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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 - 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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.