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By Graham Potter | Saturday, March 4, 2023

On February 20, two-and-a-half months after Jasmine Cornish’s world literally came crashing down in a horror fall at the Beaudesert barrier trials on November 8, Queensland Racing Stewards posted a report on the incident which resulted in Cornish breaking her back and being sidelined for what is now turning out to be an indefinite period of time.

After investigating the incident, stewards found no rider was at fault and deemed the fall to be ‘an unfortunate racing incident.’ That outcome, in terms of not attributing blame to any rider involved, was a fair outcome.

It is arguably unfortunate, however, that the parameters of this particular steward’s inquiry seemingly did not include an investigation into the story doing the rounds at the time of an errant witch’s hat (cone), which it has been suggested had earlier been knocked out of line and not possibly not repositioned properly, and its role in causing the horse leading the trial to shy and cause the chain reaction that led to Cornish’s fall.

It would have been good to have some clarity, either way, on that assertion, particular as it relates to trial health and safety procedures.

“I have watched the replay, but I was asked specifically about my recollection of what happened at the time, and I told them that I was badly concussed and that I didn’t remember anything about the fall ... and they left it at that,” explained Cornish.

“The stewards retired from the room and came back and said that no rider was at fault with the fall ... which was true. No rider was to blame. None of them did the wrong thing.

“They played the reply to me of everyone who had been interviewed straight after the fall and all of the jockeys pretty much said the same thing ... they said the was a fallen down cone and Andrew Mallon’s horse spooked at the cone and started a chain reaction which affected everybody else.

“All the stewards got into was whether any jockey was at fault and whether anybody needed to be suspended. That was all this inquiry was about, but I did the impression that there would be a further investigation into the cone situation, although they did say at that point in time that they could not speak for the horse in terms of what it spooked at. So, we’ll just have to wait and see if that goes any further.

“Away from that, I’m still trying to hang in there and be part of dad’s team (the Greg Cornish stable), but obviously I’m not really allowed to help too much,” continued Cornish.

“Just being there is good for me. I still love the horses so much, but not being able to ride them is just getting harder and harder ... so, I definitely cannot wait until the end of the month (April) to get another assessment on my scans.

“I actually don’t know whether I am excited or not to hear what the specialist has got to say about the scans but I will find out then.

“I still struggling with pain. It is pretty sore. I missed two weeks of physio for a couple of reasons and when I went back I did some stretching exercises ... I mean, not much ... and I was like, wow, that hurts.

“I’m just not sure if that pain Is that muscle building together or if it is my broken back. I know it is kind of the same thing, but in my head it is not. Either way, I’m just hoping that the injury is progressing in the right direction.

“I’ll know more when I get the results of my latest scans on April 26.’

The full Steward’s Report, published February 20, relating to the Cornish fall reads:

‘Queensland Racing Integrity Commission (QRIC) Stewards today concluded an inquiry into the circumstances surrounding Apprentice J. Cornish being dislodged from Reflecting Image in Heat 8 at the Beaudesert Barrier Trials on 8 November 2022.

‘Evidence was taken from all riders participating in the Barrier Trial on the day in question, with the exception of Apprentice J. Cornish, who was transported to hospital for injuries sustained as a consequence of the fall.

‘Today evidence was taken from Apprentice Jasmine Cornish and her master Mr Greg Cornish. Apprentice Cornish advised at today’s hearing that she had no specific memory recall of the incident due to the nature of the injuries suffered by her in the fall.

‘After considering the evidence tendered on 8 November and at today’s hearing, and viewing the available patrol footage, Stewards found as follows:

‘At approximately the 400m, Your Too Good (A Mallon) which was leading the trial, shied and shifted outwards resulting in Outline (L Dittman) which was racing to its outside being bumped and forced to shift out. As a consequence of Outlook shifting out, Jockey J Gutmann-Chester, the rider of Oregon which was trailing Outlook, took evasive action and shifted that runner outwards abruptly further resulting in Reflecting Image (App. Cornish) which was racing to the outside and at the heels of Oregon clipping heels and falling near the 350m.

‘As Stewards were unable to find fault in the actions of any rider, no action was taken, and the incident was determined to be an unfortunate racing incident.’

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