Jockey Christophe Soumillon has been handed a two-month ban from horse racing after appearing to elbow a fellow competitor during a race on Friday in France (30 September).
Soumillon was riding 15/2 shot Syros in the Group Three Thomas Bryon Stakes at Saint-Cloud when he moved towards Rossa Ryan - who was riding Ralph Beckett’s Captain Wierzba - on the home stretch.
Soumillon then elbowed his fellow rider out of the saddle, which caused Ryan to tumble to the ground and land on his head.
The Irish rider was able to walk away from the track and into an ambulance, where he was checked over.
He later confirmed to Sky Sports that he was unhurt.
Watch the terrifying incident for yourself below:
Very nasty. Rossa Ryan took a horrible fall mid-race after contact with Christophe Soumillon... pic.twitter.com/m0IqvCsC9F— At The Races (@AtTheRaces) September 30, 2022
Soumillon did finish second in the race to Aidan O’Brien’s Continuous, but was later disqualified as a result of his actions.
He was handed a 60-day suspension for dangerous riding which will see him out of action from 14 October to 12 December.
However, that does mean Soumillon can take part in Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe, where he will ride Vadeni.
Speaking to Sky Sports Racing, Soumillon said: "I felt a little bit of pressure from Rossa on my outside while trying to keep a better position behind Ryan [Moore]. I was just behind Ryan at the time and 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 stay there and go a little bit to the right I have pushed him for a stride or two and he fell off.
"Straight away I knew I made a mistake and I’m terribly sad about what happened because I hate to see stuff like this. When you are doing that it is even more terrible, so I really want to apologise to everyone, all involved with the horse."
He continued: "I have just seen the jockey and he is fine and I’m happy about that and the horse too. As for all the people who love racing, it was not a nice act from my side and I’m terribly sorry and want to apologise for what happened today.
"I have just received a big suspension from the France Galop Stewards, I’m going to be suspended for two months – sixty days of racing, it’s a very very big thing.
"Unfortunately my end of season is now gone, but I accept the sentence for what I did and the terrible decision I made."
In his comments post-race the jockey reiterated that he didn't elbow his rival on purpose.
He continued: "I shouldn’t do that, I didn’t do it on purpose to make him fall off his horse, I was just trying to keep my position, but maybe I did it with a bit of power and it was a misjudgement from my side."
"I don’t really understand what happened in that moment, it went so fast, but it is a terrible thing what I did. I know a lot of people will not excuse me and I feel very bad at the moment for that."
LADbible has contacted Christophe Soumillon's representatives for further comment.