05/05/2006 12:00AM

House panel to hear rider issues


The House of Representatives' Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations has scheduled a hearing for Tuesday afternoon that will explore issues related to jockeys' health and welfare, Congressional officials said Thursday.

The hearing, scheduled for 2 p.m. Eastern, is the third to be called by the subcommittee in the last eight months. The subcommittee is chaired by Rep. Ed Whitfield, a Kentucky Republican who has been exploring whether to draft federal legislation that would provide minimum safety guidelines for tracks and establish funding for a federal workers' compensation program for jockeys.

A spokesman for Whitfield's office, Brent Dolen, said Thursday that the subcommittee has not finalized a complete witness list for the hearing.

Angie Gimmel, a spokeswoman for the Jockeys' Guild, said Thursday that those who have been asked to testify include Darrell Haire, the guild's interim national manager; John Velazquez, the guild's president; and Barry Broad, the guild's general counsel.

Previous hearings by the subcommittee focused on the guild's former chief executive, Dr. Wayne Gertmenian, who was forced out of the guild last year, and on jockeys' insurance coverage at racetracks.