Cork jockey tells of ‘slap from a drunk’

Irish jockey Aidan Coleman was back in the saddle yesterday after insisting a “slap from a drunk” wouldn’t stop him going to work.

Coleman, 27, from Innishannon, Co Cork, suffered a bloodied nose and two chipped teeth when he was attacked at 5.23pm on Tuesday in the weighing room at Southwell Racecourse, after finishing last aboard Sawwala in the Mares’ Novices’ Hurdle.

But he was training yesterday morning, and racing at Chepstow later, after undergoing dental treatment for his injuries.

He took to Twitter to thank people for the messages of support and said: “I’m absolutely fine. Us jump jockeys are a tough bunch and a slap from a drunk wouldn’t be enough to stop us going back to work the next day.”

In a statement issued by the Professional Jockey’s Association (PJA), Coleman said those at fault were the two people who got into the jockey’s changing room.

“The only comment I would make is to question why they were still on the racecourse in the state they were,” he said.

“Southwell have announced that they are beefing up security so, from my perspective, it’s over, though of course the police investigation will continue so I wouldn’t have any more to say about it anyway.

“Hopefully the dentist work will be straightforward and not too expensive.”

PJA chief executive Paul Struthers said they were shocked by the assault on Coleman.

“One of the big attractions of horse racing is how close the public are able to get to the jockeys and how accessible they are, and we would not want this to change,” he said. “Thankfully, these incidents are very rare indeed but they undermine the confidence of jockeys and racegoers, and highlight the importance of a responsible approach to alcohol sales and the need for appropriate security arrangements that ensure such undesirables are not allowed on the premises.”

Nottinghamshire Police said two men and one woman were arrested on suspicion of assault and criminal damage, and that another woman had been arrested on suspicion of obstructing police.

The incident has also been referred to the British Horseracing Authority.


Lifestyle

The latest album reviewsReviews: Gil Scott-Heron, Moses Boyd

Exercise helps get the creative juices flowing as well as giving me the headspace to figure out whatever design conundrum may have arisen, interior designer Emma Kelly tells Aileen LeeDesign/Life: Meet interior designer Emma Kelly

More From The Irish Examiner