Amid furious calls for Dylan Caboche to be banned for life, stewards have explained why he was only hit with a two-week suspension.
The South Australian apprentice jockey was caught on camera hitting his mount She's Reneldasgirl ahead of Race 2 at Port Lincoln on Wednesday.
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Thoroughbred Racing SA conducted an immediate inquiry and suspended Caboche, but animal rights groups and angry punters have described the penalty as grossly inadequate.
Chief Steward Johan Petzer said TRSA would not condone or allow such behaviour and took the welfare of horses seriously.
"While we understand there will be a lot of debate over the penalty we can assure the general public the stewards' panel took into account all the factors before determining an appropriate penalty," he said.
As to why the penalty was only a two-week ban, Petzer said: "There was an early guilty plea, he showed remorse and he has a clean record in this regard."
Petzer said Caboche would also be provided with the services of a sports psychologist and the TRSA said the ban imposed on the jockey should serve as a warning to others.
"It is hoped this penalty, which will remain on the rider's record and will impact his earning ability, will send a strong signal to others," it said in a statement.
Caboche will not appeal the ban but could face further sanction, with Australian Jockeys Association chairman Des O'Keeffe to ask for a code of conduct hearing.
Caboche's boss, Morphettville-based trainer Ryan Balfour, said he was prepared to help the embattled apprentice describing his "moment of madness" as completely out of character.
She's Reneldasgirl's trainer Allan Jarvis said he would leave the matter to racing authorities.
But the RSPCA called for a tougher penalty and the Coalition for the Protection of Racehorses said Caboche should be banned for life.
"If jockeys can't control their tempers, they don't deserve to be on the racetrack," communications manager Ward Young said in a statement.
RSPCA chief executive Paul Stevenson said the two-week ban was inadequate and should be reviewed.
"If stewards want to send a message they need to hand down a much stiffer penalty, one that reflects the community's outrage over this incident," he said.