Guild Seeks to Block Vest, Ad Regulation

Guild seeks temporary restraining order and expedited hearing.


The Jockeys’ Guild has filed legal documents in Franklin (Kentucky) Circuit Court seeking a temporary restraining order to prevent the state’s racing regulatory body from enforcing a new regulation on safety vests and jockey advertising.

According to a release from the Guild, the organization is also seeking an expedited hearing on its motion to halt enforcement of the regulation that was approved by the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission and went into effect June 15 as an "emergency regulation."

The regulation requires jockeys and exercise riders to wear safety vests that meet standards established by an international organization. Another part of the regulation pertains to disclosure to the KHRC of the terms of all sponsorship agreements involving jockey advertising.

Noting that "safety is and will continue to be the main concern of the Guild," the release said "there is no sufficient data to determine if the standards required by the emergency regulation are the safest standards." The Guild noted discussions concerning the safety vests had been underway for more than two years.

"The implementation of the regulation as an emergency did not allow for the parties affected by the regulation to adequately inspect the new vest in order to guarantee a proper fit and sufficient protection for their particular position on the racetrack," the release said. "Therefore, people were required to purchase (vests) without enough time."

The Guild also asserts that the disclosure requirements for jockey sponsorship agreements "hinders negotiations with potential sponsors for the Breeders’ Cup" at Churchill Downs on Nov. 5-6.

Also, the Guild states that "any rule on jockey advertising in Kentucky should exempt contracts that are for multiple races."