Former boss Charlton praises Shoemark's attitude after cocaine positive
Roger Charlton has praised Kieran Shoemark for opening up about the challenges of addiction and believes the rider’s candidness can act as a spur for others going through similar challenges.
Shoemark, 23, cannot reapply for a licence to ride until May 29 after being suspended for six months following a positive test for a metabolite of cocaine at Kempton in November.
The jockey’s change in attitude and willingness to speak frankly about his problems and failings was applauded by Charlton, who said: “I was impressed with his attitude and thought he said the right things.
“I think it’s all part of the process of getting your life back together to be candid and to express yourself clearly and effectively. I truly wish him every success when he returns to riding.”
The Royal Ascot-winning rider stated the positive test was like taking “a big breath of air” in allowing him to face up to his difficulties with alcohol and cocaine, adding his addiction “had such a tight grip on me”.
Following a period in rehab, Shoemark has turned his attention to improving his health and lifestyle, which has included removing negative influences from his life.
Shoemark also revealed on Thursday, when his case came before the disciplinary panel, that he had been in contact with his former boss Charlton via letter, and said: “I’ve burned a lot of bridges along the way but everyone has been very supportive, especially Mr Charlton.
“We’ve written to each other a few times and he’s been exceptional to me over the years. He’s been fantastic and I appreciate everything he’s done.”
Charlton provided Shoemark with his biggest success when Atty Persse landed the 2017 King George V Handicap at Royal Ascot in the Godolphin colours, and the jockey also captured last year’s Group 3 Bengough Stakes on Projection for Charlton after returning from a serious injury.
Charlton has supplied Shoemark with more rides and winners than any other trainer, and emphasised the communication between the two has been positive over the past few months.
“The letters were just us both being candid and for me to offer him some clear encouragement, that’s all,” Charlton said.
“I think what he’s done is good and I think it will act as an example of what to do for others who may find themselves in a similar position.”
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