Sterling Yong, Daily Racing Form, 1954-06-23


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Sterling Young Sterling Young is secretary and eastern manager of the Jockeys Guild. I am most happy to be present at another convention of the National Association of State Racing Commissioners. The discussions at these gatherings have had a far reaching effect on racing. During the 1953 convention in Boston, the Jockeys Guild urged that all states consider adopting the standard apprentice contract evolved by The Jockey Club and the Guild. The directors of the guild are much pleased with the response of the commissions. This contract has been adopted by several states and is being considered by others. I am sure it will prove of great benefit to the apprentice riders and their employers. The Jockeys Guild is try--ing to impress upon, the apprentice that his contract must be properly recorded and an accurate record be kept of all transfers. Some employers simply release the contract to the apprentice. It then becomes null and void. There have been several such instances during the past winter, creating numerous problems. It is vital that the apprentice, and his employer, be made to realize the importance of adhering to the proper procedure. Revised Apprentice Rule I would like to call your attention to the revised apprentice rule now in effect in New York. Under this rule, an apprentice is allowed five pounds until he has ridden one hundred winners. He is granted an additional two pounds for the duration of the contract," provided he is still with his original contract owner. There has been some objection to this rule, especially to the last restriction. The Guild appreciates that the horsemen have a substantial investment in the apprentice and hope to realize a fair return. However, the apprentice is starting his career and any plan which offers possibilities for a more successful future, for a greater number of apprentices, should be carefully considered. I checked the Chart Book and learned that of the riders who broke their maidens in 1952, less than 8 per cent rode more than 100 winners during their first year. This small minority would have suffered from the revised rule but the majority of apprentices, and their employers, would have benefited. This rule has been adopted by several states during the past few months. The Jockeys Guild unanimously favors the rule and will be much pleased if it becomes nationwide. You will recall that at last years convention, the Guild sponsored a graduated scale of mount fees for the lower purses. The response has been most satisfactory; the majority of states have revised their scale of jockey fees. You may be sure that the jockeys appreciate this increase in their income. It is hoped that in time, all states will adopt the scale. In the opinion of the directors of the Jockeys Guild, it would be of great benefit to the riders if each jockey is given a compulsory physical examination at the beginning of each meeting. This record of the riders health would be of help to them, individually, and would enable the track doctor to control ill health. Th6 directors are gratified at the increasing number of states which will not permit a rider who falls, or is thrown, with no apparent injury, to ride again until she has been examined, and pronounced fit, by a physician. This precaution is a safeguard to his health and protects the other riders who would be endangered should he "black out" during a race. The directors of the Jockeys Guild have asked me to express their appreciation to you gentlemen for your splendid cooperation in the past and hope for your con- ; tinued support.

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