Kentucky-based trainer David Carroll has been fined $1,000 for "unacceptable display of temper" in connection with an incident that occurred at Churchill Downs during the week leading up to this year’s Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I).
The stewards’ action is related to a video shown on WLKY television in Louisville, Ky., the week of July 26 that purported to show Carroll, who was aboard a horse he trains for morning exercise, strike the filly in the face with his riding crop. The video received widespread attention on other websites, with some animal rights groups calling for disciplinary action against Carroll.
John Veitch, senior state steward for Kentucky, said the fine is consistent with action taken in similar instances in the past and is not related to any public reaction to the video. He said the stewards were not aware of the incident until they viewed the video.
Veitch said there was no attempt to talk to anyone at the television station to find out why the tape was being aired now because it was unrelated to the facts of the case that led to the fine.
Veitch said the video showed the horse was "noticeably getting out while approaching a turn," and that the stewards determined Carroll used excessive force in trying to get the horse straightened. He said the disciplinary action is similar to that taken against jockeys who act similarly in races.
Veitch said stewards rely upon outriders to report such actions during morning training hours, and that action is taken when it is brought to the stewards’ attention.
The ruling states Carroll was fined under rules of racing pertaining to "conduct detrimental to racing."
The television station reported that Carroll told them he was frustrated with the horse and should not have reacted the way he did. WLKY also reported Carroll said the riding crop is made of a substance that does not harm the horse.