'I've made the mistake of my life and I'll regret it forever'

Suspended jockey Josh Cartwright has revealed he considered suicide after making national headlines with a reckless ride at Morphetville on January 14.

 

The 22-year-old was hit with an 18-month suspension and also had his training licence suspended after he steered his mount into two other runners.

Cartwright was stood down immediately after pleading guilty to the reckless charge when he rode Senior Council into two other horses.

Senior Council cannoned into Go The Journey and House Of Wax with the latter's jockey Jason Holder managing to regather and stay on his mount after almost falling.

Cartwright says he thought about taking his own life on the drive home that night.

"It was a 50-50 thought in my head," Cartwright told News Corp.

Cartwright opens up about the regretful ride. Image: 7News

"I thought about it, for sure, definitely. Everyone looks for an easy way out.

"I thought 'I could more than easily veer off (the road here into a tree) and we wouldn't be worrying about anything and I would be in peace'.

"The thing that stopped me from doing anything was that I couldn't leave (girlfriend)
Anna or my family in that state. They've done nothing but help me."

Initial reports suggested Cartwright's reckless ride was an attempt to prevent rival horses from overtaking his girlfriend - Anna Jordsjo - who won the race on Murti.

However Cartwright has shut down those claims, instead blaming his fragile mental state on the day.

Jordjso and Cartwright. Image: 7News

"People are saying I should've got longer but there were circumstances and I owned up to what i did," Cartwright told Radio TAB.

"I put myself under a massive workload and I don't like to disappoint people. I've got a farm and it's a lot of work. A lot of 'Murphy's law' was happening in the days leading up to the incident.

"Burst water pipes, horses agisting here opening gates, and i was running very late to the races that day. I needed to lose 2kg that day too.

"I took on more than I can handle. I did a horrible thing and I'm well aware of that.

"I'll live with that for the rest of my life and that's enough in itself."

Image: Getty

Cartwright further explained how an argument with Jordsjo earlier that day added to his rising stress levels.

"I'd had an argument with Anna and i wasn't in the right state to be riding."

"I thought I'll come out hard and strong and hit this horse (Go The Journey) on level terms and I'll be looking at a good bit of time on the sidelines but not hurt anyone.

"What I didn't realise was that Jason Holder was on the other side of Matthew Poon and obviously it's pretty evident that what i did to Holder was pretty horrible because he's a close friend of mine.

"What came to me on the way home was the fact that Jason's daughter Paris, who is only 16, and his partner Katelyn could have been sitting next to him in a hospital that night, or worse.

"That made me feel sick for weeks."

Thoroughbred Racing South Australia chief steward Johan Petzer said in a statement Cartwright had expressed remorse following the incident and had fully co-operated with stewards at all times during their investigations.

"He has also been very open with stewards about a range of personal issues he felt contributed to his actions," Petzer said.

"The welfare of participants in racing is always our absolute priority, and stewards have provided access to professional counselling and support appropriate to the situation since January 14.

"Nevertheless, the panel felt that the degree of recklessness was in the extreme and that Josh Cartwright's riding in this race could best be described as abhorrent and, arguably, the worst ever seen in Australia.

"Given the need for the penalty to act as a deterrent to all riders and to protect the image of racing, we could not afford any leniency in terms of the penalty."

Readers seeking support and information about suicide prevention can contact Lifeline on 13 11 14.

Suicide Call Back Service 1300 659 467.

MensLine Australia 1300 78 99 78.

Multicultural Mental Health Australia www.mmha.org.au.

Local Aboriginal Medical Service available from www.vibe.com.au.

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