O'Neill 'sorry' after headbutting horse25/07/2006 - 08:24:29
Embarrassed jockey Paul O’Neill has issued an apology after the headbutt on a horse which could see him punished by the Horseracing Regulatory Authority.
O’Neill declared himself “very sorry” in the wake of the incident which occurred at Stratford on Sunday.
He will be asked to explain his actions by the HRA next week at Shaftesbury Avenue after the incident was picked up by television cameras.
Having reviewed a video of the incident involving the John O’Shea-trained City Affair, the disciplinary panel of the HRA have decided to hold an inquiry.
The conditional rider had been unshipped by the gelding after arriving at the start and went on to finish fourth in the Claydon Horse Exercisers Novices’ Selling Hurdle.
O’Neill told the Racing Post how City Affair had proven difficult to control, even before it unseated him.
He said: “The horse had been very unruly leaving the parade ring and when we went to look at the last hurdle before hacking down to the two-mile start, he started reversing when we got to the hurdle and went under a railing which he lifted out off the ground.
“It took me five minutes to leave the railings and get him down to the start which I had to do as gently as I could.
“When I got to the start he headed straight for a car with me, stopped five feet from the car, whipped round and dropped me.
“I landed on my feet, but a bit awkwardly for my knee and I was a little bit angry then, but I’ve never done anything like this before and I’m glad to say the horse is okay after it and I have spoken to John O’Shea.”
He added: “I would just like to say to the public that I’m very sorry they had to see such a thing. I’ve never done it before and it will never happen again.”
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