KIEREN Fallon, the six-times British Champion Jockey, has retired from the saddle following mental health problems.
Racing Post quotes Turf Club chief medical officer Dr Adrian McGoldrick, speaking on Fallon’s behalf on Monday morning, as saying: “Kieren is suffering from severe depression. When he came to me before getting his licence to ride this year it was clear he was suffering from depression and I treated him with anti-depressants.
“He told me that he has lost the motivation to continue his riding career and wanted people to know about his decision to retire. He said it was time to move on once his depression has been managed.
“In recent years he found himself suffering from profound fatigue but nothing physically wrong was found when doctors examined him.”
Fallon has ridden only nine winners from 115 rides this season and has not been seen in action since taking two rides at the Curragh on Irish Derby day, 26 June.
A supreme, but troubled talent, he rode on and off for the leading stables in the United Kingdom, Ireland and Europe, including Sir Henry Cecil, Sir Michael Stoute and Aiden O’Brien, riding 200 winners or more in five seasons including a career-best 221 wins in 2003.
Fallon rode his first classic winner, Sleepytime, in May 1997 for Cecil and many others followed. He went to win the Derby and the Oaks three times apiece. His other top level successes included the Prix de L’Arc de Triomphe on two occasions, 30 winners at Royal Ascot, two victories at the Breeders’ Cup and a win in the Arlington Million.
He was associated with turf greats including George Washington, Yeats, Oratorio, Ouija Board, Kris Kin, Medicean, Motivator, Dylan Thomas and Hurricane Run.