Tarrant stood down after jockeys voice concerns
Queensland stewards have stood down Luke Tarrant from his rides at Doomben on Saturday and suspended his license immediately in the wake of the jockey's Sunshine Coast Magistrates Court appearance relating to drug charges earlier this week.
Tarrant escaped a jail sentence and instead was sentenced to a 30-month probation period that includes regular drug testing, but was told by Magistrate Haydn Stjernqvist he would not be so lucky next time.
In a period between February 7 and July 24, police found several items, including marijuana plants, a strip of LSD and dozens of drug utensils.
In the same time frame, Tarrant rode 24 winners, including a treble at the Caloundra Cup meeting in late June and a Doomben winner on July 24.
His Doomben rides on Saturday were Stellar Power, The Administrator and Tarzan, all of which are rated good hopes in the market.
But the Queensland Racing Integrity Commission pulled him from those rides, suspending his licence on Friday.
He has 28 days to show-cause why his license should be reinstated.
The move by QRIC came after a number of jockeys raised their concerns, both with the integrity body and the Queensland Jockeys Association.
The thing that pisses me off more then everything his riding all the time and what his never tested positive in this time ? Wonder why ? What we have to wait till someone get injured from an accident because someone’s not on the Same planet ? #joke https://t.co/1NoWGiyBQM— Ryan Wiggins (@RyanWiggins1982) July 31, 2019
Racing Integrity Commissioner Ross Barnett said "in accordance with the Commission's Thoroughbred Standard for a licensing scheme the Commission may immediately suspend any licence where allegations or charges of a criminal nature which require the Commission to exercise a duty of care to participants or animals to safeguard the integrity of the Queensland racing industry."
"Jockey safety and animal welfare are our highest priority when making these decisions," he said.
Fellow jockey Ryan Wiggins had spoken out on social media earlier in the week, flagging safety concerns and on Friday applauded the decision made.
"The kid's got a bit going on at the moment. We are happy with the decision so he can sort his life out and get his life back on track," Wiggins said. "It's been a long time coming for him and the sooner he gets help the better off he will be.
"We want him to get the help he needs, but jockeys are also of the view that we shouldn't be riding against someone not doing the right thing that could potentially make our job more dangerous than it needs to be."
Tarrant's legal representative told the court the jockey had sought help through a private rehabilitation centre.