A jockey who elbowed another rider off of his horse has been suspended for 60 days because of the incident.
However, the suspension will not take place for two weeks, allowing Christophe Soumillon to compete Sunday in France’s Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe.
The incident took place Friday at the Saint-Cloud track in Paris.
— At The Races (@AtTheRaces) September 30, 2022
Soumillon shifted to the right, with his elbow hitting jockey Rossa Ryan, according to the Guardian. Ryan fell to the turf, but later walked away. Syros, the horse Soumillon was riding, finished second but was disqualified because of the incident.
“I don’t really understand what happened in that moment, it went so fast, but it is a terrible thing I did. I know a lot of people will not excuse me and I feel very bad at the moment for that,” he said.
“I felt a little bit of pressure from Rossa on my outside while trying to keep a better position behind Ryan,” Soumillon said, referring to Ryan Moore, the jockey of the winning horse, Continuous, according to Sky Sports.
“I put my elbow against him just to make him understand I wasn’t going to the inside. Straight away I knew I made a mistake and I’m terribly sad with what happened because I hate seeing stuff like this,” he said.
“I didn’t do it on purpose to make him fall off his horse, I was just trying to keep my position,” he said.
Soumillon said he was glad no one was hurt.
“I have just seen the jockey and he is fine and I’m happy about that and the horse, too. As for all the people who love racing, it was not a nice act from my side and I’m terribly sorry,” he said, according to the Daily Mail.
Ryan said he received a bump and lost his balance, adding that he was pleased the horse was not injured.
Some on Twitter criticized the punishment. Soumillon’s suspension runs from Oct. 14 through Dec. 12.
Disgraceful, appalling what has happened in France today. If a jockey is allowed to do that and not be banned immediately then we are all in trouble! To ban a guy in October and November you may as well pay for his Christmas holiday too @francegalop
— Amo Racing Ltd (@amoracingltd) September 30, 2022
— Neil Callan (@neilcallan78) September 30, 2022
2 month ban for that incident seems incredibly lenient to me. He has intentionally endangered a colleagues life!?
— Charlie Fellowes (@FellowesRacing) September 30, 2022
Soumillon said he will not appeal the suspension.
“It’s a very big thing. Unfortunately, my end of season is now gone but I accept the sentence for what I did and the terrible decision I made,” he said.
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