Charles Town Jockeys Granted Injunction

Riders were suspended and fined

Acting on behalf of seven jockeys suspended by Charles Town Races & Slots for allegedly misrepresenting their weights during races at the West Virginia track, the Jockeys’ Guild on April 16 reported that a temporary injunction had been granted that permits the riders to continue to ride.

According to a release from the Guild, Judge L.D. Egnor of the Kanawha County Circuit Court issued a temporary restraining order that enables the jockeys to continue riding until their case is properly adjudicated. The seven riders are Larry Reynolds, Anthony Mawing, Alexis Rios-Conde, Jesus Sanchez, Dale Whittaker, Luis Perez and Tony Maragh.

The Guild filed the motion on April 14 and was represented by the law firm of Bailey & Glasser, LLP. 

According to the Guild, the organization “took immediate action to protect the rights of its members to continue to ride after unfairly being accused of intentionally misrepresenting their riding weights. The Guild also believes that the stewards’ hearing procedure was unfair.”

The Guild statement said the court ruled that “the notices sent to plaintiffs by defendant were facially and constitutionally insufficient; that the manner in which the defendants conducted proceedings against the plaintiffs appears to have violated his constitutional rights to due process in multiple ways; that the injuries caused by the defendant’s actions, including the inability to race, are immediate and irreparable  in that monetary damages  appear difficult to establish and the public interest is best served when the constitutional rights of public license holders are respected and protected by public agencies.”

“The Guild is committed to supporting its members when they are unfairly accused of violating the rules of racing or not given their proper due process to present their defense,” Terry Meyocks, national manager of the Jockeys’ Guild, said in a statement.  “We are thankful that Judge Egnor confirmed the importance of due process rights before any discipline is handed out.”

Charles Town suspended the jockeys 30 days and fined them $1,000 each based on an investigation in which surveillance cameras were used to allegedly detect jockeys carrying more than the assigned weight. Clerk of scales Michael Garrison was fined $1,000, suspended indefinitely, and had his occupational license suspended. According to the ruling issued by the stewards April 8, Garrison was suspended for “failing to use due diligence in the performance of his duty” as clerk of scales and for violating seven rules of racing. He was also found in violation for not testifying before the stewards.