Jockeys' Guild Bankruptcy Plan OK'd

Jockeys' Guild bankruptcy reorganization plan confirmed.

A Kentucky federal judge has confirmed the reorganization plan which will allow the Jockeys’ Guild to emerge from bankruptcy, a little more than 13 months after the protective action was taken, and just days before the group’s annual national assembly in Las Vegas.

United States Bankruptcy Judge David T. Stosberg confirmed the plan Dec. 3 in the Louisville Division of the U.S. Bankruptcy Court Western District of Kentucky. The plan could have been signed as early as mid-November, but was delayed a couple of weeks to allow involved parties an opportunity to work out minor technical issues.

The Guild, which filed for bankruptcy protection in October 2007, would under the plan retain certain income, including mount fees and track contributions such as the estimated $300,000 Churchill Downs paid out this year for jockey media rights.

Acting on behalf of 500-plus creditors who originally listed claims totaling more than $3 million, the creditors committee would, in part, have the rights to certain account receivables the Guild declared prior to filing for bankruptcy, as well as certain litigation claims, and certain estate funds.

The Guild filed for bankruptcy protection about two years after former national manager Wayne Gertmenian was ousted from his post amid allegations of financial mismanagement. Gertmenian, who was removed from the creditors’ committee in April, was listed with the largest individual claim in the bankruptcy action at $915,000. Gertmenian was sued in federal court by the Guild, which accused him of siphoning $1 million from the group during his tenure. The suit was later dismissed, but has been appealed, pending a stay on the bankruptcy outcome.

Neither Guild national manager Terry Meyocks nor affiliated attorneys were immediately available for comment. But Meyocks said in a November interview that while there is still a lot of work to do, “hopefully, this will be behind us, and we can move on and help promote the game. There are so many positive things that have come out of this.”

The Jockeys' Guild Annual Assembly is scheduled for Dec. 7-9 at the Palms Casino Resort in Las Vegas.