Irish jockey Davy Russell has received a four day ban after race footage emerged of him punching his horse in the head.
Jockey punches horse
To me, a four day ban certainly comes across as little more than a slap on the wrist. Initially however stewards had opted to let Russell off with just a caution.
Growing public pressure after the emergence of some disturbing footage forced the Turf Club to change their tune.
— GetYourTipsOut (@GetYourTipsOut) September 5, 2017
The Turf Club reopened the case and a disciplinary hearing yesterday saw Russell handed a four day ban.
Russell a champion jockey told the Irish Daily Star he thinks he did nothing wrong.
“The situation with Kings Dolly was an ordinary enough situation and I didn’t do anything out of the ordinary.”
If you watch the video above it does not look good at all.
Critics of ban
However there are some that think Russell didn’t deserve any punishment at all. In fact it is Russell who is being portrayed as the victim by many.
British horse trainer Charlie Brooks has criticised the Turf Club for giving in to “social media lynch mobs”.
“Social media is populated by people who like to punch above their weight when it comes to handing out opinions,” Brooks wrote in The Telegraph.
“Unfortunately somebody at the Irish Turf Club has become a victim of this confusion.”
Not a good look for the sport
I respect that Brooks has had years of industry experience, but this isn’t Game Of Thrones. It is not the dark ages anymore.
I am a big fan of horse racing and the horse racing industry. But I think that this kind of violence against an animal is totally unnecessary and a really bad look for the sport and the industry as a whole.
Horse racing needs to leave this kind of behaviour behind and for that reason I think that a four day ban is very soft indeed.
by Michael T. Lynch – contributor