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Jockeys Guild Press Release

( ITHA Note: Potential impact on horsemen highlighted below )

 

JOCKEYS DECLINE TO ACCEPT MOUNTS AT PARX

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

LEXINGTON, KY (March 16, 2015) On March 14, 2015 riders at Parx, as well as jockeys from other tracks in the surrounding areas, began notifying the Parx Racing Secretary, as well as the Pennsylvania Horse Racing Commission Stewards at Parx, that they will not accept mounts on or after March 19, 2015, unless Parx unconditionally guarantees to them that they are covered by the Parx On-Track Insurance policy. To date, more than 50 jockeys have provided written notification to that effect.
Jockeys’ Guild National Manager Terry Meyocks, Counsel Mindy Coleman and Regional Manager, Herbie Rivera, Jr. were present at Parx to advise jockeys of their rights with regards to this dispute and the options that they have moving forward. 
“The Guild has always recommended to its members, and all jockeys for that matter, that they should not ride at any racetrack where they are not covered by an adequate On-Track Accident Policy,” stated Meyocks. “The million dollar on-track accident policy Parx currently has in effect is a critical protection for all our members and is not open for negotiation not only at Parx but throughout the country. We fully support the individual decisions Parx jockeys have made to refuse to ride under stipulations being set forth by Parx management.”
“We had been attempting to have discussions with Parx management since November with regards to the previous waiver that they had, or were attempting to have, all licensees, including the horsemen and jockeys, to sign,” said Coleman. “However, Parx notified the Guild and the jockey colony that as of March 19, 2015, it will no longer provide the current on-track insurance coverage for every jockey who rides at Parx, without the jockeys agreeing to waive certain rights. The on-track insurance policies should not be used by racetracks as negotiating tools to force jockeys to waive any rights. The on-track accident policies are basic industry standards that have been in place for years.” 
Since the jockeys made their decision, Terry Meyocks and Tony Black have spoken to a number of horsemen to make them aware of the elimination of the on-track accident policy as of March 19, 2015, and not only the impact on the jockeys, but also the risks to the horsemen at Parx that would arise if jockeys were injured during training or racing without insurance to cover their injuries. The horsemen were advised that it was not in the best interest of racing to expose the track, owners, and/or trainers to lawsuits by injured jockeys who had no other alternative if there was any negligence in the conduct of any race or the training of any horse.
The Guild hopes that this dispute can be resolved amicably by the parties without any disruption of racing at Parx. 
Contact: Jockeys’ Guild (859) 523-5625 or 1-866-465-6257