SEVEN years ago, jockey Daniel Griffin was in a hospital bed and clinging to life after a near-death three-horse fall during a race at the Gold Coast Turf Club.
The King of the Coast made a comeback two years later but then broke his neck when he was crushed into a barrier by a horse at the Gold Coast in May 2018.
Despite his horror run of injuries, the 38-year-old has victoriously returned to racing, winning last years’ Gold Coast Premiership.
With nine Premierships now under his belt, Griffin is chasing his career dream of a tenth Premiership at the Attwood Marshall Lawyers Caulfield Cup Raceday on October 19.
“Two years before I won my first Premiership, I decided I was going to make my name that I would be the best rider on the Gold Coast,” Griffin said.
”I would feel complete if I win the tenth Premiership because it’s what I set out to achieve from the start of my career.”
Griffin attributed his medical and professional recovery to the support of the National Jockeys Trust – proudly supported by the Attwood Marshall Lawyers Caulfield Cup Raceday.
“When WorkCover dried up, National Jockeys Trust helped me with bills, my mortgage, and medical expenses – I couldn’t have done it without their support,” Griffin said.
Australia’s first licenced female jockey – Pam O’Neill OAM – is the Qld Ambassador of the National Jockeys Trust, Secretary and Treasurer of the Qld Jockeys Association, and Director of the Australian Jockeys Association.
O’Neill facilitates the process for Qld jockeys to receive National Jockeys Trust grants.
“The National Jockeys Trust is here to support jockeys like Daniel in their time of need and also their families,” O’Neill said.
“Sadly, 890 Australian jockeys have been killed in race falls since 1847, including two tragic fatalities on the race track this year.
“The National Jockeys Trust has helped to pay for many funerals and always step in to help to take the pressure away from families in their hour of need.”
Attwood Marshall Lawyers Legal Practice Director Jeff Garrett said a commemorative navy ribbon for racegoers, sponsored by the firm, will raise funds for the National Jockeys Trust as well as raffles for some great prizes.
“Attwood Marshall Lawyers have a dedicated specialist thoroughbred racing legal department who have acted for injured jockeys in compensation and civil claims for many years,” Mr Garrett said.
“Our law firm is unique in that our solicitors are passionate about racing and understand the racing industry.
“We have been a keen corporate sponsor of the Gold Coast Coast Turf Club for almost two decades and love our annual Race Day.
“Caulfield Cup Day is an iconic event in Melbourne and the traditional lead-in race to the Melbourne Cup. It is also the day of The Everest race in Sydney – a great day of racing!
“It will be a privilege to continue our support of the racing community, by giving back to jockeys at the Attwood Marshall Lawyers Caulfield Cup Raceday.”
National Jockeys Trust CEO Paul Innes OAM said donations are distributed directly to registered jockeys, who can apply for a financial grant in their time of need.
“Any jockey who has suffered a fall on the racetrack or in training can apply for a financial grant from the Trust to go directly to purchases such as wheelchairs and home aids,” Mr Innes said.
“The demand in the trust is surging, with five Qld jockey applicants since January, so we are grateful to have the support of the Attwood Marshall Lawyers Caulfield Cup Raceday to help.”
About the National Jockeys Trust
Since 2004, the NJT has provided more than $4 million in assistance to more than 290 jockeys and the families of jockeys who have been lost.
- Sadly, 890 Australian jockeys have been killed in race falls since 1847
- More than 200 riders are injured each year on Australian racetracks
- 500 race falls annually
- 89% of jockeys will have a fall that requires medical assistance during their career
- 9% of jockeys have fallen more than 20 times during their careers
- Each year, 40% of jockeys will have a fall that will prevent them from riding for 5 weeks or more