Jockeys' Guild Responds to Congressional Request

The Jockeys' Guild has provided documentation requested by a United States Congressional subcommittee regarding Guild management, finances, and actions related to health insurance policies for its members.

Rep. Ed Whitfield, chair of the U.S. House Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations, sent a letter last month requesting Guild president Dr. Wayne Gertmenian provide the information by May 4.

Jeff Miles, an aide to Whitfield, confirmed Thursday the subcommittee has received two FedEx packages from the Guild and attorneys are currently processing the packages' contents.

"I don't think we're at a point now that we'd be able to determine what they have provided for us, but they have been responsive so far, and that's encouraging," Miles said.

Whitfield requested the information in connection with an ongoing investigation by the subcommittee concerning the adequacy of on-track accident insurance for jockeys and the absence of such injury-related health insurance for many exercise riders and backstretch workers. The investigation began in January and a hearing will be held in two to three months.

Meanwhile Whitfield has asked several industry organizations, including the National Thoroughbred Racing Association, National Horsemen's Benevolent and Protective Association, and Thoroughbred Racing Associations, for background information and opinions regarding health insurance. Whitfield asked those organizations to provide information on their efforts to improve the safety and welfare of jockeys, exercise riders, and backstretch workers and to detail agreements or contracts they have to that effect.

Whitfield has asked those organizations to respond by May 20.