The RSPCA says racing authorities must lay down stronger line in disciplinary cases involving animal welfare in the aftermath of the Davy Russell case.
Gold Cup winning jockey Russell was finally handed a four-day suspension by the Irish Turf Club for the punch he landed on the neck of his mount Kings Dolly at Tramore on August 18.
The case had been re-opened at the request of the Registrar of the Irish National Hunt Steeplechase on the grounds that the caution Russell had received at an initial hearing was ‘unduly lenient’.
RSPCA says racing authorities must lay down stronger line in the wake of the Davy Russell case
But in allowing the case to drag on for 19 days and giving the impression of being buffeted by public opinion rather than providing strong leadership, the Irish Turf Club’s reaction arguably as damaging as the blow Russell landed on an unruly mount.
David Muir, the RSPCA’s equine consultant, said lessons must be learned by both the Turf Club and BHA.
Muir said: ‘There needs to be a clear line about what is acceptable in racing and what isn’t.
‘This is not about hounding Davy. It is a racing issue rather than a jockey issue. It should have been dealt with appropriately in the