HALLANDALE BEACH, FL—The Florida Thoroughbred Horsemen’s Association located at Gulfstream Park announced that applications are being accepted for their new workers’ compensation program. Implemented in November 2023, the plan has been enthusiastically received and already provides coverage for more than 50 trainers.

This unique horse racing industry insurance program provides affordable workers’ compensation coverage to trainers for their backstretch employees, including assistant trainers, exercise riders, grooms and hot walkers. Trainers pay a per-start fee that is determined after loss runs are provided. Those who race at Gulfstream Park year-round receive a $50 subsidy from the Florida Thoroughbred Horsemen’s Association, making the insurance plan cost effective.

“This new policy provides substantial savings in expenses for resident trainers at Gulfstream Park,” trainer Ron Spatz said. “The security of knowing all of my employees are covered at a sizable cost savings—without the risk of being dropped or facing a rate increase if a claim is filed—was a huge factor when I decided to sign up for the program.”

The Horsemen’s Workers’ Compensation Insurance Trust provides all coverage in all states except New York, California, Ohio, North Dakota, Washington, and Wyoming.

“I am grateful for the years of dedication and hard work the Florida Thoroughbred Horsemen’s Association has done to make this possible for us,” trainer Jose Garoffalo said. “In the past, finding coverage for backstretch employees was not only difficult, it was very costly. And, if there was a previous claim in the past few years, the insurance would either be too expensive or nearly impossible to find. This program is a blessing for trainers at Gulfstream Park.”

This workers’ compensation program ensures that Florida’s hardworking trainers can protect their employees while getting the benefit of a dramatic reduction in premiums.

“In the past, Gulfstream Park trainers faced difficulties when it came to obtaining reasonably priced workers’ compensation policies for their backstretch employees,” FTHA Executive Director Herb Oster said. “Finding a solution that made sense has been on the forefront of our efforts for several years and we are pleased to be able to provide this program that ultimately saves our trainers thousands of dollars a year.”

To apply for The Horsemen’s Workers’ Compensation Trust, please contact Jana Schwartz in the FTHA office at Gulfstream Park, call 759-256-7142, or email:

Return to Feb. 9 issue of Wire to Wire