SYDNEY (AFP) – An Australian jockey has been suspended for two weeks after punching his horse when it became unsettled before a race, officials said yesterday, in a punishment blasted as “grossly inadequate”.
Dylan Caboche, 22, was attempting to get She’s Reneldasgirl into the starting gates ahead of a race at Port Lincoln in South Australia state on Wednesday.
When the filly reared he dismounted and hit it in the stomach, television pictures showed.
Thoroughbred Racing SA (TRSA) stewards conducted an inquiry and suspended Caboche’s licence for two weeks for misconduct.
“TRSA does not condone and will not tolerate such behaviour and it is hoped this penalty – which will remain on the rider’s record and will impact his earning ability – will send a strong signal to others,” it said in a statement.
The Coalition for the Protection of Racehorses called the two-week ban “grossly inadequate”.
“You don’t get to punch a horse and get away with it. If jockeys can’t control their tempers, they don’t deserve to be on the racetrack,” said coalition spokesman Ward Young.
“No wonder horse racing is falling out of favour with the general public when grossly inadequate punishments are dished out for animal abuse.”
Young said it was the second time in 10 weeks that a jockey had punched their mount, with Brandon Stockdale receiving $383 fine in August.