Updated on 09/17/2011 5:48PM

Cup buys extra insurance

Email

The Breeders' Cup has purchased a supplemental insurance policy to cover jockeys riding at the Oct. 30 event at Lone Star Park in Grand Prairie, Texas, officials for Breeders' Cup said Friday.

The policy will cover jockeys' medical bills up to $500,000, according to the officials. Jockeys are currently covered under a policy purchased by the Thoroughbred Racing Associations, but the policy caps medical coverage at $100,000. The policy will also cover jockeys riding at Lone Star on Oct. 28 and Oct. 29, Breeders' Cup said.

Earlier this year, a rider at Mountaineer Park, Gary Birzer, was critically injured and has since run up more than $500,000 in medical bills. Many riders discovered after Birzer's accident that the Jockeys' Guild, a trade group, had at the end of 2002 discontinued a supplemental insurance policy it purchased on behalf of jockeys. That policy provided $1 million in coverage for jockeys in catastrophic accidents.

Earlier this week, Hall of Fame rider Gary Stevens said he would limit his riding to the five states in which jockeys are covered under workers' compensation laws. Stevens had been invited to participate in the International Jockey Championship at Lone Star on Oct. 28, but said he had declined unless the track could provide unlimited insurance coverage. California, New Jersey, Maryland, New York, and Idaho cover jockeys under workers' compensation plans.