05/09/2010 11:00PM

Mountaineer horsemen, riders reach deal


Horsemen and riders at Mountaineer Park in West Virginia have reached a tentative agreement on a new scale for losing mount fees, and jockeys have agreed to ride until the horsemen's organization has a chance to vote on the deal, according to a representative of the riders.

Heriberto Rivera Jr., a regional manager for the Jockeys' Guild, said that the Mountaineer Horsemen's Benevolent and Protective Association agreed to vote on the new scale for mount fees by May 27. The new scale will raise the minimum losing mount fee at the track to $65, up from $50.

"They trust the HBPA at their word," said Rivera, who assisted the Mountaineer riding colony in their efforts. "I think it's a good scale. It's pretty close to what everyone else is paying around the country for purses like that."

Officials of the horsemen's group did not return phone calls on Monday.

Regular riders at the track declined to be named to any mounts on the Friday or Saturday cards when the races were drawn earlier in the week. The Friday night card was cancelled early that morning, but racing was held on both Saturday and Sunday.

Many riding colonies at tracks across the U.S. have successfully pushed for higher mount fees over the past 12 months.