSala, executive director of the Permanently Disabled Jockeys Fund, discussed the accomplishments of the organization in 2010 and plans for the future. The Guild adopted a resolution urging the tracks, horsemen’s groups, owners, racing related businesses, and other industry organizations to actively support and contribute to the PDJF.
--Mike Campbell, president of Illinois Thoroughbred Horsemen’s Association, gave a presentation concerning legislation to extend workers comp in Illinois to racetrack workers. The Guild adopted a resolution supporting the extension of workers compensation to all racing industry employees in all states that do not yet provide that coverage.
--Duncan Patterson, a member of the Delaware Racing Commission and the ARCI Rules Committee, addressed the assembly on various topics including the ARCI and the proposed Racing Compact.