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Letters: Common sense should prevail; Dean McKeown responds to Peter Thomas over punishment for jockeys.

Byline: DEAN McKEOWN

IN response to the criticism of me by Peter Thomas (July 1), I am obviously not as

intelligent and talented as Mr Thomas, so I became a jockey. However, I do know my left from my right.

At Doncaster, my horse Mehmaas jumped right coming out of the stalls, along with a number of other runners. In fact, stalls one to six all went off to the right, causing no

interference to themselves or any other runner.

My intention was to race away from the other horses, so I gained no advantage from going right. Paul Hanagan, drawn next to me, in stall six, also went right.

From a race in which eight horses could have been selec-ted for not keeping straight, myself and Paul were chosen to be penalised. Whereas I

received only a one-day ban, Paul was referred to Portman Square. There is little point in

appealing, as you have to stump up nearly pounds 500 and lose a day going down to the Jockey Club anyway.

Comparing drinking ten pints and driving a car home and riding half a ton of horse with a mind of its own without brakes is ludicrous

(perhaps docking one day's wages should be the punishment for bad journalism).

This time of year, jockeys have a very busy schedule.

Being penalised for minor

infringements that do not

affect the outcome of the race and do not endanger other riders should be treated differently.

At times, both the stewards and stipendiary stewards know there is no need to

punish the jockey, but their hands are tied by the guidelines.

With so much racing at the moment, the list of banned jockeys is growing by the day. It is good for racing that the public see jockeys riding, not banned for minor offences.

In life, errors are made. Footballers do miss penalties, with no punishment. Tennis players hit the ball out of court. Even the great Jonny Wilkinson misses a kick

between the posts once in every hundred. So why is it wrong to let common sense prevail, when something has not caused a problem?

DEAN McKEOWN

Monk Fryston

N Yorks
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Title Annotation:Sports
Publication:The Racing Post (London, England)
Date:Jul 11, 2003
Words:360
Previous Article:Letters: Why 48-hour declarations must not come into play; Owner/trainer/jockey Dr Philip Pritchard on withdrawals at Uttoxeter.
Next Article:Letters: Delighted to see the Uttoxeter race in full; Nigel Payne, a confirmed jumps enthusiast, says Attheraces was right to `relegate' the Grand...


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