Victorian Jockeys’ Association calls for national concussion policy as Dwayne Dunn speaks about own battles

Victorian Jockeys’ Association chief executive Matthew Hyland says the mandatory 12-day stand-down for riders diagnosed with concussion should be adopted nationally.

Racing Victoria increased the stand-down from seven days to 12 recently — a reflection of current medical research and guidance.

The bolstered policy matches the AFL’s new 12-day stand-down.

“We’re supportive of anything the (RV) chief medical officer (Gary Zimmerman) puts forward for the safety of our riders,” Hyland said.

“If that is considered best practice (12 days), it should become a national position.

“We’re dealing with peoples’ health and safety … it should not be a state (by state) position for people doing exactly the same job.”

All states and territories — bar Queensland — have a stand-down policy for concussion.

Short of a national policy, Hyland said any interstate jockey intending to ride in Victoria, coming off a concussion protocol, must also fall in line with the state’s revised regulations.

Hyland on Wednesday confirmed baseline concussion testing of Victorian jockeys resumed recently, as part of the annual licencing process, after a 12-month hiatus due to COVID.

“If they haven’t completed one (a new baseline testing) they won’t be able to ride from August 1,” Hyland said.

Jockeys in Victoria diagnosed with concussion must will need to wait at least 12 days until they can ride again. Picture: AAPSource:AAP

It comes as star jockey Dwayne Dunn on Wednesday detailed his own battle with delayed concussion symptoms and a diagnosed brain injury.

Dunn, 47, fractured his C6 vertebrae in a barrier incident at The Valley last September.

His comeback in February lasted a matter of weeks before the 23-time Group 1 winner, including four consecutive Blue Diamond Stakes, experienced worsening headaches and soreness.

“I’ve got to a stage if I start to get my heart-rate up to a light jog or running I get vertigo and feel like I want to be sick and vomit,” Dunn told RSN 927.

Dunn said recent testing showed the “brain trauma injury”.

The 47-year-old spoke candidly about masking his condition and the challenge of “swinging in the breeze” hoping for improvement.

“I have to document everything now just to make sure I’m at the right place at the right time,” Dunn said.

“It’s maybe a little bit like dementia, you try and put a smokescreen out there … so people hopefully don’t pick up on it.

“Everyone looks at you like there’s nothing wrong but there is something there.

“Swinging in the breeze has been the hardest thing for me, where I’m at (and) whether I get back.”

Meanwhile, RV stewards closed an investigation into an irregular sample returned by Shawn Mathrick-trained racehorse Rich Itch after the ‘B’ sample failed to confirm the original swab.

Originally published asJockeys back RV’s bolstered concussion approach

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