Thompson Explains Jockeys Guild Stand on Rough Riding: Says Gilberts Fall Last Winter Prompted Move for 10-Day Minimum Suspension, Daily Racing Form, 1951-06-05


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. , — A Thompson Explains Jockeys Guild Stand on Rough Riding Says Gilberts Fall Last * Winter Prompted Move for 10-Day Minimum Suspension By LEON RASMUSSEN Staff Correspondent HOLLYWOOD PARK, Inglewood, Calif., June 4. — The minimum 10-day suspension for rough riding, in force in many states and endorsed by the National Association of State Racing Commissioners, is being sought as a permanent ruling in California by the Jockeys Guild. The 10-day ruling is a much discussed subject in California racing circles right now as last week the California Horse RacingBoard issued an order obligating the Hollywood stewards to mete out such minimum penalties whereas the stewards had previously dealt out several three - to - five - day rulings. The racing boards order is in effect until June 18, at which time it will meet in executive session* and decide whether or not to continue the 10-day minimum. In an interview this morning with Bert Thompson, western representative of the Jockeys Guild, Thompson advanced many reasons why the Guild would like to see the ruling made permanent. He said that the jockeys all feel that the punishment should fit the crime, but that in the case of rough riding this punishment should never be less than 10 days. Not Trying to Dictate to Stewards Thompson went on to say that "certainly, anything spawned within the ranks of the riders themselves to minimize accidents on the turf and backed up by the majority of commissions throughout the country, must have merit. It is not our intention to try and dictate to the stewards, but certainly it should be understood that it is our sincere desire to help the cause of racing while protecting our own. The stewards are permitted by the rules of racing in California to fine jockeys from 5 to 00 for infractions. If they do not believe that the infraction constitutes rough riding, they can fine the boy. And the 10-day minimum is merely that — a minimum. If it is a case of gross rough riding the stewards could set the boy down for a great deal longer than 10 days." Asked what brought about the campaign for the 10-day suspension in California, Thompson said, "It was the result of Johnny Gilberts accident at Santa Anita. Although Johnnys fall was an accident, it brought home to the fellows what could happen as a result of rough riding. They talked it over in the jocks room and from that talk it evolved that the Jockey Guild directors voted that I should carry a message to the NASRC convention in Florida. In my speech, printed in full Jn Daily Racing Form, I urged the commissioners to bear down on rough riding and suggested fflp% ]r ilf_lKf%Sl_____l BERT THOMPSON that this could be done by giving stricter penalties to jockeys guilty of rodeo tactics. M oyers Motion Carried "Earl J. Moyer, chairman of the Nebraska commission, made a motion that the Jockeys Guild submit a plan to every board of commissioners and then the commissioners recommend this plan to their various stewards. This motion was seconded by Ashley T. Cole of New York — who has seen-the plan in successful operation in his state for nine years — and the motion was carried unanimously. J. Samuel Perlman, publisher of Daily Racing Form, said at the time: It is a healthy condition in racing when a representative of the Jockeys Guild asks for more severe penalties for its members. Everyone should help to do away with rough riding. " Thompson said that after the Florida NASRC convention all riders were polled regarding the 10-day minimum suspension. Ninety-eight per cent voted that it be put into effect. The Jockeys Guild, at the request of the NASRC, wrote each commission recommending the 10-day minimum suspension and for continued riding, a more severe penalty. With the exception of thrfifi states, one of whirh is California, the Jockeys Guild has on file letters from all other commissions adopting the recommendation." Rough riding, according to Thompson, reached its peak in 1950. This is a statistical fact backed up by Lloyds of London Insurance Company which handles jockey insurance on all American tracks. Maurice Gross, the .Lloyds representative, ascribes 70 per cent of riding accidents to rough riding and has the figures to prove there is a minimum of such riding where the suspensions are most severe. New York, according to top-flight riders, has the cleanest race riding in the nation and believe it is because of the severity of the penalty for such an infraction. Bay Meadows, which recently concluded a 41-day meeting and followed the Jockey Clubs recommendation, did not have a spill throughout the session. Thompson went on to say that "I dont want anyone to think that the Jockeys Guild is getting too big for its britches. But last year we had too many fellows killed and maimed. Were losing three to five boys each year, and it has got to stop. Clean riding is the answer and the only sure way to get clean riding is to make rough riding unprofitable. Once the ball gets rolling we can stamp it out and the 10 -day minimum ruling could be the impetus. The Jockeys Guild would defeat its own purpose if the stewards did not have complete power in racing. -All the jockeys are asking is for the stewards to be more powerful in their rulings where rough riding is concerned."

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