Irish jockey Davy Russell has lashed out at the media over the coverage surrounding his four-day ban for punching a horse in the neck.
Russell originally recieved a caution for the incident however Josh Byrne, registrar of the Irish National Hunt Steeplechase Committee, used his powers to appeal the ‘unduly lenient’ sanction.
Speaking at the appeal Russell described the way he has been treated by the media as “disgraceful”.
“There was no anger involved. There was no malice. I had no anger towards the filly. It was a matter of trying to get her back under control and trying to get her to pay attention.” Russell said.
“I know what this looks like, I’m a normal human being the same as you are. What the press have seen and what the press have brought forward is completely different.”
“I want to make this as simple as possible, hence why I’m not here with any legal representation. It’s very simple. It’s a situation that has been taken to a level that has aggrieved both me and my family, by both the public and the media.
“Not by the Turf Club. I’m not questioning how you have gone about your business. And you have taken criticism over this also.”
Russell was visibly upset that his family has been caught up in the media’s reports.
“What the press have done is unacceptable. Not just to me, but to my family as well. My family are involved as well. They were mentioned in articles along the way. It is not just me any more. I have a wife and children.”
“One of those children is 13 years of age. She knows what is going on. She’s at secondary school at the moment and she has to deal with this as well. I’m a father as well as a horseman, and I’m a normal human being.”
“Journalists have paid no regard to that and have kept going and going and going with it. In my eyes that is disgraceful. It’s pretty obvious to everyone in this room that I have put that in a lenient way.”
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If anyone is wondering why Dan Hardy is beefing with Davy Russell it's because he punched a horse. 👇 pic.twitter.com/mJHNrXro2w
— Seán Sheehan (@SeanSheehanBA) September 5, 2017