The Jockeys' Guild, in a Dec. 15 press release, indicated its proposed slate of directors for the Disabled Jockeys' Endowment was rejected, and that associates of former president Dr. Wayne Gertmenian were named to oversee the fund.
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.
An organization first discussed last year to assist jockeys and exercise riders who suffer serious injuries was officially launched with its first board of directors meeting Oct. 28 at Belmont Park.
A permanently disabled jockey that claimed the Jockeys' Guild wasn't reimbursing him for medical and Guild-related expenses because of his public criticism of Guild management has been partially compensated.
Gary Donahue, who is a party to a lawsuit against The Jockeys' Guild, said Monday the organization has replaced him in his unpaid position as co-chairman of the Disabled Jockeys' Fund.
Thoroughbred industry participants are formulating a plan to create a foundation that would assist not only disabled jockeys, but others who work on the backstretch in the event of on-the-job injuries.
Former jockeys associated with the Disabled Jockeys' Fund, which will be terminated at the end of the year, on Dec. 6 said they're comfortable with a plan by the Jockeys' Guild to make payments to disabled riders from the Guild's primary account.
The former national manager of the Jockeys' Guild, ousted in 2001 in what he said was akin to a "terrorist attack," believes disabled riders are the real victims in the ongoing conflict over finances and the impending discontinuance of the Disabled Jockeys' Fund. He called on jockeys to take control of the situation.
The Belmont Ball, hosted by the New York Racing Association on June 6 at Belmont Park, raised more than $150,000 for the Grayson-Jockey Club Research Foundation.
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