Davy Russell: Jockey gets four-day ban for punching horse Kings Dolly at Tramore
Jockey Davy Russell has been given a four-day ban after punching a horse on the back of the head before a race.
Russell, 38, aimed a blow with his right hand while on board Kings Dolly, after the horse pulled up at a pre-race 'show' hurdle.
The incident took place before the mares' handicap hurdle at Tramore on 18 August.
He was initially cautioned by the Irish Turf Club before the organisation asked its appeal body to review the case.
The appeals body found Russell to be in breach of Rule 272 in that he "acted in a way that was prejudicial to the integrity, proper conduct or good reputation of horse racing".
Russell, twice champion jockey in Ireland and winner of the Cheltenham Gold Cup in 2014 on Lord Windermere, had argued he wanted the horse to concentrate and it was inappropriate to use the whip in the circumstances.
But the rider's actions were heavily criticised by many on social media and the Irish Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals said it was "appalled by the incident".
The race-day stewards were not aware of the matter but footage appeared online. The mare Kings Dolly went on to finish eighth of the 12 runners in the race and trainer Roger McGrath said she had "no ill effects" from the incident.