AUSTRALIA

Beadman bows to the warnings of doctors

PUBLISHED : Monday, 29 October, 2012, 12:00am
UPDATED : Monday, 29 October, 2012, 3:46am

The curtain has come down on Darren Beadman's fantastic career after the jockey announced his retirement on Australian television last night, the end result of brain trauma he suffered in a fall at Sha Tin in February.

Around the same time that racing in Hong Kong was winding up yesterday, so too was Beadman's 30 years in the saddle, as he appeared in a segment of the news and current affairs show 60 Minutes which dealt with the real dangers of life as a jockey.

Beadman, who turns 47 on November 17, had been left with slurred speech and difficulty maintaining his balance after the fall when his mount shattered both forelegs in a barrier trial, and one of the horse's feet kicked the back of the jockey's skull cap in the incident.

For five years the retained stable rider for leading trainer John Moore, Beadman had been hoping to make a comeback but has ultimately bowed to the warnings of his doctors.

"It was such an obvious decision I suppose but it was just so hard a decision to make," Beadman told the Post.

"Now that it's done, I can move on to something else."

Beadman said he had not committed to any future path, such as becoming a trainer, at this stage.

"I have plenty of time to think about what the next thing will be but there's no plan. Right now, I just want to work on getting myself well again," he said.

The winner of 95 Group Ones and thousands of races, despite taking several years off to become a church pastor in the late 1990s, Beadman was the youngest rider inducted into Australia's Hall Of Fame in 2007 and the only one to do so while still riding.

His 274 wins in Hong Kong included the Hong Kong International Bowl twice, Champions Mile twice, Hong Kong Sprint, Derby, Gold Cup (three times), Queen's Silver Jubilee and Champions & Chater Cup.

As an apprentice in Sydney, Beadman's first ride finished second, but he improved on that at the other end of his career - his final ride was a win on the John Moore-trained Military Attack at Happy Valley on February 15.