01/27/2005 1:00AM

Disabled rider cites Guild cutoff


Gary Donahue, a disabled former rider and the former co-chairman of the Jockeys' Guild's Disabled Jockeys' Fund, said the Guild owes him more than $3,000 in medical and travel expenses incurred over the past several months.

Donahue, who has been a paraplegic since a riding accident in 1986, said Thursday from his home in Florida that Guild officials have not offered him an explanation for why the expenses have not been paid and have not returned his phone calls. The Guild did not return phone calls seeking comment Thursday.

Donahue has joined a lawsuit filed by a former treasurer of the Guild, the rider Eddie King, that alleges Guild management unlawfully blocked members from reviewing the organization's financial statements.

Donahue said he was told by one person in the Guild's office that Guild officials would not speak with him because of the lawsuit. According to Donahue, disabled riders are considered Guild members for life. Dues are waived for any rider who becomes permanently disabled, Donahue said.

Before the lawsuit, Donahue said, the Guild promptly paid his expenses. He said he received a check from the Guild at the beginning of January for approximately $330 as his monthly disability payment.

Donahue said the Disabled Jockeys' Fund has been dissolved, and he did not know his status in the Guild despite questioning the organization.