By STEVE SPINKS
FOR once during his long racing career, Ballina jockey Darron Coleman is happy to be injured.
Perhaps happy is the wrong word.
But he's definitely not too upset.
Coleman fractured a heel doing trackwork two weeks ago at Ballina and was told he'd be out of racing for six to eight weeks.
It means he is being paid compensation for the injury by his insurers while racing has been cancelled because of the equine influenza outbreak.
"It (the injury) happened just before the Casino Cup," Coleman said.
"I guess it's the old saying that everything happens for a reason.
"It was back luck in one sense but good luck as well."
However, Coleman is concerned for his fellow jockeys.
"Their income has just stopped," the hoop said.
"There's no insurance for that (equine influenza). So in a way it's like if there was a race meeting cancelled because of the rain.
"If it goes on for a month or two I don't know what some jockeys are going to do.
"They may have to look elsewhere for a job. I'm just lucky I'm not in that situation at the moment."
If Coleman missed a month's racing through the equine influenza he said he could lose between $8000 and $10,000 income.
"Say you were riding three or four meetings a week with eight rides each day," he said.
"It works out about $140 a ride ... that adds up."
The possibility of the Ballina and Lismore cups being called off is also a concern.
For jockeys and trainers, missing the opportunity to compete in the local cups carnivals would be like missing a grand final.
"That's right," Coleman said.
"They're important meetings, the Ballina, Broadwater and Lismore cups.
"They're the main days around here so unfortunately it's looking like we may miss out."
Meanwhile, the Lismore Turf Club has raised concerns that some horse owners are breaking quarantine rules and transporting horses.
"We've had some anecdotal evidence that there may be some people moving horses around the bush," Turf Club secretary-manager Michael Timbrell said.
"People have to realise they are not allowed to move horses anywhere.
"We're talking about the livelihood of our industry.
"We're calling on people to respect the bans."
As of lunchtime yesterday, Richmond and Tweed-Byron commands said police had not had to issue any fines or cautions.