Jockeys Guild News and Articles
Wednesday, October 17, 2007
Letter to Guild 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, www.jockeysguild.com, 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
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,
To keep you informed, we have answered the following questions that we anticipate.
Why did the Jockeys' Guild file to reorganize under Chapter 11?
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
What are the benefits of Chapter 11 bankruptcy? Generally, how does Chapter 11 work?
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?
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
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?
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.
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?
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.
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