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Letter from the President: Rising Cost of Workers' Comp Insurance

November 15, 2016

The cost of doing business in New York State is skyrocketing. The premiums for Workers’ Compensation Insurance in New York have risen more than 100% since 2012; trainers will pay on average 25.32% of their total payroll for Workers' Comp Insurance in 2017 - that's up from 12.43% five years ago.

The New York Thoroughbred Horsemen's Association is examining a program that would help defray the crippling cost of Workers' Comp premiums. Under the proposal, which would target the Aqueduct inner track meet, trainers would receive a credit from the purse account for each starter that finishes from fourth to last, and the funds would be earmarked for the payment of the trainer's NY Jockey Injury Compensation Fund insurance costs. Excess funds would go into the trainer's account, and could be used to offset the cost of the workers' comp insurance for assistants, grooms, hotwalkers and the remainder of the trainer's employees. The proposed per-start credit is $300.

There would be protocol in place to ensure horses are not raced too frequently, solely for the purpose of earning a per-start credit, and eligibility for the program would include adherence to safety specifications for the equipment worn by the exercise riders, both full-time and free-lance, employed by the trainer.

The program could have the added benefit of attracting more horses to the Aqueduct inner track meet, and increased field size would offset the cost of the per-start credits.

We would like to get feedback from the NYTHA membership on this proposal. Please hit reply to share your thoughts, and include your name and telephone number.

Sincerely,

Rick Violette Jr., NYTHA President

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