04/19/2006 12:00AM

$1M sought for riders

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A group of racetracks and racing industry organizations has set a goal of raising $1 million in contributions by June 15 in order to aid 60 permanently disabled jockeys, racing officials said Wednesday.

The fund raising campaign grew out of several discussions over the past two months between the racing organizations and the Jockeys' Guild, a riders' organization that has struggled with its finances for several years.

According to a release from the Thoroughbred Racing Associations, participants in the effort will include the tracks owned by Churchill Downs, Magna Entertainment, and the New York Racing Association. Also participating will be Sam Houston Race Park, the Thoroughbred Racing Associations, the National Horsemen's Benevolent and Protective Association, the Thoroughbred Owners and Breeders Association, and the National Thoroughbred Racing Association.

Racing officials said that the funds will provide monthly stipends to the disabled riders, and that the groups are continuing to work on long-term solutions for caring for disabled riders beyond the fund-raising effort.