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Guild Calls Insurance Report 'Wholly Inadequate'

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.

CDI Secures $1 Million Policy for Jockeys

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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.

Congressional Subcommittee Requests Guild Documents

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.

Churchill Sues Guild, Cuts Off Contributions

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.

Long-Term Solutions Sought on Insurance

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 Panel Proposes Workers' Comp Fund

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.

West Virginia Purses Would Help Pay Comp Debt

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.

Jockeys' Guild, California Regulators Clash

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.

Delaware Seeks Answers From Guild About King

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.

Report: Guild Revenue Down 31% in 2003

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.

McCarron: Plenty of Lost Sleep Over Guild

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.

Gertmenian: Tracks, Not Guild, Would Fuel 'War'

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.

TRA Wants Jockeys' Guild to Account for Funds

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.

Guild Extends Matrix Capital Contract Through 2009

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.

Fund Overseers Confident New Plan Can Work

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.

Despite Increasing Controversy, Guild Seeks Solidarity

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.

Ex-Guild Manager: Jockeys Must Take Reins

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.

Insurance Panel Hopes to Expedite Recommendations

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.

Guild Official: Industry Must Deal With 'Dr. G.'

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.

Tracks Line Up Riders; Panel Hopes to Keep Focus

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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.

Guild's Insurance Strategy Remains Unclear

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.

Long Memories

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.

Hoosier Ejects Jockeys, Guild Officials Over Walkout

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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.

Legislators: Insurance Law Would Take Time

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.

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