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.
The Jockeys' Guild has responded to a request by a United States Congressional subcommittee related to its management, accounting and oversight of funds, but the information produced by the California-based Guild won't be available until the week of May 10.
Ignoring a warning from a Jockeys' Guild attorney that it is taking "a death crawl towards nothing," the California Horse Racing Board declined to increase the minimum amount of weight a horse must carry.
The Jockeys' Guild has slammed a report issued by the National Thoroughbred Racing Association Jockey Accident Insurance Working Group, claiming it serves to facilitate the agenda of racetracks and ignores exercise riders. The Guild also takes issue with a recommendation that jockeys help pay the cost of upgraded on-track accident insurance.
The NTRA Jockey Accident Insurance Working Group, in a report that appears mostly advisory in nature, has suggested all segments of the racing industry, including jockeys, help pay for additional insurance coverage for riders.
A. U.S. Congressional subcommittee has asked the Jockeys' Guild to provide documents related to the Guild's management, accounting, and oversight of funds as well as information regarding Guild action relating to health insurance policies for on-track accident coverage.
Officials of Churchill Downs Inc. announced Wednesday the company has withdrawn its motion for a preliminary injunction against the Jockeys' Guild after the two parties agreed to an order that member jockeys would not boycott races at CDI-owned tracks.
Jockeys' Guild officials asked the Kentucky Horse Racing Authority Monday to consider a proposal regarding the adoption of new safety reins for jockeys they said better withstand tension and frequent use and could prevent accidents.
Commissioner Richard Shapiro Thursday backpedaled on comments released by the California Horse Racing Board on Wednesday, saying he did not mean to pre-judge the national Jockeys' Guild nor imply he favored one jockeys' organization over another.
Nick Jemas, former jockey and Jockeys' Guild executive director, died April 14 at the age of 86.
The California Horse Racing Board has forwarded documentation to the Jockeys' Guild pertaining to 12 cases in which California riders claim the national organization has not paid their covered medical bills.
The Thoroughbred Owners and Breeders Association will consider a proposal April 18 for a contract between owners and jockeys one official said is designed to protect both parties.
The Jockeys' Guild got a lot of sympathy but no immediate action from the Illinois Racing Board Tuesday on the issues of medical insurance and the scale of weights.
The Jockeys' Guild, in an answer and counterclaim filed March 24 in United States District Court for the western district of Kentucky, charges Churchill Downs Inc. used "exploitative tactics" in dealing with jockeys at company-owned Churchill Downs and Hoosier Park.
In the ongoing battle over Jockeys' Guild medical coverage for California riders, the state horse racing board directed its staff to begin a forensic audit of the national organization's health care records.
Jockeys' Guild officials asked the Kentucky Horse Racing Authority March 21 to consider a new scale of weights for jockeys that would require a minimum body weight of 118 pounds without equipment and a minimum body fat requirement of 5%.
Leaders of the Jockeys' Guild and Teamsters Union met Wednesday in San Diego to discuss how the two organizations can work together to advance the mutual interests of their members in the horseracing industry.
The Jockeys' Guild said March 7 it plans a legal response to a lawsuit filed by Churchill Downs Inc., but in the meantime the organization has accused CDI of "union-busting" and of attacking all jockeys, not just Guild members.
Churchill Downs Inc. has cut off its voluntary financial contributions to the Jockeys' Guild and has sued the organization over what it believes were violations of federal and state law when jockeys opted not to ride last fall at Churchill Downs and Hoosier Park.
The Jockeys' Guild paid $448,000 to Matrix Capital Associates in 2003, according to a financial report the Guild filed Feb. 11 with the U.S. Department of Labor.
On the heels of action taken by the California Horse Racing Board, the Jockeys' Guild plans to make recommendations to regulators in Kentucky and New York on changes in the scale of weights.
For the second time in less than nine months, the California Horse Racing Board approved a 45-day public comment period for a series of rule changes that would replace the scale of weights assigned to horses starting in the state.
A group of California jockeys formally announced Feb. 3 they have formed a non-profit organization to "to improve the health, welfare, and economic status of the jockey community."
A permanently disabled jockey that claimed the Jockeys' Guild wasn't reimbursing him for medical and Guild-related expenses because of his public criticism of Guild management has been partially compensated.
A vice president for the national Jockeys' Guild said Tuesday that he supports efforts by riders in California to form a separate organization to manage its health insurance coverage.
A permanently disabled jockey who is part of a lawsuit against the Jockeys' Guild said the Guild office has refused to communicate with him and reimburse him for more than $3,800 in medical and Guild-related expenses.
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