Racing fans have gone into meltdown over the light-handed two-month ban handed to Belgian jockey Christophe Soumillon for elbowing Irishman Rossa Ryan off his horse during the Group 3 Prix Thomas Byron at Saint Cloud.
The shove sent Ryan flying off his horse and tumbling into the turf in sickening scenes which could have caused serious neck, back, or spinal cord injuries.
WATCH THE VIDEO ABOVE: Scary moment jockey gets elbowed off his horse.
Watch, Stream & Catch Up with your favourite Horse Racing events on the home of Seven’s Horse Racing coverage 7plus >>
Remarkably, and thankfully, Ryan escaped the fall unharmed.
But fans are fuming at the “beyond lenient” penalty, which doesn’t even commence until October 14, meaning he will retain rides at France’s biggest race meeting this weekend, the Arc de Triomphe.
A shocking incident and two month ban for Christophe Soumillon is beyond lenient,” one fan wrote.
“He should have been given the elbow from race riding for considerably longer.
“After all,Rossa Ryan could have suffered career threatening injury on another day. Disgusting and should lose Arc ride!”
“That is a terrible thing has happened in a nice worded way,” another fan wrote.
“But the book has to be thrown at Christophe Soumillon. Shocking. Got to be banned a few years for that or whole banned for that. Just my opinion.
“Watched it first time. Getting worse every time I see it.”
Soumillon has apologied for the frightening act.
“I’m terribly sorry, and want to apologise for what I did,” he said.
“I received a little bit of a push from Rossa on outside … I was just behind Ryan at the time, and I put my elbow against him just to make him understand I wasn’t going to the inside.
“Unfortunately, when I asked my horse to stay there and go a little bit to the right, I pushed him for one stride or two and he fell off.
“Straight away I knew I made a mistake. I’m terribly sad with what happened, because I hate seeing stuff like this, and when you are doing it, it’s even more terrible.
“I really want to apologise to everyone, not just only one person (who) owns the horse, training the horse, or even the jockey.
“I just saw him and he’s fine, so I’m happy for that, and the horse too.
“But for all the people loving racing, it was not a nice act from my side.”
Ryan did not appear to have any animosity towards Soumillon in his post-race interview.
“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.”