Churchill Downs Inc. and the Jockeys' Guild announced settlement March 21 of legal claims filed against each other in U.S. District Court related to jockey boycotts of races at two Churchill Downs-owned racetracks in November 2004.
The California Horse Racing Board will begin enforcing a regulation prohibiting the use of front toe grabs exceeding four millimeters in length after commissioners voted Feb. 22 to reverse their decision last month to ignore the rule.
- By Ray Paulick
By Ray Paulick - I had to go all the way to Dubai to hear a panel discussion about how racing officials in various American jurisdictions have different interpretations about the most basic rules infraction.
The head of California's trainer association labeled "ridiculous" a Jockeys' Guild petition seeking payment on a rider's behalf from a trainer whose winning horse was later disqualified because of a positive drug test.
The Jockeys' Guild has launched a federal and state legislative agenda for 2007 aimed at improving pay and other benefits for riders.
The Jockeys' Guild has filed a petition with the California Horse Racing Board asking that a jockey be paid his share of the purse from a Bay Meadows race in which his mount was later disqualified for a drug positive.
The Jockeys' Guild is protesting the banning of jockeys at racetracks in Florida and Pennsylvania and said the tracks have a "constitutional obligation" to let the riders return to work.
Philadelphia Park Jockeys and a labor union are exploring other options after a state entity rejected the group's petition to have union representation.
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.
Officials close to a decision by Tampa Bay Downs to ban jockeys from its grounds is related to a race run at Great Lakes Downs this past summer.
Former jockey Heriberto "Herbie" Rivera Jr., winner of more than 3,200 races during his 23-year career, has been appointed an East Coast regional manager of the 1,300-member Jockeys' Guild.
Representatives of horsemen's groups criticized for not supporting the Permanently Disabled Jockeys Fund questioned jockeys' support for the fund and said pursuit of legislation that would amend the Interstate Horseracing Act has damaged relations between horsemen and jockeys.
Jockeys in California, concerned over the rising costs of insurance offered by the national Jockeys' Guild, are looking elsewhere for alternative coverage, though they're continuing talks with Guild management, several California jockeys confirmed Dec. 12.
Members of the Jockeys' Guild are taking part in a health survey that could lead to federal funding for further studies and provide information necessary for legislative pursuits.
The Jockeys' Guild has asked the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board to consider the catastrophic on-track accident insurance policy at Philadelphia Park before it grants the racetrack a permanent license to operate slot machines.
The Jockeys' Guild has outlined a five-point plan for 2007 that primarily focuses on financial matters, but it also has made a strong call for solidarity among the membership and heightened political action in individual states and Washington, D.C.
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.
Eddie King, ousted as treasurer of the Jockeys' Guild in 2004 and later stripped of his membership for challenging the previous administration's financial dealings, said he has rejected the new leadership's attempt to bring him back into the fold.
The Jockeys' Guild has been named a member of the Unsecured Creditors Committee in the bankruptcy proceedings of the New York Racing Association.
They may not agree on how to get there, but industry representatives expressed willingness Oct. 17 to examine the jockey insurance issue and work together on solutions.
Several horse industry groups took a strong stand against legislation introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives Thursday that would divert revenue from simulcasting to state racing commissions to fund accident insurance for jockeys, exercise riders, and other racetrack workers.
The helmets arrived in the nick of time. The Kentucky Horse Racing Authority's new regulations on safety helmets for jockeys took effect with the Sept. 6 opening of Turfway Park, and three hours before the first post of 7 p.m. EDT, a shipment of regulation helmets hadn't arrived.
Retired jockey Laffit Pincay Jr. went to Sacramento, Calif., on Wednesday to plead for help for California's embattled racing industry and jockeys.
The Jockeys' Guild added a regional manager to its ranks Aug. 14 when Jeff Johnston became an employee of the organization only a day after he wrapped up his 20-year career as a jockey based in Kentucky and Ohio.
Dwight Manley, who just eight days ago signed a contract as the new national manager of The Jockeys' Guild, said on TVG Saturday afternoon that a settlement had been reached the previous evening with permanently disabled jockey Gary Birzer.
The Jockeys' Guild board met in a conference call with California sports agent Dwight Manley on Friday evening to accept his employment agreement to take over the top management post of the riders' organization.
The California Horse Racing Board turned its attention to jockey protection at its meeting July 20 at Del Mar, moving along one rule change that would make safety reins mandatory and a second that revises criteria for vest standards.
Jockeys at Philadelphia Park have asked state officials in Pennsylvania to assist them in their push to get a new catastrophic on-track accident insurance policy.
Jockey Alex Solis, who was instrumental in bringing sports agent and rare-coin collector Dwight Manley to the attention of the Jockeys' Guild, said he's committed to turning around the Guild and hopes to bring it back to prominence in the Thoroughbred industry.
- By Ray Paulick
By Ray Paulick - The Guild officers, convinced this time by California-based jockey Alex Solis in the Chris McCarron role, are in the process of hiring two racing outsiders to direct them: sports agent Dwight Manley, who became a millionaire by acquiring rare coins, and civil rights activist Rev. Jesse Jackson, whose integrity and credibility have never fully recovered from a scandal involving a mistress, a child out of wedlock, and questionable payments.
Jockeys' Guild chairman John Velazquez and other board members from the organization met Monday to discuss the June 26 selection of California sports agent Dwight Manley as the Guild's national manager. Velazquez, speaking about Guild issues for the first time since mid-June, said Tuesday the organization's main objective remains to work with horsemen in a positive manner.
Jockeys at two racetracks in the Mid-Atlantic region are taking a grassroots approach to representation given what they believe to be ongoing conflict at the Jockeys' Guild, which represents riders around the country.
The apparent hiring of the team of sports agent Dwight Manley and civil rights activist the Rev. Jesse Jackson as national manager has created uneasiness among some members of the Jockeys' Guild who put their support behind Dave Stevenson, a former rider and consultant with knowledge of the inner workings and politics of the pari-mutuel industry.
Jockeys' Guild officials are optimistic that the organization's finances will improve, but much hinges upon the resolution of lawsuits and payments by some jockeys for health insurance.
- By Tom LaMarra
Jockeys' Guild officials are optimistic the organization's finances will improve, but much hinges upon the resolution of lawsuits, payments by some jockeys for health insurance, and contributions from racetracks.
Jockeys must "leverage their share of power" in the horse racing industry and have the right to bargain collectively, the Rev. Jesse Jackson said June 26 as Jockeys' Guild leadership moved toward a decision on the individual or company that will serve as its national manager.
Many of the jockeys who were instrumental in overthrowing the controversial management team at the Jockeys' Guild last fall and moving the organization in a new direction were re-elected to the organization's senate after the ballots were counted June 5.
The Jockeys' Guild will have a better idea of its future direction June 5 after the ballots are counted in the election for 27 seats on the organization's senate.
A Maker's Mark barrelhead signed by Kentucky Derby (gr. I)-winning jockeys, including this year's winner, Edgar Prado, will be auctioned on eBay to benefit the Disabled Jockeys' Endowment and the James Graham Brown Cancer Center in Louisville.
An undisclosed agreement between Louisiana racetracks and the Jockeys' Guild caused the latter organization to take a neutral stand on a bill in the Louisiana Senate limiting the ability of riders to raise frivolous lawsuits.
The Jockeys' Guild election to replace its 27-member senate is under way. Ballots, in both English and Spanish, were sent to about 1,000 voting members and are due June 3.
Members of the Kentucky Horse Racing Authority plan to sit down with representatives of Gov. Ernie Fletcher's cabinet in the coming weeks to address concerns relating to the operating budget of the KHRA.
Eclipse Award-winning jockey John Velazquez said he would be in favor of an amendment to the Interstate Horseracing Act of 1978 that would provide workers' compensation insurance for jockeys, exercise riders, trainers, and backstretch workers.
Kentucky Derby winning jockeys Ira Hanford and Johnny Sellers will become the latest riders to lend their handprints to the Galt House Hotel & Suite's "Gallop to Glory" tribute to Kentucky Derby winning jockeys on May 3 at 10:30 a.m.
The Thoroughbred Racing Associations' members announced April 24 pledges of more than $250,000 in early commitment funds to aid the nation's permanently disabled jockeys.
Making sure there are qualified paramedics on hand at racetracks became a touchstone issue during a panel discussion Thursday afternoon during the Association for Racing Commissioners International conference.
The California Horse Racing Board approved an agreement March 23 that allows the strapped Jockeys Guild to receive its health and welfare program benefits in a much quicker fashion than in the past.
Industry officials have expressed some discomfort with a lawmaker's plan to introduce legislation that would amend the Interstate Horseracing Act of 1978 to provide funds for workers' compensation insurance for jockeys.
The Jockeys' Guild has reached a settlement in a pair of lawsuits filed by ousted Guild treasurer Eddie King and former Disabled Jockeys' Fund co-chairman Gary Donahue.
California Horse Racing Board chairman Richard Shapiro, during a talk at the Jockeys' Guild annual assembly, welcomed the Guild back into the "racing family" and congratulated them for making a management change in November 2005 that ended Wayne Gertmenian's 4 1/2-year tenure as president.
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