da silva

Caustic feedback, serious injuries and the quiet mental health suffering of horse racing jockeys (copy) |

BALTIMORE (AP) — Eurico Rosa da Silva was in a dark place.

On the track, the jockey in his early 30s was winning races and making money. At home, he was fighting suicidal thoughts every day.

“I got to the point where I have no more choice but to go for help,” he recalled recently. “I went because if I have no choice, I would kill myself.”

Da Silva got help in 2006 and rode for more than a decade before retiring. He’s one of the lucky ones.

Earlier this year, horse racing was stunned by the suicides less than six weeks apart of two young jockeys, 23-year-old Avery Whisman and 29-year-old Alex Canchari. A friend of Whisman’s, Triple Crown-winning rider Mike Smith, said he has seen similar tragedies over three decades.

“I know several riders that I knew very well committed suicide when it was all said and done,”

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