03/23/2006 1:00AM

Rider health talks continue


Representatives of racetracks, industry organizations, and the Jockeys' Guild participated in a meeting Thursday to discuss issues relating to riders' health and welfare, participants in the meeting said.

The meeting, conducted via conference call, was the second between the organizations in the past two weeks. After the previous meeting, officials of the organizations said that the groups were working on a confidential proposal to address riders' health and welfare, but participants said after the Thursday call that the proposal has yet to be finalized.

"It turns out a little more development time is necessary," said Chris Scherf, the executive vice president of the Thoroughbred Racing Associations, a racetrack trade group. "We probably expect to make an announcement the second week of April."

Participants in the meeting also included representatives from Churchill Downs Inc., Magna Entertainment Inc., the National Horsemen's Benevolent and Protective Association, and the Thoroughbred Owners and Breeders Association.

Darrell Haire, the interim national manager of the Jockeys' Guild, called the meeting "very productive."