Jockey Suspended 6 Mos. for Hitting Horse in Eye

A jockey who was once two-thirds of the way to the 2005 Triple Crown has been suspended after whipping his horse in the face.

Jeremy Rose suspended for whipping horse in the face

The THOROUGHBRED TIMES reports that Jeremy Rose has been given a six-month suspension by the Delaware Thoroughbred Commission, after he allegedly hit Appeal to the City in the eye during a race at Delaware Park (with video after the jump):

(Whip to the eye occurs at :59 in)

In a head-on replay of the race, the third on Monday’s card, Rose is seen raising the whip in his left hand and striking Appeal to the City in the face. The mare slowed when hit and then veered sharply out into the center of the course. Rose said he was attempting to hit the mare on her shoulder to keep her from lugging in.

In addition to the suspension, the racing commission is requiring Rose to attend anger-management classes & pay for any of the horse’s veterinary bills. Rose contends that the whipping was an accident and plans to appeal the commission’s ruling.

Jeremy had achieved racing fame in 2005, when he rode Afleet Alex to victory in the Preakness and Belmont Stakes. Now he’s achieving a new kind of fame - as a horse beater.

Appeal’s trainer Howard Wolfendale says his horse’s eye is not seriously injured, and believes that his jockey did not mean to harm his horse:

“I do not believe for a second that Jeremy acted intentionally or sought to hurt my filly,” said Howard Wolfendale, adding that he plans to use the rider in the future. “I’m sure he meant to hit her on the shoulder. It was an accident and should be viewed as such.”

But with the whole Eight Belles tragedy still on people’s minds, and amid growing concerns about the treatment of racing horses, the DTC is taking a firm stand.

Besides, the last thing they need is PETA galloping down their necks.