Jockeys Stand Up to Churchill

I’ve always felt some sympathy for jockeys, ever since I worked with the Jockeys Guild a few years back on some marketing projects around Derby time. On Friday, they organized a press conference to express their disgust at the management of Churchill Downs.  CDI, which manages multiple tracks, is refusing to continue contributions to a fund set up to pay disabled jockeys.

Churchill management didn’t respond to yesterday’s release from the group, which demanded that

From the release:

The Jockeys’ Guild today asked Churchill Downs Incorporated (CDI) to re-commit to annual contributions to the fund that pays for jockeys’ benefits. The fund provides life insurance, accidental death and dismemberment insurance and temporary disability benefits for active Jockeys’ Guild members, as well as life insurance and aid to those jockeys who are permanently disabled.

(Terry) Meyocks (national manager of the Jockeys Guild)  said CDI representatives told him in August it was not renewing when its current agreement expires on December 31.

“We’re talking about $330,000 total for the four racetracks to renew their commitment,” said Meyocks. “Is the money that important to them or is it more important to do the right thing?”

You might have noticed, if you looked closely, several jockeys in the Breeders’ Cup wore patches on their pants with the Jockeys Guild logo.

A group of professional jockeys, including some in wheelchairs, accompanied Jockeys’ Guild National Manager Terry Meyocks (at podium in rear, wearing green necktie) in asking Churchill Downs Inc. to reconsider its decision to discontinue financial contributions to the Guild