Yorkshire jockey hanged himself over career-ending injury fears

A jockey and trainer hanged himself after he felt his career was on the wane due to severe pain in his shoulder, an inquest heard.

Simon Griffiths had suffered the pain in his shoulder for three months and had also endured mental health issues before he took his own life, the hearing in Scarborough was told yesterday.

Yorkshire East Coroner Michael Oakley said that Mr Griffiths “felt his worth was declining”, and was concerned about his long-term livelihood.

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Mr Griffiths’ partner of 20 years, Elizabeth Grant, stressed the couple “had a wonderful relationship”, but admitted that he had concerns about his finances.

On the day he died, Mr Griffiths had been talking normally but had been “a bit quiet”, said Ms Grant, and the couple had no disagreement before she left home for the day.

He was later found hanged at their home by her daughter.

Despite his concerns, said Ms Grant, Mr Griffiths was due to start work as a seasonal stable manager at York Racecourse.

The inquest heard that Mr Griffiths had taken medication which belonged to Ms Grant, who said: “He said he was low and wanted to end his life. He suffered pain when he was riding or walking horses.”

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Recording a verdict of suicide, the Coroner said: “There is not one shred of evidence that his relationship (wth Ms Grant) was anything other than good.”

Mr Griffiths, 54, of Main Street, Wombleton, near Helmsley, was a former lightweight rider who served his apprenticeship with David Chapman, near Stillington, and then later with Tom Tate. He took out a training licence in 2003 and sent out a dozen winners until he retired a decade later.