Punters have angrily slammed the ban handed down to a young jockey caught on camera punching his horse before a race at Port Lincoln.
South Australian apprentice jockey Dylan Caboche has been suspended for two weeks after punching his mount She's Reneldasgirl.
Footage of the incident (which you can see above) shows barrier attendants trying to get the fractious filly into the gates, with 22-year-old Caboche aboard, before he dismounts and punches her rib cage.
The three-year-old ($101), trained by Allan Jarvis, finished eighth in the 10-horse maiden over 1390 metres.
Thoroughbred Racing SA stewards announced the rider's suspension in a tweet on Wednesday afternoon.
"Dylan Caboche was suspended under rule AR175(q) (misconduct) for striking his mount prior to loading. Suspended from midnight 17/11/17 to 1/12/17," it reads.
However members of the Coalition for the Protection of Racehorses (CPR) have demanded a heavier ban, saying the penalty is “grossly inadequate”.
“You don’t get to punch a horse and get away with it," CPR spokesman Ward Young said.
"If jockeys can’t control their tempers, they don’t deserve to be on the racetrack. If this is what we see on race day, we can only imagine what goes on behind the scenes.
“Ask any punter, racegoer, or even diehard racing enthusiast — ‘is a two-week suspension or $500 fine acceptable for punching a racehorse?'"
Caboche explained his actions on Thursday, saying he had a "brain fade".
"My actions weren't the greatest," Caboche told Channel 7.
"Striking a horse is obviously not the right way to go about things. It was a brain fade and it shouldn't have happened."
Furious punters have also flocked to social media to slam the lenient punishment, with many calling for a life ban.
A jockey was banned for 2 weeks cause he was caught punching a horse - It should be a life ban & animal cruelty charges, worse to think what’s happening when cameras aren’t there 😤— Sharyn Casey (@SharynCasey) November 8, 2017
Jockey banned after being caught on camera punching a horse https://t.co/kRx64XplqB should of been life ban. hope horse gives him a kick— baggy (@Bagster65) November 8, 2017
Only a two week ban?!? Is this a joke?!? @theracessa He should be charged with animal cruelty / abuse and banned for life. Those who work with animals have a responsibility to model acceptable behaviour https://t.co/MzTNyvk9Zz— Marie (@marie_carlino) November 8, 2017
Any connections ever booking this jockey again need to have a look at themselves. He should have a life ban 😡😡😡 https://t.co/o3OEhmcXQb— tug (@carefree_tug) November 8, 2017
Disgraceful treatment of a horse and this jockey should be handed life ban for this! https://t.co/tbwScC4fwk— Peter Devine (@peterdevineManc) November 8, 2017
A similarly shocking incident occurred earlier in the year, with footage showing Irish jockey Davy Russell punching a horse in the head after a race in Ireland in August.
The incident was completely missed by stewards at Tranmore, but quickly rose to prominence after Twitter user drewboy uploaded a video that clearly showed Russell lashing out at his horse.
The jockey was handed a four-race ban over the incident.
The issue of animal cruelty has been thrust back into the national spotlight this week after Regal Monarch was euthanised following a fall on Melbourne Cup day.
The five-year-old gelding hit the turf hard in Race 4 at Flemington on Tuesday, but remarkably managed to walk on to the float before he was taken to Werribee Veterinary Hospital.
Racing Victoria's chief vet Dr Grace Forbes revealed on Tuesday night that despite the best efforts of leading equine vets, the Chris Waller-trained horse was unable to be successfully treated.
"This decision was made in the best interests of the horse," Dr Forbes said.
"Incidents such as this happen infrequently, with Victoria having one of the best safety records in world racing."