IMPORTANT LETTER TO OWNERS OF OKLAHOMA BRED RACING STOCK
Dear OQHRA Members,
I hope this letter finds you well. I am writing to inform you about an important development that has recently arisen regarding the payment of jockeys based on Oklahoma Bred earnings and the need for your active participation in resolving this matter.
For several years the horsemen’s bookkeeper at each track has paid the jockeys win percentages based on Oklahoma Bred earned money. Although, the Oklahoma Bred money is paid directly to the owner from the OHRC and does not go into the horsemen’s purse account at the track. For an example: if the winner’s purse was $7,000 – $5,000 from the horsemen’s purse account and $2,000 from the Oklahoma Bred Fund. The owners account at the track would be credited $5,000, then a deduction for the jockeys 10% would be $700. That deduction would cover the jockeys 10% of the Oklahoma Bred Money that the owner would receive directly from the OHRC.
However, the OHRC has recently directed the bookkeepers to discontinue paying jockeys based on Oklahoma Bred money. Their reasoning stems from a decision made by the Executive Director and Commission Attorney, who believe that existing rules and statutes do not permit these deductions from the owner’s account without their explicit permission.
In collaboration with Will Rogers Downs (WRD) and the Jockeys Guild, we have reached an interim agreement to address this matter. Owners will now be required to “Opt-In” to pay jockeys based on Oklahoma Bred earnings. To do so, each owner must complete a form and submit it to the bookkeeper at WRD before the running of the first race in which they have an eligible Oklahoma Bred horse. This form will authorize the deduction of the owner’s earnings for payment to the jockeys.
Please note that this arrangement may need to be replaced with a more formal contract in 2024, but for the current season, this solution should suffice.
This online form can be conveniently completed by owners, and upon submission, a copy will be forwarded directly to the track’s bookkeeper. If you would prefer to have a hard copy, those can be obtained from the horsemen’s bookkeeper.
OQHRA will have physical forms and the electronic link available at the OQHRA booth during the upcoming Heritage Place sale for your convenience. It is crucial that everyone understands that OQHRA did not initiate this change, and while we do not support the decision, we are committed to facilitating a positive resolution for all parties involved.
Thank you for your understanding and cooperation as we work through this issue together. If you have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to reach out to me directly.