There have been a rash of retirements from the jockey ranks in the past week.
Robert Thompson and Glen Boss have called time on their respective riding careers on their own terms, deciding their own future at a time and in a manner convenient to themselves … but Raquel Clark’s announcement today reminds us that all jockeys are not allowed that same privilege.
The fact that Glen Boss and Robert Thompson are retiring at fifty-two and sixty-three years of age respectively, puts the Clark’s situation in real perspective.
She is just twenty-eight years old.
Clark has been out of the saddle since November 2019 when she was diagnosed with a brain injury after a fall at Morphettville.
Ongoing rehab has brought relative improvement to a range of ailments associated with the injury … such as headaches, tiredness and some memory loss … but Clark now believes that she will not be able to ride in races again and she has accepted that outcome, even putting a positive slant on it.
“To be honest, it’s not (getting better), but I’m managing it very well and the doctors and specialists think I’m managing it well,” Clark told Radio TAB. “At the end of the day, everyone gets thrown situations and it’s just a matter of managing them.
“They’re hopeful that things will get a bit better for me, but I think it’s more that I’ll really manage it better,” she said. “It’s the brain, so they can’t really put a time limit on it.
“But I am very lucky, I didn’t have spinal damage, I’m here and I’m happy.”