Jockey's Guild

Venezia Award Nominees Announced

Junior Alvarado, Julien Leparoux, Deshawn Parker, Gerard Melancon and Scott Stevens are finalists for the 2021 Mike Venezia Memorial Award, the New York Racing Association announced Sunday. Created in 1989, the Mike Venezia Memorial Award is awarded to a jockey who displays the extraordinary sportsmanship and citizenship that personified Venezia, who died as the result of injuries suffered in a spill in 1988. Venezia, a native of Brooklyn, N.Y., won more than 2,300 races during his 25-year career. All active jockeys in the continental U.S. are eligible to vote for...

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Revised CHRB Whip Penalties On Target For BC, Largely With Guild's Blessing

In an attempt to get a revised whip violations penalty scheme on the books before Del Mar hosts the Nov. 5-6 Breeders' Cup, the California Horse Racing Board (CHRB) Wednesday advanced a rule amendment that mostly has the blessing of The Jockeys' Guild because it strips out a previously controversial proposal that would have docked jockeys 50% of purse earnings if they over-whipped while finishing first, second or third in graded stakes. That purse penalization had been proposed by the CHRB in March in an attempt to disincentivize riders from...

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1/ST Racing Continues Support of Jockey's Guild

1/ST RACING will continue its long-term support of the Jockeys' Guild and its member jockeys. Under the terms of the agreement effective Jan. 1, 2021, each of 1/ST RACING's venue racetracks will continue to make payments to the Jockeys' Guild to subsidize health, life and accident insurances, as well as short-term and long-term disability benefits for jockeys who are members of the Guild and ride at 1/ST RACING racetracks. "1/ST RACING is pleased to continue supporting the Jockeys' Guild," said Craig Fravel, Chief Executive Officer, 1/ST RACING. "Guild members compete...

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Jockeys' Guild Begins Legal Action Pertaining to New Jersey Crop Use

In light of the New Jersey Racing Commission (NJRC)'s decision and applicable new regulation to eliminate the use of the riding crop but for safety purposes in Thoroughbred racing, the Jockeys' Guild has retained the services of Rivkin Radler LLP in Hackensack, N.J., to take legal action. A notice of appeal of the Commission's new regulation was filed on Nov. 5, 2020, in the Superior Court of New Jersey, Appellate Division. As the organization representing jockeys throughout the U.S., the safety of both equine and human athletes are paramount and...

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Radical Change, Status Quo, or Middle Ground for New York Whip Rules?

New York has lagged other racing states in addressing changes to whip use designed to be more humane to Thoroughbreds. But not being an early adopter of controversial new rules can sometimes be an advantage, because regulators are able to assess what is and isn't working in other jurisdictions before making potentially radical modifications to long-standing practices. That was the tone of discussion during the Oct. 19 teleconference meeting of the New York State Gaming Commission (NYSGC), which conducted what amounted to a 2 1/4-hour opinion-gathering dialogue on whether or...

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The Week in Review: Why Jerry Bailey is No Fan of the Whip

The whip issue, which never seems to go away, was front and center last week as the California Horse Racing Board (CHRB) approved language that would severely limit the use of the riding crop. Under the new rules, horses can be hit on the shoulders and hindquarters, no more than two times in a row without waiting for a response and no more than six times total. That led the Jockeys' Guild to issue a stinging press release that expressed its displeasure with the new rules, calling them "unsafe" and...

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15 Months in the Making, More Restrictive Whip Rules Finally Pass in California

After initially being deadlocked on a Thursday vote to put off implementing anti-whipping regulations that have been repeatedly delayed since first proposed in March 2019, the California Horse Racing Board (CHRB) finally voted 4-2 to pass a rule that will prohibit a jockey from striking a mount more than six times during a race, and then only in an underhanded position with no more than two strikes in succession using whips that must meet new CHRB standards to soften the blows. Representatives from the Jockeys' Guild, plus California riders Mike...

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Jockey's Guild Announces Support for HIA

The Jockeys' Guild announced its support for the Horseracing Integrity Act (HIA). This federal legislation is moving through Congress and would create a national agency run by the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency, the group that runs medication control programs for America's Olympic teams and others. "The Horseracing Integrity Act will give the industry the first uniform set of rules, including penalties and investigation standards," said Terry Meyocks, president and CEO of the Jockeys' Guild. "This bill creates uniformity and is the solution to create a level playing field, eliminating illegal drug...

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