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Ohio tracks to provide riders with workers' compensation from state

February 3, 2006     E-mail this page to a friend!

Thoroughbred Times Today/ Feb. 2
Jockeys who ride at Beulah Park and River Downs in 2006 will be covered by the state of Ohio's workers' compensation program.

The tracks will pay the premiums, and jockeys need only to fill out minimal paperwork to qualify for unlimited medical and disability coverage for work-related injuries.

"This is absolutely fabulous for the riders," said Beulah Park General Manager Michael Weiss. "We're acting as an administrator for the riders, making sure they're properly signed up, and we're paying the premiums. They don't have to do anything but give us some basic information."

Weiss said he did not know the cost of the program, which is based on a percentage of each jockey's salary. Beulah previously was providing riders with up to $100,000 coverage.

"We were one of the tracks still sitting at $100,000. It was going to be very expensive to get up to the half-million dollar mark, so we started looking for alternatives," Weiss said. "Our workman's comp attorney told us our jockeys could sign up as sole proprietors as individuals under the state, and then we went through a risk advisor who found a group who would accept the jockeys." —Pete Denk