Thursday, 31 January 2013




Tuesday March 12 to Friday March 15
Cheltenham Festival Betting Odds

Pages 14-17 .

Tom Segal finds his festival value for this race


'I was flying I'd worked so hard to get to where I was going and it's all been snatched away from me. It's my dreams, it's everything'
'Steve Dennis talks to the rider whose life was forever turned upside down by what looked an everyday tumble from the saddle ...

"IT's hard being a jump jockey. When you take a fall you have to get up and carry on. That's what happened to Jimmy Derham - well, he got up, anyway. The rest of the story is 16 months in the telling, and there isn't a happy ending because he isn't a jockey anymore. "

J Margaret Clarke
 Turfcall Comment
Physically and in practice Derham isn't a jockey anymore. But mentally he is gradually coming to terms with the shock that hit him and messed his 'in practice career' and his  life up big time at Uttoxeter in September 2011.  But mentally Derham has already achieved bloodhorse literacy in his own right ' in theory his career, remains intact'  all his hard work his experiences, his achievements  have not been lost completely because he still has his bloodhorse literacy knowledge in theory, this side of things have most certainly not deserted him. 

Derham was proceeding up the ladder of bloodhorse literacy very well indeed, at the time of this fall.  The shock that Derham was forced to bare and is still baring.  Shock effects each one of us differently. When shock strikes we are not prepared. None of us know how shock will effect us, or for how long such shock will continue on taking effect. Derham says "I still begrudge the sport for what's happened to me. I'm nearly crying watching horses I used to ride in races, nearly crying watching the horsebox leave the yard without me, I can't cope with it.'
Derham is still working it all out in his head, the reason why he finds himself crying,  because he has not as yet worked through enough to calm a shock as bad as this one, his own way yet.

JIMMY DERHAM A truly heartbreaking true story to read.  Steve Dennis picks the story up  "In September 2011 Derham was going places, a 3lb conditional with 69 winners under his belt and a steadily broadening recognition of his abilities. The next step was an innocuous - looking handicap hurdle at Uttoxeter in which Derham rode Tri Nations, on whom he had already won twice. "I loved riding him, he was a great jumper," says Derham, 28. "I remember coming round the bend at Uttoxeter, saw a stride for the hurdle and gave him a squeeze. At the last minute though, another horse came across me slightly but the horse jumped anyway, he was committed. He hit the top and came down, and we brought down Jamie Moore's horse too.

"The other horse landed on top of me , so I took the brunt of two falls. I got up, answered all the questions the doctor asked, I was always conscious, never knocked out."

"So far so normal, nothing more than the habitual hazard of the occupation. Yet this is where the uncomplaining code of the jump jockey  - Derham illustrates it with the words "Jockey's make themselves be tough" - can serve to obscure, the truth of the situation. Derham outlines subsequent events providing a coda that might be a punchline save for the situation being no laughing matter.
"I couldn't see, my eyes were spinning and I felt sick, had a bad headache, I went from Uttoxeter to Stafford hospital, my CT scan was clear, they sent me home after two days.
Why did the Stafford hospital send Derham home after two days without checking him out properly in the first place?

"A couple of days later I developed a lisp - my tongue was partially paralysed through nerve damage. My girl friend Kate boarded up the windows of our house because the sunlight was too bright for my eyes.
Why did the Stafford hospital send Derham home after two days without checking him out properly in the first place?

 "A week later I went for another CT scan and the doctor took one look at the results and told me not to move, he put a surgical collar on me and said I wasn't going home. Then I had an MRI scan, after which the doctor asked me how I'd got to the hospital. I said I drove, and he said 'if you'd hit a pothole on the way you could have been dead. You've been walking a tightrope for 12 days'.
Why did the Stafford hospital send Derham home after two days without checking him out properly in the first place?

"To me this injury wasn't that bad. I just wanted to get back on a racecourse as soon as possible."

" Spoken like a proper jump jockey, with emphasises  the poignancy of what follows. Derham's injuries are reduced to an aside - a broken vertebra in his neck, ligament damage, a displaced fractured of the scull and 14 metal pins to lash it all together - as the narrative unwinds.

1. a. No mention here about a stewards inquiry taking place either at the time? Or since?
b.  Assuming there was no stewards inquiry at all at any time, why not? The reason?  
c. Who were the acting stewards that day at Uttoxeter? Their names?
d. Were they all bloodhorse illiterate?
e. If not how many were considered to be bloodhorse literate? Their names?

2. a. Jamie Moore what horse was he partnering, and who trained this horse?
b. Was he questioned at all that day by stewards? If not why not?
c. Has he been questioned at all since by stewards, if so by whom, name?
d. If not why not?

3. a. Why did Jamie Moore allow his mount to drift ro take another competitors ground?
b. Why did he allow this to happen at take -off time when riding into a hurdle?
c.  A critical moment take- off zone for all competitors, not just his own.
d. At that point was he riding his mount on the bridle? Or off the bridle?

Steve Dennis goes on, Derham "I was given two options - have an operation, and I'd be back 12-14 weeks, or have a collar on for three months and there'd be a 25 per cent chance of it healing itself.

"The quickest way back to the racecourse was the operation, so I had surgery two days later. Two months after that I was back riding out, all ready to rock and roll.."

"Yet Derham was refused his license because all the metalwork has left him with restricted flexibility in his neck. It was the first setback of a year-long struggle characterised by conflicting opinions from surgeons, while Derham rode trackwork in the US and kept his gaze fixed unwaveringly on the light at the end of the tunnel.

"I had all the mettle taken out last September, and though 'they can't say no now, I got the all-clear from every surgeon, but Dr Michael Turner refused my application. He referred me
 to a review panel of the licensing committee, and my doctor Philip Pritchard, who I can't praise highly enough, sent me to see Professor Steven Gill in Bristol.

"Gill said he has never seen anyone with an injury like mine because people don't survive it. It was a miracle, really. Breaking my neck was fine, that was the simple part.

"I'd fractured the lower part of my skull and it had displaced. There are two ligaments attached to it and I snapped one - if the other one had gone as well it would have been game over.

"Anyway, more CT  scans, and he told me the bottom of my skull had fused with the top of my spine. In a fall, your head cushions the initial impact but, because the bones had fused, my spine would take the full  force of any fall.

"I said 'I don't want to end up in a wheelchair'; he said 'don't worry, you won't. You'll be dead'. In one way it was a relief when he told me I'd never ride in races again because  it meant I could stop hoping."

"It is around  this point that the dynamic changes, that a straightforward  if emotional interview turns into something redolent of the confessional. A cup of coffee sits cold and untouched at his elbow; Derham  is not so much getting things off his chest  as pouring his heart out.

"What do I do now ?  I don't know. Looking back, that 25 per cent chance of the injury healing itself seems a very good chance, a  far better chance than 'never'.  

Steve Dennis continues "Having the operation gave me no chance of ever coming back. That's hard, it point the finger, but my issue is 'why was that the advice in the first place?'
"When I look back, there's a lot of things that could have been done differently, and if this happens to someone else tomorrow I'd hate for them to suffer the same thing.

"If it had all ended with the fall, that would be one thing, and I realise I'm extremely lucky to still be here, to be walking around with just a bit of restricted movement in my neck. But this will always eat away at me.

The other people involved throughout still have many questions to answer. All need to be called to account. Better late than never.

"I was doing well, 69 winners in three seasons, I was on the way up, I was flying. I'd worked so hard to get where I was going and it's all been snatched away from me. It's my dreams, it's everything.
"Ex-jockeys will always say they miss it, but a lot of them have retired, they've had their careers. I haven't had a career. That's the hardest part. What if? What if?
"What can I do? Everything except what I want to do. I started showjumping when I was six, took out a jockey's license when I was 21,  riding horses is all I've done.
"I schooled a few horses at Seamus's [Mullins] yesterday morning. People will think I'm mad, well it's driving me mad but it's keeping me sane at the same time, it keeps me getting up in the morning. Of course I'm worried about the risk but it's all I know how to do. It might kill me to stay in racing but it'll kill me to get out of it.

"I've been offered jobs as assistant, as head lad, but I'm  not ready to do that because I still begrudge the sport for what's happened to me. I'm nearly crying watching horses I used to ride in races, nearly crying watching the horsebox leaving the yard without me, I can't cope with it.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     
"I'm starting a business admin course with the JETS scheme, it's something to do. In some ways if I had a job to go straight into it would be easier because I could just bury my head in it. I have all the motivation and drive that I would have put into riding, and I would have put into riding, and I want to put it into something else.
 "Maybe I'd like to get into the betting industry because betting funds racing. I wouldn't know how to get into it but I'd like to see how that side works. One day, down the line, I'd love to train horses.
"No, it doesn't help me to talk about it. Getting into it with you is very tough. Being a jockey is not a job, it's a life. Kate's been wonderful and I've got great family and good friends, but I've nothing else and I have to start all over again.
Why do you have to start all over again? Who exactly is telling you or expecting you to do that? Stay right where you are and when you feel ready,  start your fight back. Get the answer's you deserve from all those who's job it was at the time to see you right, but failed you so miserably. 
"I'm trying to be positive all the time, I've had a shit time for the last year or so, but there's still a lot of people worse off than myself. I have to think like that.
"I just wish I knew what the next thing was. I wish someone would point me in the right direction, tell me what to do and help me to do it. But it's not that simple, is it?"
Steve Dennis says "The words came slowly to a halt. Sure it's hard being a jump jockey; Jimmy Derham is showing how unbearably hard it is not being one."


Jimmy Derham can be a key player in all Equus Zone issues if he wants to be, he needs to continue on within his bloodhorse literacy career (theory) from where he is now in his life.  To take that first step towards making sure what happened to him does not happen to anyone else. Using his own experiences for guidance in calling all those responsible to account. Consiquences horrific damages.

All true bloodhorse literate horsemen what there is left of them put the Great back into Britain every single day to include the horses.

The British Political Government Zone to include Horseracing Area MP’s
To highlight the dangers of having  bloodhorse illiterate MP’s
To ensure bloodhorse illiterate people are not employed in this Equus Zone

The BHA Regulation Government Zone
To highlight the dangers of employing bloodhorse illiterate people in stewarding, licensing, disciplinary, with the Rules of Racing to be protected from bloodhorse illiteracy at all time
no matter what the cost. To ensure such people are never employed within all key areas of the Equus Zone

The Racecourse Regulation Zone
To highlight the areas needing a balanced bloodhorse literate approach, and to make sure this is always upheld to be the case. Bloodhorse safety first, not last.

The  Bookmakers Regulation Zone
To respect at all times those who’s work allows them their business to include the horses.

The Punters Regulation Zone
To respect at all times those who’s work allows them their gambling to include the horses.


GOING: HEAVY (Some standing water) (Now all-chase card) PRECAUTIONARY INSPECTION 8AM THURSDAY (2m5f start has been moved to the bend past the water jump & first fence in home straight will be omitted). (Light rain, windy)
1:40 Elite Racing Club Novices´ Limited Handicap Chase Cl3 2m Card Betting
2:10 Carling Johny Whitcombe Fan Club Novices´ Chase Cl4 2m5f Card Betting
2:40 Grolsch Handicap Chase Cl3 2m5f Card Betting
3:10 Carolyn Brown Celebration Veterans´ Handicap Chase Cl2 3m1f110y Card Betting
3:40 CGA Foxhunter Trial Hunters´ Chase (for the Stewart Tory Memorial Challenge Trophy) Cl6 3m1f110y Card Betting
4:10 Connolly´s Red Mills Handicap Chase Cl4 3m1f110y Card Betting


2:30 DUBAL Billet Trophy (Handicap) (Turf) 1m2f Card Betting
3:05 DUBAL Potlines Trophy (Handicap (Tapeta) 1m1f110y Card Betting
3:40 DUBAL Excellence Trophy (Handicap) (Turf) 5f Card Betting
4:15 DUBAL Casthouse Trophy (Handicap) (Tapeta) 7f Card Betting
4:50 Al Rashidiya Sponsored By DUBAL (Group 2) (Turf) 1m1f Card Betting
5:25 DUBAL Trophy (Handicap) (Turf) 7f Card Betting

No comments:

Post a Comment