Tue, Feb 14, 9:12am by Staff Writer
Josh Cartwight, the jockey at the centre of the now infamous incident where he deliberately rode to interfere with other horses in a race in Adelaide, will serve an 18-month ban after being found guilty of reckless riding.
The 22-year-old caused an incident which was described by Thoroughbred Racing South Australia chairman of stewards Johan Petzer as being ‘unprecedented in the degree of recklessness, possibly in the world, but certainly in Australia’.
The interference forced Go The Journey out onto House of Wax, whose rider Jason Holder was temporarily unseated. Holder regained his balance and was able to finish the race.
WATCH: The replay of the race in question
While no-one was harmed in the incident, stewards took an extremely dim view.
In the hearing this week, Petzer said Cartwright actions proved a ‘reckless indifference’ to the safety of his fellow jockeys and their horses and such actions could not be tolerated.
A lengthy investigation followed the incident, during which no financial motive for Cartwright’s actions were uncovered.
Instead, Cartwright said he was in a distressed state and it was the actions of a desperate man.
“I do not come across as a very upset, sad person. It takes a lot to break me.”
“I have been feeling it a lot since it happened … I’m also disgusted with what I did.”
“Everyone who knows me, is obviously relying on me. I put a scar on myself.”
“I’d also like to apologise to the whole racing community for what I did because it is nothing short of disgusting and I’ve realised that.”
His lawyer Wayne Pasterfield said the jockey wanted to end his career ahead of the incident, and said that the constant pressure of riding had put him in a perilous mental state.
“He was on the edge of a breakdown,” he said. “He wanted a way out. He didn’t want to go home a jockey [that day].”
“I have no doubt, that if it wasn’t for the horses, he would have killed himself,” he said.
Cartwright was a dual licence holder, but also had his training licence suspended six months over the incident.
Australian Jockeys Association general manager Des O’Keeffe agreed Cartwright’s recklessness was at a level not seen before in Australia.
“The penalty was far, far more severe than anything we’ve seen in the past.”
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