Champion jockey Kerrin McEvoy has been slapped with a $50,000 fine after he was deemed to have whipped his horse Tiger Moth too much during the Melbourne cup.
Plenty of people would argue no amount of whipping is right, but McEvoy whipped his racehorse 21 times during the event, including eight times during the last 100 metres.
“The winner kept running, I just had to pick up to get into the race, which he did, but the winner was just a bit strong today,” McEvoy said after the race.
He has since pleaded guilty after stewards made the announcement later in the afternoon.
The incident also means McEvoy is suspended from attending the next 13 meetings from Oaks day onwards, two days after the Melbourne Cup.
Tiger Moth, a favourite to win in the days leading up to the Melbourne Cup, ended up coming in at second place. That means the fine is slightly smaller than the $55,000 McEvoy is reported to receive from placing second.
Before the race, all jockeys were texted by Racing Victoria’s chief steward Robert Cram to remind them that they’d face the harshest fines in the history of the sport if they whipped their horses too much.
Racing officials have been trying to up the ante in recent months as the public gets more and more fed up with what many are calling animal cruelty in the sport.
Another pre-race favourite was Anthony Van Dyck, who was tragically euthanised after suffering a leg injury and collapsing mid-race.
“This is the race that kills with disgusting regularity,” said Victorian Animal Justice Party MP Andy Meddick.
“No amount of industry spin, glitz and glamour or celebrities willing to sell their souls can hide the truth.”
While the fine shows racing officials are serious about making the Melbourne Cup more humane, for many, no fine can undo the amount of dead and injured horses after the event.