What this jockey did was cruel and dumb plus uncalled for. Horses aren’t terribly smart animals, but cruelty is never the right answer. It can also backfire, as it did for the groom who took care of a horse my father owner many years ago. Fast Clip was acting up, and the groom hit across the nose with a horse bridle. Later that same night, Clip bit off two of Ralph’s fingers.
LONDON — Jockey Paul O’Neill apologized yesterday for head-butting his horse at a race last weekend.
The Horseracing Regulatory Authority is holding an inquiry after reviewing TV footage of the incident at the Stratford races Sunday.
“I would just like to say to the public that I’m very sorry they had to see such a thing,” O’Neill said in a statement. “I’ve never done it before and it will never happen again.”
TV replays showed the horse, City Affair, being unruly in the parade ring, ultimately throwing O’Neill. The jockey got to his feet and grabbed the reins, before lowering the butt of his helmet into the horse’s nose.
“When I got to the start he headed straight for a car with me, stopped five feet from the car, whipped round and dropped me,” O’Neill said. “I landed on my feet but a bit awkwardly for my knee.
“I was a little bit angry then but I’ve never done anything like this before and I’m glad to say the horse is OK.”
City Affair went on to finish fourth in the two-mile event.
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