The Jockeys' Guild has reached an agreement with the Kentucky HBPA and the Kentucky Thoroughbred Association on a mount fee increase effective Nov. 29, which is opening day of the Turfway Park Holiday meet, the organization said in a release Wednesday.
The mount fee schedule calls for a minimum fee of $125 at all Kentucky racetracks, including Churchill Downs, Keeneland, Ellis Park, Kentucky Downs and Turfway Park. This agreement also provides for $500 minimum fee in races with purses of $1 million or more.
“On behalf of our members who ride in Kentucky, I would like to thank the Kentucky HBPA and the Kentucky Thoroughbred Association for working with the Guild to reach this agreement,” said Terry Meyocks, President and CEO of Jockeys' Guild. “Special thanks to Senator Damon Thayer, for his assistance in reaching this agreement. Without his support, it would not have been accomplished.”
The Kentucky Horse Racing Commission's Rules Committee passed Oct. 4 a unanimous motion recommending this scale to the full commission for consideration and anticipated approval. Once approved, the proposed amendment to the administrative regulation will be filed with the Legislative Research Commission to follow the rule making process and allow for written and public comment. The agreements with the Kentucky HBPA and the KTA will remain in effect until the regulation has been formally adopted, which will likely be next year.
“I was pleased to advocate for a pay increase for the jockeys,” said Sen. Damon Thayer, Majority Leader of the Kentucky Senate. “Those who risk their lives every day at our tracks should be paid a fee commensurate with Kentucky's position of having the top purses in North America. In particular, I would like to thank trainer Dale Romans as a leader in the KHBPA, for facilitating in reaching the agreement and to Commissioner Charlie O'Connor for his role at the Commission in moving forward with the adoption of the new regulation.”