For more than 70 years, the Jockeys’ Guild has been committed to serving both Thoroughbred and Quarter Horse members. We have strived to obtain safer equipment and track conditions as well as provide insurance benefits for the membership. Jockeys are far better off today than before the Guild was founded in 1940. In those days, jockeys had no medical, life, accident or disability insurance and no local or national voice in the racing industry.
“When we first started the Jockeys’ Guild I’m not sure whether Shoemaker was even born yet! At that time, when we were called into the stewards’ office, we were dirt under their feet. Now, we have the respect that we are entitled to, and are able to come into their office, sit down with them, and talk things over like gentlemen should.” John E. Longden
Accomplishments made through the Guild’s efforts since its inception include:
- Prior to the mandatory mount fee increase to 10%, 5%, 5% of purses that the Jockeys’ Guild secured, jockeys/agents had to receive authorization from owner/trainer for payment
- Since October 2007 base mount fees raised for all jockeys in many racing jurisdictions, the highest level of increases in 25 years
- Representation with stewards, track management and racing commissions
- Temporary disability benefits for qualified members
- Life insurance for members
- Adequate first aid rooms, paramedics and ambulances ontrack following riders
- Workers’ compensation and ontrack catastrophic injury insurance
- Defining and enhancing a set of safety standards
- Improvements to helmets, vests and safety rails
- Padded starting gates
- Racing cancellation policy
- In a majority of racing jurisdictions, no valets’ pool deduction for Guild members
- Creation and growth of the Permanently Disabled Jockeys’ Fund
- Reimbursement of medicine and prescription costs to Jockeys’ Guild qualified permanently disabled members
- Health insurance for qualified members and their families in several states including Delaware, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and California
- In California, the Jockeys’ Guild was instrumental in passing legislation for a retirement plan for qualified jockeys
- Development of Jockey Health Information System in cooperation with The Jockey Club and Keeneland
Ongoing Priorities and Future Goals include:
- Increasing track contributions to the Guild to allow expansion of member benefits
- Creation of opportunities for corporate sponsorships
- Continue to represent the interest of members with regards to new rules and procedures adopted by the industry and regulators. Through lobbying efforts, the Guild is increasing legislative awareness and involvement
- Cooperation with national racing organizations and racetrack management for common goals including NTRA Code of Standards
- Testing of current safety equipment such as helmets and vests
- Working with the industry to institute a new, safer scale of weights and the development of nutritional and weight control programs
- Raising awareness and funds for the Permanently Disabled Jockeys’ Fund
- Working with researchers to develop procedures in response to significant head and spinal injuries after traumatic ontrack accidents
- Working with the industry to establish a rider injury database
"I am sure the generations that will carry on will never forget the Guild’s purpose, will never abuse its power. I have great faith in the younger generation of jockeys and feel confident they will uphold the respect and integrity that the name JOCKEY has gained."
"I have been a member of the Jockeys’ Guild since I first started riding in the U.S. The Jockeys’ Guild is the jockey. It’s beneficial for all jockeys to be a member."
Laffit Pincay, Jr.
"It is critical that jockeys have a place at the table when industry groups discuss the future of the sport. The Guild gives the jockeys just that – a national voice that is guided by consensus rather than just one person’s opinion. The Guild speaks with one voice in the best interest of all jockeys."
Chairman of the Jockeys’ Guild
"The Guild plays a critical role for jockeys in many areas nationally, but none more important than safety. The Guild has been in the forefront from the testing and development of improved safety equipment to raising the minimum standards of aftercare. New equipment and cutting edge treatment are being explored by the Guild, something none of us could do on our own yet something that could benefit each and every one of us."
G. R. Carter, ViceChairman of the Jockeys’ Guild