The South Australian apprentice jockey suspended for two weeks after punching a horse has broken his silence, as animal activists demand a lifetime ban.
Footage of the incident broadcast by Racing.com shows Port Lincoln attendants trying to get fractious filly She’s Reneldasgirl into the barriers, with 22-year-old rider Dylan Caboche aboard, before he dismounts and punches her rib cage.
The video showing Caboche with a clenched fist has since been viewed hundreds of thousands of times on social media.
“Yesterday, my actions probably weren’t the greatest,” the apprentice told the Seven Network on Thursday.
“Striking a horse is obviously not the right way to go about things and it was a brain fade and it shouldn’t have happened.”
He later issued an apology to the filly’s connections, his fellow SA jockeys and those nationwide.
“I obviously understand and accept that no matter how difficult my mount was, I can’t justify what I did,” he said.
“I’m pretty gutted with myself and also disappointed at the same time.”
She’s Reneldasgirl, a $101 chance, finished unplaced.
Thoroughbred Racing SA stewards held an inquiry and suspended the jockey for two weeks on a misconduct charge.
Chief steward Johan Petzer told Racing.com Caboche would be offered the services of a sports psychology.
Australian Jockeys Association chairman Des O’Keeffe said he would recommend his directors oversee a code of conduct hearing.
Caboche’s boss, Morphettville-based trainer Ryan Balfour, said he was prepared to help the embattled apprentice.
“This moment of madness and frustration is totally unacceptable but completely out of character with everything I have seen through the time I’ve employed him,” Balfour said.
Caboche will be out of the saddle from midnight on November 17 until December 1.
The ban covers eight SA meetings and he will not be appealing.
She’s Reneldasgirl’s trainer said he would leave the matter to racing authorities.
“It’s in the stewards hands so I’ll just leave it at that,” Allan Jarvis told AAP.
But animal welfare group, the Coalition for the Protection of Racehorses, says the penalty is inadequate.
“If jockeys can’t control their tempers, they don’t deserve to be on the racetrack,” communications manager Ward Young said.
In a similar incident in August, Victorian apprentice Brandon Stockdale was fined $500 for punching a horse at Sandown.