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.
A bill that would increase riding fees for California jockeys and tie future hikes to the state's minimum wage law cleared the Assembly Governmental Organization Committee April 25.
Hall of Fame jockeys took questions from racing fans and signed autographs at Keeneland in an April 18 event that supported the Permanently Disabled Jockeys' Fund.
Delaware Park jockeys will be entitled to a $2-million on-track accident insurance policy--twice the industry standard--and pay a mount fee toward their premiums in what is being called a precedent-setting agreement.
Orange County, Calif., building contractor Michael Bello, owner of multiple stakes winner Megahertz, is donating $58,000 to the Permanently Disabled Jockeys' Fund and another $250,000 to assist the Jockeys' Guild
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.
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