Head butt jockey suspended for one day

Aug. 3, 2006 at 12:10 PM
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LONDON, Aug. 3 (UPI) -- British jockey Paul O'Neill has been given a one-day suspension by the Horseracing Regulatory Authority after he head butted a horse before a race.

The HRA panel ruled the offense to be minor, and chose the one-day suspension over the maximum 21-day suspension, Sportinglife.com reported Thursday. O'Neill had pleaded guilty to the charges and apologized for his actions.

"I am pleased the hearing is now over," O'Neill said. "I accept the judgment of the panel and I want to take this final opportunity to say how sorry I am."

"I now want to put this incident behind me and get on with my career."

Malcolm Wallace, director of regulation at the HRA, said, "It is very important to remember this horse was not injured -- the (Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals), our vet and the trainer say it wasn't injured -- so the penalty of one day is consistent with a jockey who was also given one day for throwing his whip at a horse."

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