10/22/2009 11:00PM

Churchill, Kentucky horsemen reach agreement


Churchill Downs Inc. and Kentucky's two horsemen's groups have agreed to drop lawsuits against each other as part of a three-year purse contract, the parties announced late on Friday.

The three-year purse contract will govern the amount of money that Churchill Downs will distribute in purses at the Louisville track for the next three years, according to a release from Churchill Downs. An agreement between Churchill and the state's two horsemen's groups, the Kentucky Horsemen's Benevolent and Protective Association and the Kentucky Thoroughbred Association, expired at the end of Churchill's spring meet.

The agreement requires the groups to drop lawsuits arising out of a dispute involving the horsemen's veto of simulcast signals in 2008. The lawsuits were filed after the track and horsemen's groups could not agree on contracts governing account wagering. As a result of the dispute, the distribution of Churchill's signal to account-wagering companies was sharply limited during its 2008 spring meet.

Also as part of the agreement, Churchill Downs will supplement purses by $500,000 each year for the next three years, Churchill said in a release.