A governor-appointed panel to study and resolve jockey insurance issues in Kentucky met for the first time June 27 to begin work on a statewide workers' compensation recommendation for lawmakers.
Several industry organizations are the latest to be asked for information in connection with an inquiry by the United States House Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations into the health and safety of jockeys, exercise riders, and backstretch workers.
The Jockeys' Guild has responded to a request by a United States Congressional subcommittee related to its management, accounting and oversight of funds, but the information produced by the California-based Guild won't be available until the week of May 10.
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.
The NTRA Jockey Accident Insurance Working Group, in a report that appears mostly advisory in nature, has suggested all segments of the racing industry, including jockeys, help pay for additional insurance coverage for riders.
Churchill Downs Inc. has finalized agreements with AIG Insurance to provide $1 million in on-track insurance coverage for jockeys who compete at CDI racetracks located in states where jockeys are not currently covered by workers' compensation programs.
A. U.S. Congressional subcommittee has asked the Jockeys' Guild to provide documents related to the Guild's management, accounting, and oversight of funds as well as information regarding Guild action relating to health insurance policies for on-track accident coverage.
The Thoroughbred Owners and Breeders Association will consider a proposal April 18 for a contract between owners and jockeys one official said is designed to protect both parties.
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.
Churchill Downs Incorporated has signed an agreement with AIG Insurance to provide $1 million in on-track insurance coverage for jockeys who compete at Fair Grounds Race Course in New
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.
Churchill Downs Inc. has cut off its voluntary financial contributions to the Jockeys' Guild and has sued the organization over what it believes were violations of federal and state law when jockeys opted not to ride last fall at Churchill Downs and Hoosier Park.
Though racing companies and racetracks in major jurisdictions have taken steps to increase minimum insurance benefits for jockeys injured on track, an industry working group continues to look for long-term solutions and expand the coverage to all tracks.
Kentucky's racetracks have agreed to work to secure $1 million in on-track medical insurance coverage for jockeys.
A group of California jockeys formally announced Feb. 3 they have formed a non-profit organization to "to improve the health, welfare, and economic status of the jockey community."
The Kentucky Horse Racing Authority, in a race against the legislative clock, moved Feb. 2 to submit recommendations to Gov. Ernie Fletcher for creation of a workers' compensation fund that would cover jockeys and exercise riders at racetracks and some training facilities.
Gulfstream Park has increased its on-track medical insurance for jockeys from $100,000 to $500,000 through the end of its current meet, which concludes April 24.
Representatives of horsemen's groups are working in the West Virginia capital of Charleston to fend off an effort by Gov. Joe Manchin to take $5 million from purse accounts at each of the state's four racetracks to help pay off a $3-billion debt in the state workers' compensation program.
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.
- By Jack Shinar
Jockeys' Guild attorney Barry Broad said Jan. 20 he hoped to have legislation introduced this year that would prevent individuals with financial interest in the business from serving on the California Horse Racing Board.
The Delaware Thoroughbred Racing Commission has asked the Jockeys' Guild to explain why Eddie King, the former Guild treasurer who met the criteria to be enrolled in a health insurance plan for Delaware jockeys, is having trouble getting back into the plan for 2005.
The Jockeys' Guild generated $2.1 million less revenue in 2003 than in 2002, according to a 2003 financial report the Guild filed in December with the U.S. Department of Labor. Total revenue declined 31% from $6.8 million in 2002 to $4.7 million in 2003, according to the document.
Hall of Fame jockey Chris McCarron said he has "lost a tremendous amount of sleep" over the ongoing Jockeys' Guild conflict but is hopeful it will be resolved to the benefit of riders and the racing industry at large.
Shane Sellers may be giving up his career as a jockey, but he intends to remain quite involved with industry issues pertaining to jockeys.
Jockey Shane Sellers, who has won more than 4,000 races in his career, will officially announce his retirement from riding Dec. 15, according to a release from the Jockeys' Guild.
The chief executive officer of the Jockeys' Guild has reiterated his calls for cooperation from the racing industry, and indicated the tracks, not the Guild, would be responsible should there be what he called a "war" between the two industry factions.
The Thoroughbred Racing Associations will ask the Jockeys' Guild to explain how it spends the $2.2 million a year it gives the Guild in exchange for their claim to media rights, TRA president Joe Harper said Dec. 9 after the organization met in Tucson, Ariz.
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.
The Jockeys' Guild wrapped up its annual assembly Dec. 7 with the announcement that the contract of Matrix Capital Associates, headed by Dr. Wayne Gertmenian, has been extended through 2009. In addition, jockey Kent Desormeaux, who has said he was conducting due diligence into Guild business practices, failed to win re-election to the Guild senate and no longer sits on the executive committee.
The Jockeys' Guild began its annual meeting Dec. 6 with a call for solidarity -- even in the face of the dismissal of member Eddie King, who had sued the organization -- and a call for members not to talk to the press.
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.
As the Jockeys' Guild prepares for its annual meeting in Irving, Texas, Dec. 6-7, organization management is under increasing fire from the racing industry and some of its own members. Still, the Guild appears poised to make a case for solidarity, and it remains to be seen whether substantial change will come about during the two-day meeting.
A claim filed by jockey Shane Sellers with the National Labor Relations Board in connection with his removal from Churchill Downs Nov. 7 has been withdrawn, an NLRB official confirmed Dec. 2.
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 National Thoroughbred Racing Association Jockeys' Medical Insurance Panel has identified several consensus points and hopes to have recommendations in place by Dec. 31, officials said after the panel's first meeting Nov. 22 at Turfway Park in Kentucky.
The Kentucky Racing Authority formed a committee at its Nov. 22 meeting to study jockey insurance and to provide recommendations to Gov. Ernie Fletcher on whether or not some form of worker's compensation insurance for jockeys is needed.
A top official with the Jockeys' Guild has questioned the purpose of a new task force on insurance and indicated a resolution wouldn't be reached until the industry recognizes it must deal with Dr. Wayne Gertmenian, president and chief executive officer of the Guild.
As two more winter Thoroughbred meets prepare to open, management is lining up commitments from jockeys in the wake of walkouts at Churchill Downs and Hoosier Park. Meanwhile, members of an insurance task force that will meet for the first time Nov. 22 hope to maintain focus and expedite recommendations.
Specialty Insurance has agreed to be the newest partner with Kirk Horse Insurance in the writing of equine policies.
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.
John W. Greathouse Jr. - The jockeys at Churchill Downs and Hoosier Park who recently chose to sit out the meet over insurance issues have made a grievous mistake. And don't think for one second that the trainers and owners will soon forget what these riders did.
The National Thoroughbred Racing Association working group on insurance, members of which were named Nov. 16, will hold its first meeting Nov. 22.
Hoosier Park in Indiana lost its entire 12-race card the evening of Nov. 12 after all but a few members of the jockey colony refused to ride. The jockeys are protesting over what they believe is a lack of adequate medical insurance, and they also called on the track to install a safety rail.
The Florida Horsemen's Benevolent and Protective Association, whose board of directors has considered leaving the National HBPA since earlier this year, made it official Nov. 11.
Two Kentucky legislators with ties to the horse racing industry indicated Nov. 10 that any effort get workers' compensation insurance for jockeys through the state General Assembly would take plenty of homework and perhaps a lot of time.
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 National Thoroughbred Racing Association announced Monday it will form a working group to look into the issue of jockey medical insurance coverage. The panel will be chaired by the NTRA's Terry Meyocks.
The National Thoroughbred Racing Association has formed a working group to study the issue of medical insurance for jockeys.
The conflict over adequate medical insurance for jockeys continued to escalate Nov. 7 when Churchill Downs escorted several riders from the grounds after they refused to accept mounts for the Nov. 11 program.
As concern over the amount of medical insurance for jockeys at most racetracks continues to grow, Breeders' Cup and the National Thoroughbred Racing Association announced Oct. 22 that it has arranged for increase coverage at Lone Star Park Oct. 28-30.
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