Grand national jockey Liam Treadwell died at the age of 34 after taking a drug cocktail, an inquest has found.
Treadwell, who led 100-1 after Mon Mome’s victory at the 2009 nationals, was found dead in his Shropshire home last June.
He suffered from depression after a concussion four years ago, had relationship problems and missed connecting with people when he was laid off.
Coroner John Ellery found manslaughter by negligence and stated that he could not be sure that he intended to commit suicide.
The autopsy revealed high levels of “narcotic poisoning” in her system – mainly animal analgesics and Class A drugs.
His friend and fellow jockey James Banks had committed suicide four months earlier.
Treadwell was a beloved figure in the race, described by his friends as “polite, funny, kind and brave.”
During the autopsy in Shrewsbury, family members brought two collages of framed photographs. One of them read, “Still in our hearts – Liam Treadwell.”
Treadwell won the National for coach Venice Williams.
The coroner said he saw the jockey win the Mon Mome at Aintree and said the family’s statement described a “very bright young man.”
The statement said that his family was very proud of him, that he had an excellent work ethic and that he cared more about others than himself.
He has fallen many times in his career and has shown great resilience, but he may have eased his pain and anxiety – he returned to riding just a few weeks after breaking his collarbone.
Treadwell suffered a concussion in a fall in Bangor in 2016 that left him unconscious for two to three minutes and unable to ride for six months.
“If there’s going to be a major turning point, it looks like it,” the coroner noted.
Treadwell had the support of the Injured Jockeys Foundation, but often felt “confused” and decided not to compete in 2018, according to the audience.
At one point he ended up in the hospital after “drinking himself to death” and being separated from his wife Emily, although his prospects gradually improved and he returned to the saddle.
Treadwell said his life “had a purpose again” after he started working as coach Alastair Ralph in Shropshire, but he had to deal with the unconventional nature of the new relationship and missed meeting people during the lockout when games were suspended.
“Liam has not enjoyed a long period of solitude,” the statement says.
Before he died, he spent time with his parents Lorraine and Mark and his younger brother Nathan and bought a new bike. He was at a jockey party where friends said he was “in great shape.”
“I really don’t think it’s time for Liam to say goodbye,” she concludes.
The coroner said Treadwell had taken a “drug cocktail” on the evening of June 22 and had sent a message to a friend warning him of what he had done.
Friends went to check on him that night and he seemed fine, but the next morning he was found dead on the floor of his room after missing work.
He left no bill, and Ellery said there was no hard evidence that he tried to commit suicide.