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.
Embattled jockey Patrick Valenzuela, who hasn't ridden since the conclusion of the spring/summer meet at Hollywood Park July 16, was given clearance to resume exercising horses Sept. 7 after meeting with Del Mar stewards the morning of Sept. 6.
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.
A possible interruption of Saturday's live card at Philadelphia Park was averted Friday when management at the Bensalem Township, Pa., racetrack assured jockeys they are indeed covered by insurance should they be injured while performing the duties of their profession.
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.
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.
Paul Nicol Jr. enjoyed Tuesday's wet weather at Finger Lakes Gaming and Racetrack when he passed the 3,000 mark in career wins. The 45-year-old from Annapolis, Md., joins Leslie Hulet and Kevin Whitley as the only Finger Lakes jockeys to reach the milestone.
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 launch of the Permanently Disabled Jockeys Fund is a clear sign the relationship between jockeys and other industry groups is improving, but they remain at odds over a proposal by some members of Congress to amend the Interstate Horseracing Act to provide insurance for jockeys and others who make their living at the racetrack.
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.
A member of Congress from Kentucky has drafted two pieces of legislation that would amend the Interstate Horseracing Act of 1978 to provide dedicated funding for workers' compensation insurance for jockeys, exercise riders, trainers, and backstretch workers.
Jockey Guy Smith underwent six hours of surgery April 25 at Lafayette General Medical Center in Lafayette, La., to repair a broken neck suffered during an April 22 race at Evangeline Downs Racetrack & Casino.
Legislation to authorize workers' compensation insurance for jockeys appears to have stalled in the Kentucky General Assembly and probably won't be voted on during the current session, which is nearing an end.
A Congressman from Kentucky said legislation that would amend the Interstate Horseracing Act to provide workers' compensation insurance for jockeys, backstretch workers, and trainers could be ready for consideration in about four weeks.
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.
New York stewards handed out some of the toughest penalties in years when they slapped jockeys Jose Espinoza and Pablo Fragoso with 30-day bans following a wild confrontation during Sunday's sixth race at Aqueduct.
The Jockeys' Guild on Tuesday made several changes in its dues, insurance, and disability policy designed to bring the organization back from the brink of bankruptcy at which it found itself following a management change in November that purged former president Wayne Gertmenian and his top assistants.
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.
Jockey Martin Pedroza wrapped up the first major riding title of his 23-year career when he piloted California-bred Young Luck to win the fourth race at Hollywood Park closing day Dec. 19. The 40-year-old Pedroza, who finished the 27-day meet with 31 wins, became the oldest first-time title winner in the track's 67-year history.
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.
Top jockeys Edgar Prado and Rafael Bejarano will represent North America in the 19th World Super Jockey Series at Japan's Hanshin Racecourse Dec. 3-4, said Joe Ferrer, Bejarano's agent. The riders traveled to Japan to participate in the competition that has attracted 14 jockeys from five different continents.
By Ray Paulick - On Nov. 16, one day before a congressional subcommittee looked into the possible need for legislation to improve health insurance and safety issues for jockeys, the full U.S. House of Representatives said "no" to the creation of a federal commission to oversee professional boxing.
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.