The Fall raises awareness of Jockeys' Mental Health

News | 10th September 2020


A short, powerful film called The Fall will focus on the mental health of jockeys and increasing awareness of mental health in horse racing.

Jockeys’ mental health is taken very seriously by the racing industry and there’s plenty of services that offer support for varying different issues relating to mental health.

We’re proud to support the promotion of The Fall and raise awareness of jockeys’ mental health. The film will be produced by racing insiders, Equine Productions, and has been written by Equine Productions’ Visual Director Nathan Horrocks, who will co-direct the feature with Cold Feet star Robert Bathurst.

The Peter O’Sullevan Charitable Trust is the film’s title sponsor with other financial backing coming from the Professional Jockeys’ Association and the mental health charity, Even Keel Foundation.

The announcement of the film comes today, Thursday 10th September, on World Suicide Prevention Day, which aims to provide a worldwide commitment and action to prevent suicides.

The film, which is expected to be released early 2021, centres around how a jockey has to deal with the suffocating aftermath of a high-profile fall at a final fence in an important trial race.

The film follows the journey of the jockey following this disappointment, tackling the notion that jockeys, and sports people more widely, can suffer in silence from mental health issues, often feeling the need to put up a ‘front’.

Pre-production of The Fall has begun with filming due to take place this December.

Actor Robert Bathurst and co-director for The Fall which focuses on jockeys' mental health
Actor Robert Bathurst and co-director for The Fall. Credit: Big Talk Productions

Robert Bathurst, who plays David Marsden in popular ITV1 series Cold Feet, said: “This project appeals to me because it is being made by racing industry insiders who have a deep personal understanding of the issues raised.”

Bathurst, who will co-direct the short film, continued:  “Equine Productions make high quality documentary films and this is the first time they have used actors. My job is to collaborate with the director Nathan Horrocks and work with the actors to bring out the drama.”

“All followers of racing have been shocked by the recent sad events involving jockeys, trainers and stable staff; mental health problems in the industry are now more widely discussed and there is a greater awareness of their causes. This film is part of that campaign.” 

Nathan Horrocks Visual director for the film The fall which focuses on jockeys' mental health
Nathan Horrocks Visual Director for The Fall

Nathan Horrocks said: “This film is a real passion project. The idea came to me a number of years ago following my own battle with mental health. Losing friends like James Banks, Dean Crossman, Michael Curran and recently Liam Treadwell, gave me the drive finish writing the film.”

He continued: “I would like to thank The Peter O’Sullevan Charitable Trust, our title sponsor, The PJA and The Even Keel foundation for believing in me and funding the film.

The Fall follows a film produced by Jockeys Education & Training Scheme which focuses on substance abuse, support and recovery.