Guild Claims Proposed Endowment Directors Rejected

The Jockeys' Guild, in a Dec. 15 press release, indicated its proposed slate of directors for the Disabled Jockeys' Endowment was rejected, and that associates of former president Dr. Wayne Gertmenian were named to oversee the fund.

The endowment, now worth about $1.3 million, was formed by the Guild in 2001 with a goal of having it reach $10 million. Funds were to be used to assist jockeys injured in racing accidents. A Congressional subcommittee earlier this year subpoenaed endowment records.

The Guild's proposed slate of directors for the endowment included Darrell Haire, interim national manager of the Guild; retired jockey Laffit Pincay, a member of the Hall of Fame; Patricia Cooksey, a former jockey who now serves as deputy executive director of the Kentucky Racing Authority; Richard Shapiro, a commissioner with the California Horse Racing Board; and Nancy LaSala, a prominent Chicago businesswoman who has performed volunteer work for the Guild's Disabled Jockeys' Committee.

The names of those selected to oversee the endowment weren't immediately available.

Haire in the release said the endowment has "lost credibility" with the Guild, which in November fired Gertmenian and his Matrix Capital Associates. Gertmenian and others had said the endowment was to replace the Disabled Jockeys' Fund, which was terminated earlier this year.

The release said the Guild would try to recover endowment funds that had been channeled through the Guild "so the money can be properly distributed to disabled jockeys." The Guild also said alternative charities that benefit disabled riders should be patronized.

The Jockeys' Guild Web site at one time had information on the endowment, but the site can no longer be accessed without user identification and a password.