Decision on the Josh Cartwright penalty could be made this week

Josh Cartwright
Josh Cartwright with long-time girlfriend, jockey Anna Jordsjo.

UNDER siege jockey Josh Cartwright could know the outcome of his reckless riding charge as early as this week according to a statement released by Thoroughbred Racing South Australia (TRSA) on Monday.

TRSA confirmed the body is investigating the incident that shocked the world on Saturday, which appeared to show Cartwright allegedly steer his horse into the direction of horses coming down the outside in the last race at Morphettville.


Cartwright – who described the incident as a ‘brain fade’ – has already pleaded guilty to a reckless riding charge and was stood down immediately, but the 22-year-old could still face a lengthy spell on the sidelines if the body finds his actions were intentional.

“Thoroughbred Racing SA (TRSA) can confirm that an investigation is underway into an incident that occurred at Morphettville Parks on Saturday 14 January 2017 in Race 8 (MAC: Stop Drug Driving Handicap, 1250 metres).” The TRSA statement read.

“Following the race, TRSA Stewards charged jockey Josh Cartwright under AR137(a) for reckless riding for directing Senior Council at an acute angle with the intention of making contact with runners to his outside. Offences/breaches of this rule are considered serious.

“Mr Cartwright pleaded guilty to the charge and was stood down from all riding activity with immediate effect. Stewards adjourned the matter on penalty for further consideration.

“This matter is being further investigated by Stewards. It is anticipated a decision regarding the penalty may be made this week.”

The young Victorian jockey received widespread condemnation on social media for his actions, but Australian Jockeys’ Association chief executive Des O’Keeffe has called for calm until the incident has been adequately investigated.

“There’s a lot to play out and the key thing, given that the horses and Jason Holder and Matthew Poon have come through unscathed, our prime focus switches to Josh Cartwright,” O’Keeffe told Melbourne radio RSN927.

“We want to see that his wellbeing and welfare is looked after as this unfolds.

“The South Australian stewards will establish exactly what has happened and, more importantly, what has caused this to happen and deal with it from there.

“What the intent was is yet to be established but no doubt it’s getting exposure across the country and overseas. It was a very odd incident.”

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Our take – innocent until proven guilty, but Cartwright clearly needs help

What an absolute debacle the Josh Cartwright reckless riding incident has been, and we are not even close to the finishing line yet.

Speculation has mounted that Cartwright and his girlfriend conspired to get her horse over the line by taking out the swoopers. If that is proven to be correct, then the sporting body should throw the book at him.

The true question is though: what compels a young jockey who seemingly has the racing world at his feet to commit a dangerous and reckless act like that?

The fact is, any decision to endanger the lives and well-being of not just his fellow jockeys, but also the horses competing in the race, needs to be taken extremely seriously, and if it’s proven that Cartwright intentionally set out to negate the runs of the horses coming down the outside, a life-ban is a legitimate course of action to take.

If a life-ban is imposed however, that cannot be the end of the line for racing and Josh Cartwright.

This is a 22-year-old who has made a life-altering decision which impacts the rest of his life, and no one in a sound state of mind would willingly risk his and others’ lives as well as his own livelihood over a horse race.

If he is found guilty the next step is setting up measures to ensure Cartwright gets the adequate professional help needed to overcome his issues.

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