Just when you thought horse racing in Australia couldn't possibly get more fucked, a jockey has been caught on camera literally punching a horse. Dylan Caboche — an apprentice jockey from South Australia — struck his mount, She's Reneldasgirl, in the rib cage after a race in Port Lincoln. At the time, attendants were trying to move the animal into the gates.
Speaking to Channel 7, Caboche blamed the violence on a “brain fade”, reflecting: "My actions weren't the greatest...Striking a horse is obviously not the right way to go about things. It was a brain fade and it shouldn't have happened."
In a Tweet Thoroughbred Racing SA announced: "Dylan Caboche was suspended under rule AR175(q) (misconduct) for striking his mount prior to loading. Suspended from midnight 17/11/17 to 1/12/17." Chief Steward Johan Petzer has also said Caboche would need to see a sports psychologist.
Understandably, many feel the penalty is too lenient, and reflective of a wider issue of lax attitudes towards animals in racing. In a statement the Coalition for the Protection of Racehorses (CPR) called the ruling “grossly inadequate,” and said what many of us are probably thinking when they pointed out: "If jockeys can’t control their tempers, they don’t deserve to be on the racetrack. If this is what we see on race day, we can only imagine what goes on behind the scenes.”
The RSPCA have said they’re investigating to see if animal cruelty charges can be brought. In a statement their communications manager Ward Young noted: "If jockeys can't control their tempers, they don't deserve to be on the racetrack".
Shockingly, this wasn’t a once off. In August ago jockey Brandon Stockdale also punched his horse, and only received a $500 fine.
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