The Jockeys' Guild

Gaffalione Appeals 'Careless Riding' Suspension at Spa

Tyler Gaffalione is appealing a three-day "careless riding" suspension imposed by the Saratoga Race Course stewards in the aftermath of his mount being disqualified in the second race there Friday. Gaffalione was on the lead aboard 19-1 maiden Hero's Medal (Medaglia d'Oro) in a nine-furlong race July 14. According to the Equibase chart, the colt "was given his cue at the five-sixteenths, spun into the stretch in the two path under a drive, came in some and bumped solidly with Mount Craig [Arrogate] near the three-sixteenths, was turned in some...

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HISA Threatens Turf Paradise Simulcast Shutdown if Repairs Not Made

Despite entering into an agreement with the Horseracing Integrity and Safety Authority (HISA) to get Turf Paradise up to date on existing national safety regulations, sufficient repairs were not made to improve the condition of the railing and the Phoenix, AZ, track received a deadline of Apr. 1 for completion or be "prohibited from conducting Covered Horseracing." The news came via a press release from HISA. In January, HISA cited the track for non-compliance on Rules 2153 "racetrack facilities", 2154 "racetrack surface monitoring", 2168 "equine ambulance", 2262 "void claim", 2276...

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HISA Appeals Injunction, But Judge Says No to Reversing Earlier Order

In the aftermath of a federal judge's ruling earlier this week that will keep the Horseracing Integrity and Safety Act (HISA) rules from going into effect in Louisiana and West Virginia while a lawsuit challenging those regulations is pending, the HISA Authority responded Friday with a series of legal actions that attempt to both reverse and clarify that injunction order. The most significant of the July 29 filings from the HISA Authority defendants was a notice that they are appealing Judge Terry Doughty's July 26 decision to grant a preliminary...

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PDJF Awareness Day at Saratoga July 30

The riders competing at Saratoga Race Course will participate in a host of activities Saturday, July 30 to raise awareness and funding for the Permanently Disabled Jockeys Fund (PDJF). Highlighting the day's events will be a special meet and greet and autograph session with riders from the Saratoga jockey colony, who will sign autographs on the Jockey Silks Room Porch from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Fans who make a donation to the PDJF will receive a commemorative poster. This year, PDJF Day was selected to coincide with this week's...

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Guild: Insurance Snafu Settled, Lone Star a 'Go' for Saturday

Lone Star Park appears ready to resume racing on Saturday, July 16, after the Thursday and Friday programs this week had to be scrapped over jockeys' concerns that a million-dollar insurance policy secured by the track was not sufficient to provide specialized medical care in the event of on-track accidents. Terry Meyocks, the president and chief executive officer of the Jockeys' Guild, confirmed to TDN shortly after 6:00 p.m. Eastern time Friday that, "We're good to go on Saturday. We got the assurances that the jocks will be comfortable with."...

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Jockeys' Guild Reinstates Benefits for Monmouth Riders

With the New Jersey Racing Commission (NJRC) last week voting to rescind the whip ban, which had been in place at Monmouth Park since the 2021 season, the Jockeys' Guild Board of Directors has voted to reinstate benefits to its members who choose to ride at Monmouth in 2022. The Guild had not been covering insurance policies for Monmouth riders since July 1. New Jersey was the only state in the country where whipping was banned. The NJRC had adopted Monmouth's request for a "House Rule," allowing riders to utilize...

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Velazquez, Smith Re-Elected to Jockeys' Guild

Hall of Fame riders John Velazquez and Mike Smith were re-elected as co-chairmen at the Jockeys' Guild's annual meeting, which was held virtually Dec. 7. The riders in attendance also re-elected Javier Castellano and Julien Leparoux, along with newly elected Quarter Horse jockey James Flores, as vice-chairs; Joel Campbell as treasurer; and Rodney Prescott as secretary. In addition, Alex Birzer, Joe Bravo, and Drayden Van Dyke were re-elected to the board of directors. The members reviewed 2021 financials and the 2022 budget and had a variety of speakers including Senator...

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Jockeys to Honor Miguel Mena Saturday

In memory of late jockey Jose Miguel Mena and to support his family, jockeys at racetracks around the country on Saturday, Nov. 13, will be wearing black armbands emblazoned with his nickname, "Cholo." Mena was tragically killed in a vehicular accident in Louisville, Kentucky Oct. 31, 2021. "Miguel was a longtime member of the Jockeys' Guild and a valued member of each and every jockey colony where he rode," said Jockeys' Guild President and CEO Terry Meyocks. "We hope this show of support and affection will bring some comfort to...

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KY Advances Whip Rule That Guild Believes Can Be North American Model

After nearly two years of negotiations and rewrites, the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission (KHRC) on Tuesday unanimously advanced a more humane whipping rule that The Jockeys' Guild is endorsing as a possible model regulation for all North American jurisdictions to follow. The chief change sets a limit of six overhand hits per race with no more than two strikes in succession to give the horse a chance to respond. Jennifer Wolsing, the general counsel for the KHRC, explained prior to the vote that if necessary, jockeys may also use the...

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Op/Ed: Guild Members: You Should Not Be Proud

Perhaps no collection of companies makes decisions based more on hard data, charts, statistics and actuarial tables then those that make up the insurance industry. Non-smokers get better rates on health insurance. Middle-aged drivers pay lower premiums than do those a generation or two younger. Those driving in Los Angeles traffic pay more than those who live in rural areas of the country. Apply for a term policy and the insurance company can list your premiums for the rest of your life. They know what the statistics show, based on...

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Guild to End Insurance Coverage for Monmouth Riders

In a June 7 letter, the Jockeys' Guild informed its membership that, starting July 1, Monmouth Park jockeys will no longer be covered by Guild insurance policies. The Guild has been providing temporary disability benefits, life insurance and Accident, Death and Disability benefits to those who have chosen to ride in New Jersey. The Guild has been adamant in its belief that racing has become more dangerous at Monmouth Park because jockeys are no longer allowed to encourage their mounts with the use of the whip. In the June 7...

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Jockeys' Guild Denied Stay of New Jersey Regulation

The Superior Court of New Jersey, Appellate Division, denied Jockeys' Guild's motion to stay the New Jersey Racing Commission's Regulation on the use of the riding crop in Thoroughbred racing. Jockeys' Guild sought the stay of enforcement pending a decision on its appeal, which has not yet been decided. "We are extremely disappointed in this decision on our motion for a stay of enforcement. This Regulation prohibits jockeys from using the riding crop as they have been trained, increasing the risk of injury to both the horse and rider," said...

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