No rider to blame for Kristy Banks fall

By: Mark Mazzaglia
March 26th, 2012

Racing Queensland Stewards have cleared all riders of any blame for the fall at Toowoomba on New Year’s Eve that ended jockey Kristy Bank’s riding career.

Stewards reconvened the inquiry last Friday into the fall in the Brisbane Riverview Hotel QTIS three year old Handicap (1200m) and took further evidence from jockeys Gary Geran and Geoff Goold as well as Kristy’s father Graham Banks during the hearing.

Banks’ mount August Bishop clipped heels at the 900m and fell giving her a very heavy fall resulting in severe spinal injuries which saw the popular Toowoomba jockey spend several weeks in hospital and end her riding days.

August Bishop’s trainer Kevin Kemp also provided evidence stating that his horse showed no lameness at the walk but had swelling in the left knee after being examined by a veterinary surgeon in the days after the race.

After taking evidence Stewards came to the conclusion that Bank’s mount August Bishop whilst being position behind runners after crossing over from a wide barrier, clipped the heels of Top Of The Rock at the 900m resulting in August Bishop falling.

Stewarts reported in their official report that “the fall and subsequent injuries to jockey Kristy Banks was in no way attributable to any horse or rider error, but rather was the result of an accident which unfortunately occurs in racing from time to time.”

Chief Toowoomba Stewart Martin Knibbs also highlighted in his report the dangers that jockeys encounter whenever they participate on the racetrack.

Jockey Michelle Payne was fined $300 for throwing in a frivolous protest in the Group 1 $600,000 Coolmore Classic (1500m) at Rosehill won by Kathy O’Hara on Ofcourseican.

Payne was fourth across the line on Yosei and claimed Ofcourseican shifted out at the 900m and caused interference to her mount.

Racing New South Wales Stewards took less than thirty seconds to dismiss the protest stating that the incident was no more than a racing manoeuvre and completed the inquiry over the phone today as Payne had to return to Melbourne on Saturday night.

Leading Melbourne jockey Luke Nolen was fined $200 at Kembla Grange yesterday after failing to wear his jockey’s safety vest.

Nolen was on his way to the barriers on Rite Of Honour before the running of the WIN Network Class 2 Handicap (1500m) when he realised that he had forgotten to put his safety vest on and returned to the saddling enclosure to rectify the situation.

Acting Chief Steward Marc Van Gestel acknowledged the fact that Nolen was quick to sort out the mistake as soon as he realised his error, but still had to impose the penalty.

“That goes to your credit but it doesn’t take away from the fact that you still went out there at first without it,” Van Gestel said.

Nolen was at Kembla Grange yesterday to ride the Peter Moody trained Chateau Margaux which finished seventh in the Group 3 Illawarra Mercury Keith F Nolan Classic (1600m) for three year old fillies after taking out the Group 1 $400,000 Ranvet Stakes (2000m) at Rosehill on Saturday on Manighar.


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