I personally thought the short distance that Fair Fella galloped after dumping Jason Taylor was well and truly long enough, and well and truly cause to scratch it from Race 7 at Beaudesert.
I also know that nine of ten footy players who get pulled off the field because they are concussed and in Disneyland claim that they are okay to play on, and that if Jason Taylor was stood down from injury in that race he would have lost around a thousand dollar in riding fees and prize purse commissions.
I’m not a vet, so while I can question Dr Gemma Silvetri’s decision to allow Fair Fella to run, I can’t with any authority criticise it.
I can say however that proofs are often found in puddings, and tell you that in an 1100 metre scamper around a tight front-runners track, the 13-4 shot that had won its past 3 starts by an average of three lengths led early but was gone at the 600, and that it dropped out to finish seven and a half lengths behind the winner.
I can’t speak as a vet, and I can’t speak as jockey Jason Taylor either, because I wasn’t the bloke who got hurled off Fair Fella and hit the deck hard, he was.
I can however speak as a footy player who has been concussed, for back in my junior days I was handed a ticket to Dreamworld a few times. It tends to happen to little, skinny fullbacks who tackle front-rowers who’ve broken through on the burst ball and all, chest high, and hang on like grim death if they can’t trip them, just to make sure the fat, tall bastards can’t put the Sonny Bill down touching the turf.
Let me tell you, it f*cking hurts your head when a kid twice your age who has hair on his nuts at 13 body slams the back of your skull into the turf at full speed, and assure you that the ticket holder tends not to think too clearly for quite a while either, like until at least around lunchtime Monday.
I can also tell you through personal research, and by quoting all and any expert scientific research findings, that people with concussion are the least most qualified in the world to diagnose their own conditions, and make an assessment of their current concussed capacity.
So asking a jockey who has just suffered a trauma that may cause concussion whether he’s right to ride is like asking a bloke in a coma whether he’d like one or two sugars with his tea, or whether he’d like to drink it while he signed a resuscitate or do not resuscitate health directive.
In other words, it is both blindingly stupid, and irresponsibly negligent.
So why did the Stewards allow Jason Taylor to self-assess his condition after Fair Fella threw him behind the gates?
I’m not for a minute saying Taylor was concussed, just that he could have been, and that fact triggers certain duties of care and responsibilities upon the racing officials responsible for running the meeting and the organisations they represent, those outfits being Racing Queensland and the QRIC.
It was good enough to have the horse inspected by a vet.
Why wasn’t it good enough to have the jockey inspected by the on-course doctor?
Head injuries are becoming a huge issue in sport these days, and when they full-flow the damages bills are going to start running in the hundreds of millions.
The folk who run racing in Queensland need to wake up to themselves and their responsibility to people as well as horses, before the lawsuits start drowning them too.