11/07/2014 4:40PM

Parx jockeys to ride despite opposition to waiver

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Jockeys were expected to ride at Parx racetrack outside Philadelphia this weekend after representatives of the Jockeys’ Guild met Friday with track management and reported progress on resolving a dispute over a waiver the track distributed to riders this week, according to the head of the Guild.

Terry Meyocks, the national manager of the Guild, said after the five-hour meeting Friday that the talks were “positive,” even if the matter remains unresolved as yet.

“Hopefully, we’ll come up with a mutual resolution,” Meyocks said. “I think everything will be fine for this weekend.”

The Jockeys’ Guild urged its members not to sign the waiver after it was distributed in the jockeys’ room Tuesday and sent a letter to the track Thursday claiming that Parx had no legal right to distribute the waiver.

“Please be advised that the Guild will resist any attempt by you to enforce these terms against our members,” the letter stated. Parx agreed to meet with Guild officials on Thursday night.

The waiver indemnifies Parx from any damages arising from an injury or death at the track, and it was distributed to everyone who works with horses at the track, including trainers and backstretch workers, according to officials. The waiver says that anyone who does not agree to its terms will not be allowed on the track.

Parx is scheduled to race live on Saturday, Sunday, and Monday. Track officials have not returned phone calls seeking comment.

The waiver was distributed several months after a Philadelphia appeals court upheld an April judgment against Parx requiring the track to pay the family of Mario Calderon $7.8 million. Calderon, an exercise rider, died of injuries he sustained in May 2010, when a horse he was taking to the track was allegedly spooked by chickens on the backside, throwing him. 

Parx has a $1 million insurance policy covering the cost of medical bills for jockeys injured on the racetrack. The policy also includes payouts for accidental death or dismemberment.

Mark Thomas More than 1 year ago
A wavier like that doesn't mean much now days. Even if you would sign it, and you got hurt they're are lawyers that would find loopholes and other stuff. They would hound Parx into some type of settlement. They got nothing to lose but time. There is nothing worse than a personal injury lawyer, unless he's on your side.
Rodney More than 1 year ago
test...
Shawn Britton More than 1 year ago
The power is in the worker. Never forget that. Many people have
Rodney More than 1 year ago
test....
Sheldon Gl More than 1 year ago
Why would any jockey ride at Parx this weekend? Are you guys so desperate that you will let Parx get away with this? Unfortunately, and trying not to be too political, this is the new wave of the republican administrations, both local and nationwide. Why give in? A phrase I hate here in Floriduh, but seems like a good one in this case, "Stand your ground" You will win!
Mandi Cinq More than 1 year ago
What republican administration are you taking about? The track is doing this becouse of the liberal democrat party that allow huge claims. And the democates have had control of the senate and still do until January. You are a fool.
Getta Lyfe More than 1 year ago
Of course you aren't trying to make it political? Philadelphia is controlled by democrats so why do you blame Republicans. Since you think the government is the answer to your problems, here is a part of a story from philly.com "The Pennsylvania Attorney General's Office ran an undercover sting operation over three years that captured leading Philadelphia Democrats, including four members of the city's state House delegation, on tape accepting money," Also included in the article, Democrat Kathleen G. Kane took office in 2013, she shut it down(the investigation and prosecution). Not trying to be political, trying to wake you up that the government officials look out for their own best interests, not the peoples. WAKE UP There is nothing more corrupt than the government. I'm an independent and now lets get back to horse racing.
nick More than 1 year ago
Not only should the horsemen not participate at Parx, but neither should.the wagering public. I don't wager onParx anyway, but anyone who does should stop posthaste. This is ridiculous.
D'Funnybone More than 1 year ago
Jockeys MUST band together and refuse to sign the waiver. If no jockeys are allowed on the grounds, no racing @ Parx. The jocks will find work @ neighboring tracks, and Parx track management will have to change their stance. Stay united guys, and you will force management to cave in.
M More than 1 year ago
And look at this closely. Depending on the wording, if the track or insurance company pays out money for an injury, they can then come after every horsemen, other jockeys, maybe owners, and vets, etc. involved (and this is what insurance companies and their lawyers do best). This is very bad for jockeys--subjecting them to liability. It is bad for owners. Parx needs to fire its law firm because they do not know horse (you know what) about racing. They need to monitor and audit the track for safety--not try to shift the risk of operating the track on all the employees and workers there. Be proactive and strict about best practices--not reactive and find a sneaky way to sue everyone on the track when something goes wrong.
Shawn Britton More than 1 year ago
Stand up jockeys. Good for you