Report: Guild Revenue Down 31% in 2003

The Jockeys' Guild generated $2.1 million less revenue in 2003 than in 2002, according to a 2003 financial report the Guild filed in December with the U.S. Department of Labor. Total revenue declined 31% from $6.8 million in 2002 to $4.7 million in 2003, according to the document.

The Blood-Horse obtained the Guild's 2003 Annual Labor Management Report, considered a public document, from the Department of Labor's Office of Labor Management Standards.

The 20-page document shows a significant decrease in revenue from dues, which dropped 44%--from $1.15 million in 2002 to $650,000 in 2003. (Members pay $100 in annual dues, according to the report.) Though dues from revenue were down in 2003, Guild membership increased after chief executive officer Dr. Wayne Gertmenian's consulting firm, Matrix Capital Associates, assumed management of the Guild in 2001.

The DOL report showed the Guild had 1,560 members in 2003. Previous reports from the department showed membership of 1,080 in 2001 and 1,360 in 2002. (The Guild changed membership parameters to encourage more participation.)

Revenue from other assessments declined 65%, from $1.8 million to $640,000. The Guild senate can levy an assessment on members "that is necessary and reasonable to carry out the purpose of the Guild," according to Guild bylaws. Some assessments may come in the form of jockey mount fees. Each active member gives the Guild 5% of earned losing mount fees, with a $3 minimum per mount.

The Guild's total disbursements in 2003 increased to $5.6 million, up from $4.8 million in 2002. Benefits paid out in 2003, including health and disability, totaled $3,008,000, about $30,000 less than in 2002.

The Guild paid a combined $1.2 million for "additional supporting services" and "regulation and promotion of racing" in 2003, compared with $843,000 in 2002. However, an expense breakdown of the general categories isn't a part of the DOL report.

Included in the report is a document listing Guild disbursements to officers, employees, and businesses in 2003. Gertmenian was paid a salary of $151,250, while vice president Albert Fiss received $101,000.

Fees paid to Matrix in 2003 should have been included in the report--due March 3, 2004, but filed in December--weren't reported. Figures from 2002 show Matrix was paid $365,703, as well as an additional $10,200 in rent that year.

Guild revenue from media rights in 2003 was $1.62 million, according to the DOL report. A separate 2003 audited financial statement provided to Guild members during the organization's annual assembly in December claims $2.3 million came from media-rights revenue in 2003.

The Guild gets about $2.2 million a year from the Thoroughbred Racing Associations, presumably to help cover insurance premiums. The Guild and TRA, however, only have a handshake deal, so there is no requirement on how the money is spent.

The TRA in December asked the Guild to account for the money but hadn't received a response as of early January.