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