Jockeys' Guild National Manager Terry Meyocks told a finance subcommittee of West Virginia's Interim Joint Committee on Finance that he's concerned about the lack of benefits for jockeys who ride at the state's two tracks.
Horsemen in southeast Florida are optimistic that Gulfstream Park and the Florida HBPA will have group workers' compensation insurance coverage for backstretch employees at Gulfstream early next year.
John Patrick Unick, who has advised several Thoroughbred racetracks and horseman's groups in arranging workers' compensation insurance policies, is helping southeast Florida horsemen prepare a similar program for Gulfstream.
A $500 bonus per horse per race, with restrictions, will help trainers deal with rising costs, particularly with worker's compensation.
With workers' compensation rates on the rise again in California, the Thoroughbred group overseeing the statewide pool for horsemen expects to use about $1 million from the purse account to stem a 2013 projected funding gap.
Corticosteroid injections are overused on racehorses but don't contribute to catastrophic breakdowns, a medication consultant said during a June 27 continuing education program for licensed Thoroughbred horsemen in Indiana.
Deductions for a new breed development program and statewide workers' compensation have led Mountaineer Race Track & Gaming Resort to cut purses 20% across the board beginning July 10. The West Virginia track has thousands of video lottery terminals that produce purse revenue and this fall will begin operating table games.
Trainers at Delaware Park are being offered a horsemen's group-sponsored workers' compensation program as well as a $1-million general liability insurance policy at no additional cost.
Two congressmen introduced legislation May 4 that would provide injury insurance for jockeys and others who work in horse racing, but last year the proposal was met with stiff resistance from groups in the racing industry.
Representatives of horsemen's groups criticized for not supporting the Permanently Disabled Jockeys Fund questioned jockeys' support for the fund and said pursuit of legislation that would amend the Interstate Horseracing Act has damaged relations between horsemen and jockeys.
Jockeys in California, concerned over the rising costs of insurance offered by the national Jockeys' Guild, are looking elsewhere for alternative coverage, though they're continuing talks with Guild management, several California jockeys confirmed Dec. 12.
Horse racing has struggled in Montana for the past 10 years, but the blow of skyrocketing jockey insurance costs have left some tracks pondering whether to close their doors forever.
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.
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.
Reporter Janet Patton has won the 2005 Media Eclipse Award for writing in the feature or enterprise category for her series of articles in the Lexington Herald-Leader on racetrack workers and compensation. This is the second Eclipse Award for Patton, an equine and agricultural business writer for the Herald-Leader since 1998.
A committee established by Kentucky Gov. Ernie Fletcher to come up with a recommendation on jockey insurance met again Monday and discussed various options but could not come to any definitive agreement on a final proposal.
Kentucky's blue ribbon panel on jockey compensation insurance formed subcommittees Wednesday to explore two different routes for jockey insurance coverage: a worker's compensation model and an accident health policy.
Kentucky Governor Ernie Fletcher Thursday appointed a panel to study workers' compensation coverage for jockeys and exercise riders, which he said is a legislative priority for 2006.
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.
Though racing companies and racetracks in major jurisdictions have taken steps to increase minimum insurance benefits for jockeys injured on track, an industry working group continues to look for long-term solutions and expand the coverage to all tracks.
The Kentucky Horse Racing Authority, in a race against the legislative clock, moved Feb. 2 to submit recommendations to Gov. Ernie Fletcher for creation of a workers' compensation fund that would cover jockeys and exercise riders at racetracks and some training facilities.
Representatives of horsemen's groups are working in the West Virginia capital of Charleston to fend off an effort by Gov. Joe Manchin to take $5 million from purse accounts at each of the state's four racetracks to help pay off a $3-billion debt in the state workers' compensation program.
The National Thoroughbred Racing Association working group on insurance, members of which were named Nov. 16, will hold its first meeting Nov. 22.
Two Kentucky legislators with ties to the horse racing industry indicated Nov. 10 that any effort get workers' compensation insurance for jockeys through the state General Assembly would take plenty of homework and perhaps a lot of time.
As concern over the amount of medical insurance for jockeys at most racetracks continues to grow, Breeders' Cup and the National Thoroughbred Racing Association announced Oct. 22 that it has arranged for increase coverage at Lone Star Park Oct. 28-30.
The insurance policy for jockeys at Arlington Park covered all of jockey Gary Stevens' expenses after he was injured in a fall at the wire in last year's Arlington Million (gr. IT).
A bill aimed at easing the strain of workers' compensation insurance costs for California horsemen by raising pari-mutuel takeout on exotic wagers by a half of a percentage point cleared the state Assembly by unanimous vote May 3. It is headed to Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger for his signature.
Legislation that would authorize a pari-mutuel takeout hike to defray workers' compensation costs passed the California Senate by a 31-6 vote April 22 and is headed to the state Assembly, where it is expected to be addressed the week of April 26.
A workers' compensation bill designed to help California horsemen unanimously cleared the Assembly Governmental Organization Committee March 18.
A bill that would raise the takeout on California exotic wagers by a half of a percentage point was passed unanimously by the California Assembly Monday.
Legislation introduced by a California assemblyman would increase the pari-mutuel takeout on exotics wagers in Thoroughbred races by 0.5% to raise money to cover some workers' compensation costs. Quarter Horse and Standardbred takeout also would be increased to cover costs.
Horsemen's representatives who have been working on national insurance issues for the horse racing industry said purchasing an insurance company doesn't appear feasible, but forming a captive might be a viable option.
Southern California Thoroughbred trainers waking up to workers' compensation insurance increases effective July 1 are planning to meet Tuesday at Hollywood Park to consider a possible boycott of the entry box to get the attention of track management and the state legislature.
Financially strapped California Thoroughbred trainers will be able to borrow money to help them make their initial workers' compensation insurance payments due on July 1 under a plan approved by state racing
Backed into a corner by workers' compensation insurance rates expected to soar to 70% of trainer payroll, Quarter Horse officials at Los Alamitos Race Course in Southern California are fighting back with a plan that will cut costs by more than half in most cases.
California racing has "definitely turned a corner" on the workers' compensation insurance crisis, the leader of the state's trainer association said, but a reduction in premiums is at least a year away.
Count Hall of Fame trainer D. Wayne Lukas among those who are finding California an increasingly difficult place to be successful.
California Thoroughbred trainers who have not switched their workers' compensation insurance coverage to private carrier American International Group can do so March 1, but the broker who helped negotiate the industry's deal with the insurance giant doesn't think there'll be much, if any, response.
The idea of an industry-owned insurance company was floated during a major meeting on issues such as workers' compensation. Meanwhile, the chairman of the Jockeys' Guild called on the industry for financial support to alleviate a "crisis."
California horsemen remain on the verge of finalizing a deal for lower workers' compensation insurance rates, but the program is unlikely to launch by the projected Nov. 15 starting date, the head of the state's trainer organization said Nov. 11.
A new workers' compensation insurance program for California racing might be implemented by Nov. 15, according to the head of the state trainers' association.
California racing officials were unable to come to an agreement Monday on a formal proposal for a statewide workers' compensation insurance plan, but a representative for horse owners said progress was made following an afternoon-long session at Santa Anita.
California racing officials are examining the latest workers' compensation insurance proposal submitted by a major company, one that would significantly reduce rates paid by trainers.
California racing officials are hoping for a breakthrough on their longstanding workers' compensation insurance roadblock.
A new deal for workers' compensation insurance in California may go into effect as soon as Sept. 1, but many trainers in the state remain unconvinced is the ultimate answer.
Representatives from two private insurance companies are scheduled to meet Tuesday with California horsemen and racetrack executives on a plan to insure workers against injury liability.
A National Horsemen's Benevolent and Protective Association task force has found no evidence of criminal liability on the part of former officers and the executive director of an affiliate in connection with Century Consultants, a company formed to help Indian casinos land simulcast signals.
Legislation aimed at helping the state defray workers' compensation insurance costs has been delayed for consideration until after the California Senate returns from recess on August 5.
After a second meeting of trainers and track officials, Hollywood Park on June 30 averted a threatened boycott of entries by trainers unhappy with soaring workers' compensation insurance costs.
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