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.
Nine racetracks have increased their minimum on-track accident insurance for jockeys to $500,000 or $1 million since a Nov. 17, 2005 Congressional subcommittee hearing at which lawmakers examined jockey health, welfare, and safety issues.
By Chris McCarron - I was a jockey for 28 years and I will always think like a jockey and do what I can to support my brethren. I consider my allegiance to the jockeys very important and I trust the jockeys who know me feel I have lived up to that.
Mountaineer Race Track & Gaming Resort has increased its on-track catastrophic injury coverage for jockeys from $100,000 to $1 million through Dec. 17, 2006.
The Jockeys' Guild, in a Dec. 15 press release, indicated its proposed slate of directors for the Disabled Jockeys' Endowment was rejected, and that associates of former president Dr. Wayne Gertmenian were named to oversee the fund.
An internal investigation conducted by new Jockeys' Guild leadership reveals nearly $2.1 million was spent using funds that were earmarked for other purposes during former Guild president Dr. Wayne Gertmenian's tenure, according to a Guild press release issued Thursday.
Racetrack officials met with the new leadership of the Jockeys' Guild Dec. 1 to discuss "issues of mutual concern," according to a Guild release.
In a further attempt to cut ties with former Jockeys' Guild president Dr. Wayne Gertmenian and his consulting firm Matrix Capital Associates, the Guild, under its new management, moved offices this week.
Injured jockey Gary Birzer has filed a $10-million lawsuit against the Jockeys' Guild and two former officers stemming from his accident at Mountaineer Race Track in 2004, according to the Los Angeles Times.
A day after a 16-year-old apprentice jockey died in a racing accident at an Ohio track, racing officials and representatives from horsemen's groups met Thursday before a Congressional subcommittee to report on their ongoing efforts in addressing safety, health and welfare issues for jockeys and their perspectives on on-track injury insurance.
Soon after the Jockeys' Guild senate elected a new board that voted to terminate the management contract of Matrix Capital Associations Nov. 15, a few Guild members and employees were involved in an altercation with deposed management representatives at the Guild office in Monrovia, Calif.
Jockeys took back the reins of the Jockeys' Guild Tuesday when they voted to remove Guild president Dr. Wayne Gertmenian from his post, terminate the Guild's relationship with Gertmenian's consulting firm, Matrix Capital Associates, and appoint Guild national member representative Darrell Haire as temporary national manager of the organization.
As members of the Jockeys' Guild senate attempt to get a handle on the organization's financial situation and prepare for a possible vote on a management change, embattled president Dr. Wayne Gertmenian indicated he intended to follow through on a promise to Guild members that he wouldn't quit.
A growing number of jockeys across the United States are demanding the immediate resignation of Wayne Gertmenian president and CEO of the Jockeys' Guild and the termination of any relationship with his management company Matrix Capital Associates.
Members of the permanently disabled Jockeys' Guild has issued an open letter to David Sheppard, chairman of the board of the Jockeys' Guild, as well as guild members, and several media outlets, including The Blood-Horse, requesting the resignation of Wayne Gertemanian and the reinstatement of John Giovanni.
Darrell Haire, one of the more recognizable faces of the Jockeys' Guild as a national member representative who often appears at industry meetings on behalf of riders, on Nov. 9 called for the immediate resignation of Guild president Dr. Wayne Gertmenian.
California Horse Racing Board commissioner Richard Shapiro plans to testify about the Jockeys' Guild before a U.S. House of Representatives subcommittee on Nov. 17.
Members of the U.S. House of Representatives are calling on the National Labor Relations Board and the National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health to take action to protect jockeys, exercise riders, and others who work with racehorses.
Members of the Jockeys' Guild senate have called a special meeting for Nov. 15 to decide whether to remove the current board of directors, elect a new board, and replace the management team headed by Dr. Wayne Gertmenian and his company, Matrix Capital Associates. The jockeys who issued the release left little doubt they want a change.
A labor lobbyist and lawyer in Sacramento, Calif. who has represented the Jockeys' Guild for 11 years dropped the organization as a client Oct. 21 after its management came under sharp criticism at a Congressional sub-committee hearing earlier in the month.
An organization first discussed last year to assist jockeys and exercise riders who suffer serious injuries was officially launched with its first board of directors meeting Oct. 28 at Belmont Park.
The board of directors of the Jockeys' Guild will begin examining the organization's financial records at its office in Southern California, but members haven't made a decision on the status of Matrix Capital Associates, the entity that manages the Guild.
Jockeys' Guild board chairman David Shepherd said he will bring a neutral position on the organization's leadership, specifically president and CEO Wayne Gertmenian, when the board conducts a teleconference meeting as early as Tuesday evening.
- By Ray Paulick
By Ray Paulick - Wayne Gertmenian, the president and CEO of the Jockeys' Guild, is a bully who finally met his match in the halls of Congress.
Bloodhorse.com has posted the written materials submitted by 12 of the 13 individuals who testified under oath before the U.S. House of Representatives' Committee on Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigation on the subject of "Thoroughbred Horse Racing Jockeys and Workers: Examining On-Track Injury Insurance and Other Health and Welfare Issues."
How much weight does a horse actually carry in a race? No matter what the program says, nobody seems to know for sure. The California Horse Racing Board hopes an ad hoc committee can help revamp pre-race weigh-in practices.
A Congressional hearing has been set for Oct. 18 as part of an ongoing investigation into the Jockey's Guild regarding management practices and finances.
U.S. Congress issued two subpoenas Tuesday for Jockeys' Guild president Wayne Gertmenian as part of an ongoing investigation into the organization headed up by U.S. Rep. Ed Whitfield.
"Shannon Campbell Day" at Charles Town Races & Slots raised more than $75,000 to aid the jockey who was paralyzed in a racing accident at the West Virginia track.
A U.S Congressional subcommittee has deemed the Jockeys' Guild efforts to fulfill a subcommittee request for information and documents related to the Guild's management and fiscal activities inadequate.
After meeting with state racing industry executives, the national Jockeys' Guild has amended California legislation originally designed to establish heavier minimum riding weights in favor of setting parameters for a national peer review study of jockey health issues.
The embattled Jockeys' Guild was not at fault in the handling of California rider medical insurance claims that were reportedly unpaid or sent to a collection agency, the executive director of the state's horse racing board said in a statement released May 24.
The Jockeys' Guild has provided documentation requested by a United States Congressional subcommittee regarding Guild management, finances, and actions related to health insurance policies for its members.
Several industry organizations are the latest to be asked for information in connection with an inquiry by the United States House Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations into the health and safety of jockeys, exercise riders, and backstretch workers.
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