Joe Colliver: the weighing room is a family and we're here for Charlie Deutsch
Jockey Joe Colliver, who found fame last season as the regular rider of classy staying hurdler Sam Spinner, was in a very similar position to Charlie Deutsch after his own 'moment of madness' behind the wheel on Boxing Day, 2015.
Colliver, who crashed his pick-up, lied about it to police and then paid a friend to pretend he had been driving at the time. He was also jailed for ten months. Few in racing will have a better appreciation of Deutsch's situation.
Here, talking to Graham Dench, he offers words of solace and encouragement to his colleague.
It sounds as though it was a moment of blind panic, which I can relate to myself, but we're all human and we all make mistakes. So long as Charlie keeps his head up and keeps strong he'll get through it, just as I did, and he'll learn from his mistake, just as I've learned from mine.
I was told when it happened to me that the racing community, and the weighing room in particular, is a family, and everyone is there to look out for one another. Charlie needs to keep that in mind. The guys were brilliant to me. They will be there the same for him.
I had the same ten-month sentence, and I served three and a half months in a category B prison in Teesside before I was let out on tag. I was lucky to get a job in the gym, and that helped with my fitness, obviously.
I was 10st 2lb when I went in, and although I initially lost weight through worry I came out at around 10st 4lb, feeling fit and strong. Staying fit is obviously crucial to any sports person, but Charlie will know that.
I was lucky that Micky Hammond had a job waiting for me when I came out and I also knew that Jedd O'Keeffe would support me too. I understand Charlie knows Venetia Williams and her owners are waiting for him, and that's a big positive.
It will keep him going, keep him strong. We are all here for him when he gets out.
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