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Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Letter to Guild Members

Dear Members:

As many of you know, on October 12, 2007, Jockeys' Guild, Inc. filed for Chapter 11 Bankruptcy protection in Louisville, Kentucky. The Guild's Board voted to take this necessary action to work through the Guild's financial challenges while continuing its mission to serve jockeys. The Guild plans to use the protection afforded by Chapter 11 to continue to correct the shortcomings of the past and move toward a more secure financial future.

We are aware that the bankruptcy filing will raise many questions, and we are available to discuss your concerns and share the information that we have. Moreover, we will continue to provide new information during the course of the bankruptcy proceeding. We will use many forms of communication to reach all our members, but please contact the Guild with any specific questions you have and check our website,, for real-time updates. This letter will be the first communication sent to the membership to inform you about the Guild's progress during its reorganization period.

Please note that Bankruptcy rules require that some or all member jockeys receive notice of certain events in the case. As a result, our bankruptcy attorneys may be required to file member jockey names and addresses with the court, which would make them available on the Internet. If the address at which you usually get information from the Guild is your home address and you do not want your home address published, please provide the Guild with an alternate address for notices as soon as possible. This alternative address should be a mailing address and an e-mail address, if available.

To keep you informed, we have answered the following questions that we anticipate.

Why did the Jockeys' Guild file to reorganize under Chapter 11?

Like many other organizations that offer health insurance, the Guild sees that the cost of health claims is rising more quickly than the income needed to pay them. This issue, along with prior cash flow difficulties and the cost of litigation against the Guild, resulted in a need for bankruptcy protection while the Guild works to reorganize. By seeking bankruptcy relief, the Guild can work with its members and creditors to address its financial problems and the needs and concerns of its jockeys.

What are the benefits of Chapter 11 bankruptcy? Generally, how does Chapter 11 work?

The filing of the bankruptcy automatically prevents creditors from taking actions against the organization or its property without bankruptcy court approval. As a result, an entity that files for bankruptcy is granted a breathing spell to analyze its operation and determine how it can remedy its financial concerns.

A business or organization emerges from a Chapter 11 bankruptcy when the court approves a plan of reorganization. A Chapter 11 plan provides for the treatment of all claims made against the organization. The bankruptcy court permits interested parties to commit on a proposed plan and will determine whether they are treated fairly. A plan can be agreed upon by all of the interested parties or, if there is no agreement, it can be imposed by the court.

How will this change day-to-day services the Jockeys' Guild currently provides?

The Guild anticipates continued normal operations. It is not permitted to pay claims that arose before the bankruptcy without the court's permission. We expect to ask this week for that permission to pay health claims and insurance premiums. If the bankruptcy court grants the requested relief, there should not be any immediate change to or disruption in member benefits, including life, health, and temporary-disability insurance.

All initiatives currently in place are scheduled to continue, including the Guild's representation of jockeys. Regional Representatives will still be available to address the needs of the members at each racetrack.

What are the priorities of the organization and its leadership?

  • The Guild is evaluating the health plan and investigating what means are available to provide continued health care benefits to all members, either through engagement of a separate provider of the insurance, arrangements for additional funding, or in other ways.

  • We look forward to engaging in genuine dialogue with the industry on critical issues that jockeys are faced with.

  • We will continue our efforts to secure increased mount fees in all racing jurisdictions.

  • Health and safety of both the human and equine athlete is a top priority.

  • We will seek out and investigate new advances in medicine that can be implemented on the scene of an on-track accident to provide the best recovery for the jockey.

  • Increased revenue for the organization is of paramount importance for this organization to continue to support its members to do this work.

What are other recent decisions made by the Guild?

The Jockeys' Guild Board has approved the relocation of the Jockeys' Guild office from Monrovia, CA to the Lexington, KY area. Our new mailing address is 103 Wind Haven Drive, Suite 200, Nicholasville, KY 40365. We anticipate this relocation will be completed by the first week of November. Additional details about our relocation and future contact information will be made available soon.

Our board has approved the location for the 2007 Annual Assembly. The assembly will be hosted at the Galt House in Louisville, KY. Arrival will be Sunday, December 2, with the meetings to take place on Monday and Tuesday, December 3 and 4. This will be a very importantmeeting for the membership of the Jockeys' Guild. We expect our largest turnout ever and urge every member to attend. At no other time in this organization's history has your support and participation been so critical to the development and future of the Guild. More details about the Annual Assembly will be forthcoming.

We are optimistic that our organization will emerge from bankruptcy stronger and better positioned to address the difficulties facing all jockeys. The Guild has significant strengths: a history of commitment to the profession, formidable influence in the horse racing industry, and knowledgeable managers and officers who have a plan to improve the lives of its members. By voluntarily seeking bankruptcy protection, the Guild intends to continue to be the leading voice for all jockeys. And with the loyalty and support of its members, it will.


Terry Meyocks
National Manager,
Jockeys' Guild, Inc.


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