01/06/2017 3:30PM

Legislation could keep JICF payments same as 2016


OZONE PARK, N.Y. – Trainer Rick Violette, the president of New York’s Jockey Injury Compensation Fund, is hopeful that legislation will be passed this year that will help keep workman’s compensation premiums in line with 2016.

On paper, it appears that owners and trainers on the NYRA circuit will pay a $3,000 premium to the Jockey Injury Compensation Fund this year, a 16.5 percent increase over the 2016 premium of $2,575. Owners and trainers were required to pay $1,500 by Jan. 1, with the other $1,500 due June 1.

The JICF covers exercise riders and jockeys injured during morning training or the afternoon’s races.

The proposed legislation will designate 2 percent of purses earned year-round for the JICF. If that gets passed, there won’t be a need for owners/trainers to make the second $1,500 premium payment. Without the legislation, the 2 percent of purses earned that goes to the JICF drops to 1 percent starting April 1, which would then make it necessary for horsemen to pay the other $1,500.

“If we get the required legislation passed like we did last year, we won’t need to collect that second $1,500 payment,” said Violette, who is also the president of the New York Thoroughbred Horsemen’s Association.

Violette said the legislation is in two parts. The first authorizes the use of an additional 1 percent of purses, while the second uses a portion of the purse cushion.

“It was passed last year; we fully expect it will pass this year,” Violette said.

In addition to the premiums, trainers must pay a fee of $1.60 per day, per stall allotted during the course of the year.

Owners/trainers who ship in from other jurisdictions are required to pay a $250-per-start fee for their first six starts on this circuit; 12 starts if the legislation does not pass.

Violette said that the JICF has moved away from the New York State Insurance Fund to a private insurance carrier, Zurich, which Violette hopes could “reduce the overall cost of insurance going forward,” he said.