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Jockeys to Elect Board at Meeting

January 08, 2006|Bob Mieszerski

The Jockeys' Guild will hold its annual assembly on Feb. 27-28 in Dallas, and the members are expected to elect a permanent board and decide how to hire a permanent national manager.

John Velazquez, the 2004 Eclipse award-winning jockey and a finalist to repeat when the 2005 awards are presented on Jan. 23, said details about the meeting would be released soon. Velazquez is the chairman of the guild's interim board of directors.

The troubled guild ousted former president L. Wayne Gertmenian late last year, and Congress is continuing to investigate issues facing riders and other track employees.

Darrell Haire, a former jockey and the current interim national manager of the guild, participated in a recent chat on Bloodhorse.com, announced the dates of the assembly, which had to be rescheduled because of the recent problems the Guild encountered, and discussed various other subjects, including the removal of Gertmenian.

"[Gertmenian] deceived many people and I was one of them," Haire said during the chat. "Looking back, that may seem hard to believe, but it's the truth.

"There was a time that I really thought he could help the Jockeys' Guild. He was supposedly so experienced and so educated, and I thought surely I had to be wrong when I started having doubts about him.

"I am dedicated to bringing back the pride and integrity for which the Guild was known. I'm being trusted to act on an interim basis as the national manager and I'm giving the job absolutely my very best. And hopefully, over time, I'll be able to earn the trust of anyone who still has doubts about me.

"Most jockeys throughout the country are already supportive of the guild and are stepping up to become more involved."

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-- Bob Mieszerski

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