The sickening moment Belgian jockey ELBOWS a rival off his horse at 35mph sending him tumbling on to his neck… but stewards STILL allow him to race in Sunday’s £4m Arc de Triomphe
- Christope Soumillon pushed Rossa Ryan off his horse at Saint-Cloud
- A commentator compared it to ‘jumping out of a car sunroof at 35mph’
- Soumillon was immediately disqualified and handed a two-month ban
- It is believed the ban will start after he races in the Arc this weekend
A Belgian jockey will be allowed to ride in the richest horse race in Europe at the weekend despite being banned for 60 days for deliberately elbowing a rival off their horse mid-race at a meeting on Friday.
In the shocking incident at Saint-Cloud, Christophe Soumillon knocked Rossa Ryan to the floor as they travelled side-by-side, sparking calls for the Belgian to be banned for life.
Soumillon was immediately disqualified from the race and has been banned for two months. But the suspension does not start until after Sunday, clearing him to ride in the famous Arc de Triomphe – a race that has a total prize pot of £4million.
Ryan appeared unhurt but did fall alarmingly quickly in an impact a Sky Sports Racing pundit compared to ‘jumping out of a car sunroof at 35mph’.
Speaking after the incident, Soumillon said: ‘I received a little bit of pressure from Rossa’s mount. I tried to keep a better position behind Ryan Moore.
‘I put my elbow against him just to make him understand I wasn’t going to the inside.
‘Unfortunately when I asked my horse to go there and to the right I pushed him (Rossa) for a stride or two and he fell off.
‘Straight away I knew I made a mistake. I want to apologise to everyone. I just saw Rossa and he is fine and the horse is too.
‘It was not a nice act on my side and I am terribly sorry and want to apologise.’
Rossa Ryan began to lose balance after being pushed by Christophe Soumillon mid-race
His fall was compared to ‘jumping out of a car sunroof at 35mph’ by a Sky commentator
Soumillon (right) has been banned from racing for two months following the shocking incident
Racing fans on Twitter felt the ban should have been longer for the deliberate act, which has been widely condemned on social media.
One said: ‘Needs a lengthy ban for that! Madness!’
Another added that it was ‘dangerous, reckless and clearly deliberate. Incredible’.
’60-day ban for endangering a fellow jockey, could have snapped his neck broke his back, even so much worse if he had snapped his neck, he would have been banned for life,’ they added.
‘So why is it any different the fact he’s got lucky not to be seriously injured?’
Rossa (right) is thought to be uninjured after the fall but it could have been much worse
Another fan said: ‘Shocking footage and the camera never lies, probably the worst deliberate act I’ve ever seen by a jockey. Thankfully he walked away.’
A further user added: ‘This is horrible from a great jockey.’
Soumillon is set to ride in the Arc on Sunday, where he will be among the favourites on Vadeni.
Soumillon is facing calls to be banned for life following the shocking incident in France
Ryan was unhurt despite incident occurring when the jockeys were travelling at near 35mph
The incident comes just 24 hours after a rider in Ecuador was banned for life having committed a similarly shocking act on a fellow jockey.
In viral footage of the incident at the Ecuador derby that has been slammed online, Joffre Mora can be seen deliberately shoving Luis Hurtado towards the end of the race.
Unlike Soumillon, stewards swiftly acted and banned Mora for life – a punishment some feel should be meted out to the Belgian rider.
Mora’s actions have been labelled as the ‘the worst thing I’ve ever seen’ by a Twitter user.
Another said: ‘Literally could be classed as attempted murder.’