Experienced jockey Christophe Soumillon was banned from the sport for 60 days after he elbowed Rossa Ryan during a race, causing him to fall off his horse at 35 mph at the Thomas Bryon Stakes in Paris on Friday.
Ryan was on Soumillon’s side when he took the cheap shot and used his right elbow to push Ryan. Video footage of the incident shows Ryan hitting the ground hard and rolling three times in the grass. Fortunately, Ryan was not stepped on by any of the horses and was able to walk away relatively unscathed, according to CBS Sports.
“I’m terribly sad with what happened” – Christophe Soumillon apologises for elbowing Rossa Ryan off his mount at Saint-Cloud earlier today. pic.twitter.com/52OrMAMwTc
— At The Races (@AtTheRaces) September 30, 2022
Soumillon has since apologized for his actions and explained the situation from his perspective. “I received a little bit of pressure from Rossa on my outside as I tried to keep a better position behind Ryan [Moore],” Soumillon said, according to CBS Sports.
“I put my elbow against him just to make him understand I wasn’t going to the inside. Straight away I knew I made a mistake and I’m terribly sad with what happened because I hate seeing stuff like this,” he added, according to the outlet. (RELATED: 28-Year-Old Japanese Jockey Taiki Yanagida Trampled To Death In New Zealand)
Christophe Soumillion has apologised for his actions and been banned for two months after an extraordinary and controversial incident when he appeared to elbow fellow jockey Rossa Ryan out of the saddle mid-race at Saint-Cloud
— Racing Post (@RacingPost) September 30, 2022
Soumillion was unhappy with his own actions. “I really want to apologise to everyone,” Soumillon said. “I’m happy Rossa is fine but this was not a nice act on my side and I’m terribly sorry,” he said, according to CBS Sports.
Ryan isn’t holding any grudges. “I just got a bump and lost my balance. It’s just one of those things that happens,” Ryan said, according to The Racing Post. “The horse is fine, I’m fine. That’s the main thing. I’m 100%.” he added.
“He rang me to apologize,” Ralph Beckett, who trained Ryan’s horse, said. “It’s difficult to be outraged when anyone apologizes, so I’m not.”
Soumillon’s 60-day ban begins on Oct. 14 and lasts until Dec. 12, which allows him to compete at Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe over the weekend, according to The Daily Mail.