Jockeys' Guild officials provided the painful details of the end of the Wayne Gertmenian era to its members during Monday's opening session of its two-day national assembly near Dallas. The assembly was delayed from its customary December date because of a shortage of Guild funds.
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.
The former national manager of the Jockeys' Guild, ousted in 2001 in what he said was akin to a "terrorist attack," believes disabled riders are the real victims in the ongoing conflict over finances and the impending discontinuance of the Disabled Jockeys' Fund. He called on jockeys to take control of the situation.
Four jockeys and the chief executive of a California management firm running the Jockeys' Guild will remain part of a wrongful termination and slander suit filed by former Guild national manager, John Giovanni. A Fayette County circuit court judge on Friday asked attorneys on both sides to finish their depositions in the case and readdress the motion to dismiss later with more refined arguments.
A hearing to determine if five defendants should be dismissed from a lawsuit filed against the Jockeys' Guild by former national manager John Giovanni was postponed Wednesday due to illnesses by attorneys on both sides of the case.
Quarter Horse jockey Tomey Jean Swan was named acting chairman of the board for the Jockeys' Guild Wednesday. Pat Day resigned as president of the organization June 21 after a contentious board meeting in which Matrix Capital Association was hired to manage the group's affairs. When Matrix was hired, the executive committee of the Guild fired all six staff members including national manager John Giovanni and all six regional managers (two were later rehired).
Members of the Jockeys' Guild will not be having a very funny April Fool's Day. On April 1, the family health insurance policy covering 800 Guild members will expire. Because of skyrocketing premiums, Jockeys' Guild national manager John Giovanni said there is not enough money in the association's budget to continue making the premium payment
The Jockeys' Guild approved a new scale of weights it hopes will be adopted immediately by racing secretaries nationwide. The new scale increases the minimum weight to 116 pounds. "We're mainly concerned about the minimum," said John Giovanni, national manager for the Jockeys' Guild. "Each generation of jockeys is getting bigger and bigger. People are killing themselves to make weight."