An Australian jockey has been suspended for two weeks for jumping off his horse and punching it in the stomach before a race on Wednesday.
The jockey, Dylan Caboche, was riding She’s Reneldasgirl at Port Lincoln Racecourse. The video shows the horse being uncooperative as the starting gate crew attempts to lead her to the start. Caboche dismounts, turns to the horse, and punches it in the stomach.
Caboche was suspended for two weeks by the stewards at Thoroughbred Racing South Australia, which regulates horse racing in the area. “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,” the group said in a statement.
The jockey has apologized for the incident:
“I want to genuinely, sincerely and unreservedly apologise to everyone for my actions. I understand what I did was completely unacceptable. My apology goes to the horse’s connections, my fellow jockeys, Thoroughbred Racing SA, the racing public and to the wider community in general,” Caboche said.
“Any explanation dealing with why it happened can’t possibly condone what I did. I’m just so disappointed in myself. I understand and accept that no matter how difficult my mount was, it can’t justify what I did.”
After being punched, She’s Reneldasgirl finished eighth in the 10-horse race.