Terry Meyocks, the President and CEO of the Jockeys' Guild for 14 years will bring clarification to a June 7 letter, when the Jockeys' Guild informed its membership that, starting July 1, Monmouth Park jockeys will no longer be covered by Guild insurance policies. The Guild has been providing temporary disability benefits, life insurance and Accident, Death and Disability benefits to those who have chosen to ride in New Jersey. The Guild has been adamant in its belief that racing has become more dangerous at Monmouth Park because jockeys are no longer allowed to encourage their mounts with the use of the whip. In the June 7 letter, sent out to all Guild members, Guild President and CEO Terry Meyocks wrote that, “The increase of risk is thereby creating a greater exposure for the Jockeys' Guild and the benefits that we provide to our members who are riding under such regulation.” Meyocks said that the cost of the insurance policies has, so far, not increased due to the whip regulations, but that the Guild's Board of Directors is concerned that the ban will eventually lead to higher rates. Once the policies have been withdrawn, it appears that anyone riding at Monmouth will either have to take out insurance of their own or accept the risks that would come from riding without coverage. When asked if he expected that some riders would chose to leave Monmouth because of the insurance situation, Meyocks replied, “I have no idea. I really don't. All we have done all along is to just inform everybody.” Meyocks said that Monmouth is on a list of tracks that do not make any financial contributions to the Guild's insurance policies. He will elaborate for us how the new whip law is affecting the situation.
To say jockey DeShawn Parker has had a roller coaster ride over the past year would be putting it mildly. As his highly successful career in the saddle continues, he has faced the highs and personal lows with all of the class that has been exuded by him throughout his career. In a relatively short span of time he lost his father and long-time agent Billy Johnson. DeShawn Parker, the five foot, 10 inch jockey who in 2010 became the first African American rider since 1895 to lead all American jockeys in races won, can now add another coveted achievement to what has been an incredible career, as he has been selected by a vote of jockeys nationwide as the winner of the 2021 George Woolf Memorial Jockey Award. The 2021 Woolf Award win comes on the heels of the passing of Parker’s mentor and father, Daryl Parker. A longtime respected Ohio racing steward, Parker passed away from cancer in Cincinnati on March 4. “My idol, my best friend and a great father!” Parker tweeted on March 5. “He meant so much to my life and my career. I can only hope to be as great as he was. I’m going to miss my Dad so much, but I know he’s in a better place with no pain and living his life to the fullest up there talking up a storm. He will tell us more about his career.