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Ride to Nowhere

Ride to Nowhere

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.

Written Testimony, Video Archive of Congressional Hearing on Jockeys

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."

CHRB Seeks Reality Check on Jockey Weight

CHRB Seeks Reality Check on Jockey Weight

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.

More Than $75,000 Raised for Paralyzed Jockey

"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.

Riding Weight Bill Amended in California

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.

Guild Not at Fault in California Rider Claims

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.

NTRA, Others Asked to Provide Information on Rider Issues

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.

Jockeys' Guild Responds to Congressional Request

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.

CHRB Rejects Increase in Jockey Weights

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.

Guild Calls Insurance Report 'Wholly Inadequate'

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.

Working Group Issues Insurance Conclusions

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.

Congressional Subcommittee Requests Guild Documents

Congressional Subcommittee Requests Guild Documents

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.

Guild Agrees to Not Boycott Churchill Tracks

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.

Guild Pushes Safety Reins Issue in Kentucky

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.

Shapiro Backs Off Guild Insurance Remarks

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.

Guild Files Counterclaim Over CDI Lawsuit

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.

CHRB Wants Closer Look at Guild's Records

CHRB Wants Closer Look at Guild's Records

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 and Teamsters Unite for Common Interests

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.

Guild: Churchill Lawsuit an 'Attack on All Jockeys'

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 Sues Guild, Cuts Off Contributions

Churchill Sues Guild, Cuts Off Contributions

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.

CHRB Takes Second Look at Jockey Weights

CHRB Takes Second Look at Jockey 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.

Jockeys' Guild, California Regulators Clash

Jockeys' Guild, California Regulators Clash

Jockeys' Guild attorney Barry Broad said Jan. 20 he hoped to have legislation introduced this year that would prevent individuals with financial interest in the business from serving on the California Horse Racing Board.

Jockeys' Guild, California Regulators Clash

Jockeys' Guild attorney Barry Broad said Jan. 20 he hoped to have legislation introduced this year that would prevent individuals with financial interest in the business from serving on the California Horse Racing Board.

Delaware Seeks Answers From Guild About King

The Delaware Thoroughbred Racing Commission has asked the Jockeys' Guild to explain why Eddie King, the former Guild treasurer who met the criteria to be enrolled in a health insurance plan for Delaware jockeys, is having trouble getting back into the plan for 2005.

Report: Guild Revenue Down 31% in 2003

Report: Guild Revenue Down 31% in 2003

The Jockeys' Guild generated $2.1 million less revenue in 2003 than in 2002, according to a 2003 financial report the Guild filed in December with the U.S. Department of Labor. Total revenue declined 31% from $6.8 million in 2002 to $4.7 million in 2003, according to the document.

McCarron: Plenty of Lost Sleep Over Guild

McCarron: Plenty of Lost Sleep Over Guild

Hall of Fame jockey Chris McCarron said he has "lost a tremendous amount of sleep" over the ongoing Jockeys' Guild conflict but is hopeful it will be resolved to the benefit of riders and the racing industry at large.

CHRB Panel to Look Into Jockeys' Insurance

CHRB Panel to Look Into Jockeys' Insurance

California Horse Racing Board commissioner Richard Shapiro has established a special committee to investigate where an estimated $1 million per year California gives the Jockeys' Guild for the health and well-being of the state's jockeys goes and why most of the 1,200 Guild members nationwide were unaware their catastrophic accident insurance was allowed to lapse nearly two years ago.

CHRB Panel to Look Into Jockeys' Insurance

CHRB Panel to Look Into Jockeys' Insurance

California Horse Racing Board commissioner Richard Shapiro has established a special committee to investigate where an estimated $1 million per year California gives the Jockeys' Guild for the health and well-being of the state's jockeys goes and why most of the 1,200 Guild members nationwide were unaware their catastrophic accident insurance was allowed to lapse nearly two years ago.

Gertmenian: Tracks, Not Guild, Would Fuel 'War'

Gertmenian: Tracks, Not Guild, Would Fuel 'War'

The chief executive officer of the Jockeys' Guild has reiterated his calls for cooperation from the racing industry, and indicated the tracks, not the Guild, would be responsible should there be what he called a "war" between the two industry factions.

Guild Extends Matrix Capital Contract Through 2009

Guild Extends Matrix Capital Contract Through 2009

The Jockeys' Guild wrapped up its annual assembly Dec. 7 with the announcement that the contract of Matrix Capital Associates, headed by Dr. Wayne Gertmenian, has been extended through 2009. In addition, jockey Kent Desormeaux, who has said he was conducting due diligence into Guild business practices, failed to win re-election to the Guild senate and no longer sits on the executive committee.

Guild Tight-Lipped at Assembly; King Voted Out

Guild Tight-Lipped at Assembly; King Voted Out

The Jockeys' Guild began its annual meeting Dec. 6 with a call for solidarity -- even in the face of the dismissal of member Eddie King, who had sued the organization -- and a call for members not to talk to the press.

Fund Overseers Confident New Plan Can Work

Former jockeys associated with the Disabled Jockeys' Fund, which will be terminated at the end of the year, on Dec. 6 said they're comfortable with a plan by the Jockeys' Guild to make payments to disabled riders from the Guild's primary account.

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