A lawsuit by the Jockeys' Guild against former chief executive officer Wayne Gertmenian and others has been dismissed by a Los Angeles federal court judge, but a related California state court trial is still scheduled for mid-October.
An internal investigation conducted by new Jockeys' Guild leadership reveals nearly $2.1 million was spent using funds that were earmarked for other purposes during former Guild president Dr. Wayne Gertmenian's tenure, according to a Guild press release issued Thursday.
Injured jockey Gary Birzer has filed a $10-million lawsuit against the Jockeys' Guild and two former officers stemming from his accident at Mountaineer Race Track in 2004, according to the Los Angeles Times.
The Jockeys' Guild has issued a statement that former Guild president Wayne Gertmenian issued checks totaling $217,000 to himself, his Matrix Capital Associates, and former Guild vice president Albert Fiss.
Soon after the Jockeys' Guild senate elected a new board that voted to terminate the management contract of Matrix Capital Associations Nov. 15, a few Guild members and employees were involved in an altercation with deposed management representatives at the Guild office in Monrovia, Calif.
Jockeys took back the reins of the Jockeys' Guild Tuesday when they voted to remove Guild president Dr. Wayne Gertmenian from his post, terminate the Guild's relationship with Gertmenian's consulting firm, Matrix Capital Associates, and appoint Guild national member representative Darrell Haire as temporary national manager of the organization.
A U.S. House of Representatives subcommittee looking at jockey health and welfare issues was sharply critical of current Jockeys' Guild management during a hearing on Tuesday that began with testimony from paralyzed rider Gary Birzer and ended with a comment calling Wayne Gertmenian's actions as Guild president and CEO an "absolute disgrace."
A blue ribbon panel to study and resolve jockey insurance issues in Kentucky entertained opinions from industry representatives, including jockey and owners, Thursday about what form jockeys' insurance should take in the Commonwealth and who should pay for it.
The Jockeys' Guild has slammed a report issued by the National Thoroughbred Racing Association Jockey Accident Insurance Working Group, claiming it serves to facilitate the agenda of racetracks and ignores exercise riders. The Guild also takes issue with a recommendation that jockeys help pay the cost of upgraded on-track accident insurance.
Jockeys' Guild officials asked the Kentucky Horse Racing Authority Monday to consider a proposal regarding the adoption of new safety reins for jockeys they said better withstand tension and frequent use and could prevent accidents.
The California Horse Racing Board has forwarded documentation to the Jockeys' Guild pertaining to 12 cases in which California riders claim the national organization has not paid their covered medical bills.
The Jockeys' Guild got a lot of sympathy but no immediate action from the Illinois Racing Board Tuesday on the issues of medical insurance and the scale of weights.
In the ongoing battle over Jockeys' Guild medical coverage for California riders, the state horse racing board directed its staff to begin a forensic audit of the national organization's health care records.
Jockeys' Guild officials asked the Kentucky Horse Racing Authority March 21 to consider a new scale of weights for jockeys that would require a minimum body weight of 118 pounds without equipment and a minimum body fat requirement of 5%.
The Jockeys' Guild said March 7 it plans a legal response to a lawsuit filed by Churchill Downs Inc., but in the meantime the organization has accused CDI of "union-busting" and of attacking all jockeys, not just Guild members.
The Jockeys' Guild paid $448,000 to Matrix Capital Associates in 2003, according to a financial report the Guild filed Feb. 11 with the U.S. Department of Labor.
On the heels of action taken by the California Horse Racing Board, the Jockeys' Guild plans to make recommendations to regulators in Kentucky and New York on changes in the scale of weights.
Recent reports that jockeys in many states don't have sufficient benefits to cover costs of catastrophic injuries sustained in riding accidents prompted some pointed remarks to a Jockey's Guild representative during the California Horse Racing Board Dec. 2 meeting at Hollywood Park.
The national push for upgraded medical insurance for jockeys could be impacted by turmoil at the Jockeys' Guild, whose members apparently aren't all on the same page in terms of a strategy going forward.
The Jockeys' Guild, in the wake of the ejection of 15 riders by Churchill Downs, has targeted the racetrack and the state of Kentucky in a rapidly developing conflict over what the Guild believes is inadequate medical insurance in many racing states.
The California Horse Racing Board should hold off on changing the jockey scale of weights until a national effort can institute uniform standards across the country, racing representatives told the board during its meeting July 22 at the Del Mar simulcast facilty.
The commissioners of the California Horse Racing Board have scheduled a May 18 hearing to consider the appeal of jockey Patrick Valenzuela.
The issue of how jockeys are paid surfaced during the National Horsemen's Benevolent and Protective Association winter convention in New Orleans, and apparently it has created some conflict in some racing jurisdictions around the country.
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