The Jockeys' Guild wants Churchill Downs Inc. to come to the table to discuss reinstatement of roughly $330,000 the racing and gaming company has paid annually to support insurance for jockeys.
The Jockeys' Guild is bringing five disabled jockeys to the Breeders' Cup World Championships.
Jockey Michael Martinez was discharged from the Santa Clara Valley Rehabilitation Center in San Jose Nov. 19, 68 days after being critically injured in a spill at Golden Gate Fields.
Orange County, Calif., building contractor Michael Bello, owner of multiple stakes winner Megahertz, is donating $58,000 to the Permanently Disabled Jockeys' Fund and another $250,000 to assist the Jockeys' Guild
The Florida Horsemen's Benevolent and Protective Association is contributing $23,000 to the Permanently Disabled Jockeys Fund, but not without voicing displeasure with the Jockeys' Guild.
Jockeys' Guild officials suggested the inability of the industry to thus far sufficiently support the Permanently Disabled Jockeys Fund could turn into a public relations nightmare for horse racing.
The launch of the Permanently Disabled Jockeys Fund is a clear sign the relationship between jockeys and other industry groups is improving, but they remain at odds over a proposal by some members of Congress to amend the Interstate Horseracing Act to provide insurance for jockeys and others who make their living at the racetrack.
A permanently disabled jockey who is part of a lawsuit against the Jockeys' Guild said the Guild office has refused to communicate with him and reimburse him for more than $3,800 in medical and Guild-related expenses.
The Jockeys' Guild wants the racing community to help build a $10 million endowment that will provide long-term support for its disabled jockeys program
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