CHRISTOPHE Soumillon has been banned for two months for appearing to elbow Rossa Ryan out of the saddle at Saint-Cloud on Friday.
Soumillon was riding Syros in the Group 3 Prix Thomas Bryon Jockey Club de Turquie and just before the field turned for home he moved towards Ryan on Ralph Beckett’s Captain Wierzba before elbowing his fellow rider.
Syros finished second to Aidan O’Brien’s Continuous in the Group 3 contest, but was subsequently disqualified and the stewards deemed Soumillon worthy of a 60-day suspension for dangerous riding which will see him out of action from October 14th to December 12th.
Ryan thankfully walked away unscathed.
“I felt a little bit of pressure from Rossa on my outside while trying 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,” Soumillon explained to Sky Sports Racing.
“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.
“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.”
He continued: “I have just received a big suspension from the France Galop Stewards, I’m going to be suspended for two months – 60 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.
“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.”
Soumillon will still be able to ride at ParisLongchamp this weekend.