George Chaloner quits saddle and vows to never ride a horse again

Wed 1 Nov 2017

Royal Ascot-winning jockey George Chaloner has decided to call time on his riding career after failing to recover both physically and mentally from a series of injuries.

The 25-year-old enjoyed seven days he will never forget back in the summer of 2014, steering the Richard Fahey-trained Baccarat to victory in the Wokingham Stakes in Berkshire before landing the Northumberland Plate at Newcastle aboard his stablemate Angel Gabrial just a week later.

However, the talented rider broke his foot and ankle in an accident on the gallops in late 2015 and the following November he was sidelined for around three months after breaking his collarbone in a heavy fall at Wolverhampton.

On his first ride back at Newcastle in February, Chaloner suffered yet another fall, breaking his foot again as well as fracturing vertebrae and while he has worked hard in attempt to make another comeback since, he feels the time is right to retire from the saddle.

Chaloner said on Wednesday: "I've had three bad falls in three years and I've just decided enough is enough. I think someone is trying to tell me something.

"I'm not going to ride a horse again. Upstairs I just couldn't do it. I've been seeing a psychologist up in Newcastle through the PJA (Professional Jockeys Association) which has been good, but I've made the decision and that's it.

Nottingham Races

"I broke my back at Newcastle and they discovered there were three other weak points that I'd obviously suffered the time before.

"They told me I was within half a centimetre of being paralysed and when you see what's happened to Freddie Tylicki, it just isn't worth it."

Chaloner, who spent his early career with National Hunt trainer Malcolm Jefferson before joining Fahey, is unsure what the future holds, but he hopes to remain within the sport.

He added: "I've been working flat out at Jack Berry House for the last few months. I've told Jack he should name a wing after me as I've been his number one client!

"I've had a good career and I have a lot to thank Richard Fahey and Malcolm Jefferson for. I've been driving Malcolm up the gallops and to the races recently. It's been good just to get out of the house.

"Jets (Jockeys Employment & Training Scheme) have been really good and I've spent a bit of time shadowing Richard Hoiles (racecourse commentator) as well as some stewards.

"It was my dream to be a jockey, but I've got to find another dream now and hopefully announcing my retirement will open a few opportunities."

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