Jockeys riding in Kentucky are seeking an increase in losing mount fees â€" those paid for finishing fourth or worse in a race â€" and have been unable to reach an agreement with horsemen, according to representatives of the Jockeys' Guild who attended the monthly Kentucky Horse Racing Commission meeting Jan. 6.
Losing mount fees for jockeys riding at Turf Paradise will be increased beginning January 1, 2009.
Jockeys from a majority of the leading tracks in the United States gathered in Las Vegas in the past two days to hear updates on Jockeys' Guild initiatives at the annual meeting of the Guild.
A Kentucky federal judge has confirmed the reorganization plan which will allow the Jockeys' Guild to emerge from bankruptcy, a little more than 13 months after the protective action was taken, and just days before the group's annual national assembly in Las Vegas.
Jockeys who ride regularly in New Jersey could begin receiving an annual grant of $150,000 to help pay for health insurance if a deal is finalized during a December meeting between the New Jersey Racing Commission and the Jockeys' Guild.
Confirmation of a plan allowing the Jockeys' Guild to emerge from bankruptcy was delayed for at least a couple of weeks during a Nov. 17 hearing in a Kentucky federal court, but the judge presiding over the Chapter 11 reorganization said he expects to approve the necessary order when it crosses his desk.
The New York Racing Association has put into place the InCompass Solutions' Jockey Health Information System and its own Jockey Medical Advocate Program.
InCompass Solutions announced Oct. 10 hat it had launched the Jockey Health Information System, a database that will store jockeys' updated medical histories and make it possible for emergency medical personnel at racetracks to instantly access that information in the event of injury.
Requiring safety reins, a move strongly endorsed by the Jockeys' Guild, will be the subject of a public hearing to be held by the California Horse Racing Board during its regular monthly meeting at Fairplex Park on Sept. 18.
A Jockeys' Guild official was verbally barred from River Downs after the Ohio State Racing Commission was notified of an incident in which the track's substitute ambulance caught fire on the racetrack and a pickup truck was used for emergency services for the final two races of a program.
The Pennsylvania Horsemen's Benevolent and Protective Association has reached an agreement with the Jockeys' Guild and Jockeys at Penn National Inc. to increase the minimum losing mount fee to $75 for all finishes below third-place.
Jockeys at Fairmount Park received a mount-fee increase through the Illinois Horsemen's Benevolent and Protective Association, which represents horsemen at the track.
Jockeys honored the memory of Eight Belles by wearing stickers on their boots or mud pants May 16 and 17 at Pimlico, which was hosting the 133rd running of the Preakness Stakes (gr. I) and a variety of other graded races.
At a news conference held in the press box at Pimlico Race Course May 16, a check for $500,000 was presented by NetJets to the Permanently Disabled Jockeys Fund. On hand at the event were jockeys John Velazquez, chairman of the Jockeys' Guild; top rider Edgar Prado; disabled rider Jackie Fires; and Alex Waldrop, president of NTRA Charities.
A Kentucky Derby Day promotion facilitated by NetJets, the Jockeys' Guild, Churchill Downs, and the Thoroughbred Owners and Breeders Association has raised $500,000 to benefit the NTRA Charities - Permanently Disabled Jockeys Fund. Jockey John Velazquez will present the gift to representatives of the fund the morning of May 16 at Pimlico Race Course.
NetJets, Inc. announced May 2 that it will sponsor each jockey "running for the roses" at this year's Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands, held on Saturday, May 3, 2008.
Keeneland and the Jockeys' Guild, along with Lexington physician Dr. Barry Schumer, have formulated a plan to develop a national system to maintain updated medical histories of jockeys.
Two days after the Jockeys' Guild filed a formal plan of reorganization in its Chapter 11 bankruptcy, the U.S. Trustee overseeing the action dropped the group's former national manager Wayne Gertmenian from the unsecured creditors committee.
A federal bankruptcy judge recently signed an order paving the way for Churchill Downs Inc. to make a contractual payment of nearly $150,000 to the Jockeys' Guild, which will use the money to pay medical and insurance bills.
The New York Thoroughbred Horsemen's Association (NYTHA) and the Jockeys' Guild have agreed to a new scale of mount fees for jockeys at tracks run by the New York Racing Association which will take effect April 2, the Guild announced in a March 8 press release.
While unveiling what he called the framework of a Thoroughbred franchise agreement, Senate Majority Leader Joseph Bruno blasted the New York Racing Association Feb. 7 for attempting to scare its workers and horsemen by threatening a shutdown Feb. 14.
A federal judge presiding over the Jockeys' Guild bankruptcy proceedings denied a request to move the case to California Jan. 29, saying Kentucky was the right place for the group to reorganize its operations.
Meeting in Florida Jan. 18, representatives of the Jockeys' Guild and the Miami Project to Cure Paralysis said they will partner to develop standard programs for on-track treatment of spinal and brain injuries suffered by jockeys and exercise riders.
Churchill Downs Inc. has asked a federal bankruptcy court to ensure funds its member tracks contribute to the Jockeys' Guild be used for their intended purposes and not for other needs the financially-troubled organization may choose.
Jockeys in California are wearing plastic safety visors to protect their faces from harsh kickback as racing at Santa Anita continues despite the track's surface problems.
A group of New York jockeys is asking all parties in the ongoing negotiations for the New York racing franchise to come up with creative solutions to the problems facing the industry.
The California Horse Racing Board gave the go-ahead Nov. 29 to begin forming a trust to oversee a new jockeys' health insurance program in the state beginning Jan. 1, 2008.
The largest creditors in the Jockeys' Guild bankruptcy case are two past national managers now involved in legal proceedings against the organization, and both have been selected as part of a five-member committee made up of creditors with significant claims against the Guild.
The first gathering of membership since the Jockeys' Guild filed for chapter 11 bankruptcy protection will take place Dec. 2-4 in Louisville, with an update on the financial and legal status of the organization expected from Guild leaders.
- By Dan Liebman
By - Dan Liebman - In some ways, jockeys are no different than coal miners, oil-rig workers, and police and firemen. There is inherent risk in their everyday job. But you can't think about the risk. To dwell on it would make the job impossible to perform.
The financially troubled Jockeys' Guild has slightly more assets than liabilities, but projects a working monthly deficit of nearly $120,000, according to documents filed Nov. 26 in compliance with the group's bankruptcy protection action.
The Jockeys' Guild is encouraging members to secure their own health insurance as the current policy, the organization's self-funded program, may be terminated as soon as Dec. 31. Meanwhile, Guild officials met with industry representatives Nov. 13 at Keeneland Race Course to seek emergency financial support.
By - John Velazquez - Recently, the Jockeys' Guild has taken two critical actions we believe will strengthen the organization for the long term. In addition, the state of California has enacted legislation vital to jockeys and the Guild.
The prominent insurance companies American International Group (AIG) and Maroevich, O'Shea & Coghlan (MOC) Insurance Services have each made significant donations to the NTRA Charities Permanently Disabled Jockeys Fund in the past few weeks, the National Thoroughbred Racing Association (NTRA) announced Nov. 1.
- By Claire Novak
A federal agency published a paper Oct. 29 on its Web site that raises concerns about new occupation health risks for jockeys.
Exposure to lead from saddle weights and to residue from synthetic surfaces were among several concerns raised on a new topic page about jockeys' safety posted by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) on their Web site, the Department of Health and Human Services division reported Oct. 29.
The Jockeys' Guild, which filed for bankruptcy protection Oct. 12 under chapter 11 of the federal bankruptcy code, is relocating its business office to Lexington, said the organization's national manager Terry Meyocks.
Two separate pieces of legislation passed by both houses of the California legislature and signed by Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger provide for an increase in mount fees for jockeys as well as a contribution to a pension plan for riders.
The Jockeys' Guild has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Louisville, according to an Oct. 12 release.
With the state trial of Dr. Wayne Gertmenian, former manager of the Jockeys' Guild, set to begin Oct. 16 in a Los Angeles County Superior Court, the embattled organization is reportedly considering bankruptcy protection as a remedy to its financial troubles.
Terry Meyocks, a former official with the New York Racing Association and National Thoroughbred Racing Association, was officially named national manager of the Jockeys' Guild Sept. 6.
Dwight Manley has announced his resignation as the Jockey's Guild national manager, it was announced Sept. 5, a position expected to be filled by industry veteran Terry Meyocks.
New Mexico became the second state to adopt a "safety reins" rule when the New Mexico Racing Commission approved the measure Aug. 21. The Ohio State Racing Commission adopted a similar rule in March.
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.
Richard Mena has been named the Jockeys' Guild chaplain by the organization's board of directors.
Dana Parham, a Thoroughbred racing fan and Standardbred owner and breeder, has made a contribution of $250,000 to the NTRA Charities' Permanently Disabled Jockeys Fund (PDJF).
After refusing to support a proposed increase in jockey mount fees, horsemen in Illinois called an emergency meeting June 22 to further discuss the issue as presented by the Jockeys' Guild, then canceled the meeting.
Temporary disability benefits for members of the Jockeys' Guild will increase beginning June 1, according to an open letter distributed to Guild members May 15.
Two congressmen introduced legislation May 4 that would provide injury insurance for jockeys and others who work in horse racing, but last year the proposal was met with stiff resistance from groups in the racing industry.
Organizers of the Mint Jubilee Derby-Eve Gala announced today that bids for the saddle worn by Barbaro in the 2006 Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I) will be accepted from interested buyers from both inside and outside the venue.
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