Continuing the much-needed conversation about mental health and jockeys, we featured Nathan Horrocks on HRRN last Saturday. A former jump jockey, Horrocks wrote and directed The Fall, a riveting short film at the jockey’s life.
Horrocks wrote the movie, partly because of the loss of James Banks and Liam Treadwell. Two jockeys, far too young. I asked him what they would have thought about the movie.
“James and I had some pretty heavy conversations…yet we weren’t being honest with each other,” Horrocks said. “It’s that thing, ‘I want to say something but I can’t.’ I’m hoping this stops us from having another James and another Liam, this will trigger something in someone to say I need to say something, ‘Right, I have these feelings, it’s getting me down and I need help.’ When I pitched this to our stakeholders to give me the funding, it was ‘if this job saves one life…’ “
I’m a long way from the mental anguish of being a jockey, it’s taken me a long time. I’ve been retired for 21 years. Can that be possible? In that time, I have learned a lot about concusssions, depression, the highs and lows of being a jockey and the strange no-man’s land of not being a jockey. It’s important to talk about it, important to recognize it.