How many of you have seen the video of the Jeremy Rose whip incident? If you haven’t, here it is.
I’m curious to get everyone’s take on this. In his statement released June 26, Rose said “he intended to hit her in the shoulder and did not mean to hit her in the face.” He apologized and received support from trainer Howard Woldendale. Rose was given a six month suspension, which will be appealed.
I do not know Rose personally, but would like to believe him. I do not think he was trying to cause any kind of harm to the horse and did not mean to strike him in the eye. However, in my opinion, he did act of frustration and did lose his temper. For this, he must be held responsible.
The question is, was a six month suspension too severe? That is to be debated. Obviously, at a time when Thoroughbred racing is being besieged with negatively (breakdowns, steroids, medication violations, etc.), the timing could not have been worse. The Delaware Park stewards were fully aware of this and probably were trying to send a message.
On the other hand, I recall an incident last June at Philadelphia Park when jockey Victor Molina was videotaped kicking a horse near the starting gate. He was only given a 30-day suspension for something that, to me, was much more blatant.
I am not excusing Rose’s behavior in any way. Like I said, it is clear to me that he was acting out of frustration. But people sometimes overreact to things of this nature and want to vilify individuals for isolated incidents. The most important thing here is that it looks like the horse will not have any permanent damage to her eye.
So, I ask you, does the punishment fit the crime?