Turf Talk: Fallon retires from racing after seeking treatment for depression

Kieren Fallon has retired from the saddle after suffering with depression for the 'the best part of three years'.

Monday, 4th July 2016, 10:39 am
Updated Monday, 4th July 2016, 11:42 am
Kieren Fallon

The Irish Turf Club’s chief medical officer Dr Adrian McGoldrick revealed the 51-year-old’s illness had gone unnoticed when he was riding in England and America.

County Clare-born Fallon has returned to his homeland this season, and has now sought medical advice to help combat “quite profound depression”.

Dr McGoldrick said: “I first became aware of it when he came to see me for his licence earlier this year and he was obviously very significantly depressed.

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“Kieren’s had quite significant depression ongoing for the best part of three years which has gone undiagnosed in England and America.

“It got worse and I met with him on Sunday and have arranged to have it managed.

“He went to see a specialist in America and nobody picked up on it.

“It’s quite profound depression. As soon as I can get a bed organised for him, he’ll be going to hospital here in Ireland.

“Hopefully we can get him managed and get him ready for the next stage of his life. He said he won’t be returning to race riding afterwards and will move on to another phase of his career, whatever that might be.

“He felt himself he had no motivation for the last two or three years and that had affected his depression. At this stage of his life he feels he has to move on.

“We know that a lot of elite athletes have depression. I commissioned a survey in racing last year and 49 per cent of jockeys in Ireland actually had symptoms of depression.”

Fallon, a six-times champion jockey in Britain, will continue to play a part at the yard of young Curragh trainer Michael O’Callaghan, with whom he has been attached since his return from America in the spring.