Horse racing world in shock after top jockey's 'sad' act: 'Very nasty'

Christophe Soumillon (pictured left) before a race and Soumillon (pictured left) elbowing his rival Rossa Ryan off his horse.
One of the world's best jockey's, Christophe Soumillon (pictured left), copped a two month ban for knocking his rival off his horse. (Images: Getty Images/Sky Racing)

One of the world's best jockey's, Christophe Soumillon, has been handed a two-month ban after knocking a rival off his horse mid-race in a 'nasty' incident.

Soumillon was riding Syros when he came up alongside Rossa Ryan at Saint-Cloud racecourse in France.

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The two were duelling it out on the back straight when Ryan looked to move inside for the final stretch.

But in a shocking twist, Soumillon appeared to elbow Ryan and knocked him off his horse, Captain Wierzaba, when they were travelling at around 56km/h.

Ryan was sent tumbling as commentators reacted with shock.

“Oh, wow, Soumillon put the elbow out there,” Sky Sports commentator Jamie Lynch said.

“Oh, dear me. I haven’t seen that before, I don’t think I’ve seen that before in a race.”

Fortunately, Ryan came out relatively unscathed from the collision.

Soumillon received a two month ban for the incident.

However, in a twist, the Belgian rider will be free to take part in France's $6.9 million Arc de Triomphe race this weekend as the ban doesn't start until October 14.

Christophe Soumillon apologises over shock act

Speaking to Sky Racing after the event, Soumillon was aware he had made a mistake.

“Straight away I knew I made a mistake and I’m terribly sad about what happened because I hate to see stuff like this," he said.

"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.”

Perfect Power ridden by Christophe Soumillon wins The Commonwealth Cup.
Christophe Soumillon won The Commonwealth Cup on day four of Royal Ascot with Perfect Power. (Photo by Alex Livesey/Getty Images)

Fortunately, Ryan was in good spirits and was already looking ahead to the next event.

“I just got a bump and lost my balance. It’s just one of those things that happens,” Ryan said.

“I feel disappointed for Ralph and his team bringing him out here, but we’ll move on.

“The horse is fine, I’m fine. That’s the main thing. I’m 100 per cent.”

Soumillon is a world class jockey having won a number of events in 2022.

He won the Commonwealth Cup at Royal Ascot racing with Perfect Power.

A few weeks later he won the Coral-Eclipse on Vadeni.

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