Steward’s actions are sometimes frowned upon when they fine winning jockeys for celebratory gestures, but there is sound reasoning behind that policy … as can be gathered by what happened in an incident when Justin Huxtable went up high in the saddle to celebrate what was, for him, a famous victory in the Kangaroo Island Cup at Kingscote.
Huxtable has just guided the favourite Splash Some Cash to victory in his hometown Cup … something that had been on his bucket-list since he was a youngster … and, with high emotion, he stood up in the saddle, joyously waving a salute in the same vigorous fashion in which he had driven Splash Some Cash to victory … but then, after a good number of strides, Huxtable lost his balance and tumbled to the ground … in what you could well and truly call a ‘down to earth’ moment.
While Huxtable was quickly up on his feet, the majority of the field did have to skirt around him and they all negotiated that objective without incident, but had they had been closer to Huxtable when the fall took place … or had there been a bigger field … the consequences could well have been more serious.
That is why the Rule Of Racing takes an overall dim view of exuberant victory celebrations in the saddle. Most will be harmless, but the possibility of a bad outcome is there … even if it is on a very small percentage basis.
And that is why Stewards enforce the rule … as they did when handing Huxtable a three week suspension after he pleaded guilty as charged.
You get the feeling that the 2020/21 Brisbane Apprentice Premiership winner will be happy to take that one on the chin though.
The victory clearly meant that much to him.