"We also want to engage other industry participants in discussing how best to share the increased cost for the level of coverage we now seek," Skehan said. "We are ready to open dialogues with horsemen and jockey representatives in the states where we operate to determine a long-term funding mechanism for this added coverage. We believe it is important for all industry participants with a stake in this discussion to share responsibility for the ultimate solution."
Kentucky's racetracks have agreed to work to secure $1 million in on-track medical insurance coverage for jockeys.The issue has been at the forefront since Churchill was the site of a confrontation between management and jockeys last Nov. 7. Fourteen jockeys were expelled from the grounds for the remainder of the fall meet.Currently, tracks cover jockeys for $100,000, though some have begun to make arrangements for increased coverage.The announcement was made at a press conference conducted by Kentucky Gov. Ernie Fletcher.Churchill Downs Inc. said in a release it is in discussions with a leading insurance provider to underwrite $1 million in on-track medical insurance coverage as well as disability coverage for jockeys that compete at its racetracks in Kentucky, Florida, Illinois, Indiana, and Louisiana. Jockeys competing at Hollywood Park are already covered by California's workers' compensation insurance.The new coverage would replace the on-track medical coverage CDI tracks currently purchase through an arrangement with the Thoroughbred Racing Associations."Churchill Downs Inc. and its racetracks are committed to funding the majority of the cost for $1 million in coverage for jockeys," said CDI executive vice president and chief operating officer Andrew G. Skehan.The release did not say how Churchill proposes to pay for the insurance coverage, nor did it mention whether exercise riders would be covered.