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Whip-happy jockey fined for animal cruelty

TT/The Local · 8 Dec 2009, 11:46

Published: 08 Dec 2009 11:46 GMT+01:00

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The Court of Appeal overturned a district court ruling clearing the jockey of any wrongdoing after several harness racing fans reported Bergh for repeatedly whipping his horse Citera with a rod and reins.

Berg was issued with a 30-day ban from the sports' governing body in the wake of the incident at the Bergsåker racecourse in northern Sweden. The disciplinary body of Svenska Travsportens Centralförbund (STC) found that Bergh had overstepped the boundaries of the acceptable in his treatment of the racehorse.

Unlike the district court, the Court of Appeal agreed with the STC that the jockey had used excessive force when wielding the whip.

STC secretary general Ulf Hörnberg was not immediately available for comment on Tuesday's appeals court decision.

The ruling is a further blow to the sport as it awaits a verdict in the case of trainer Åke Svanstedt, who stands accused of encouraging cruelty to animals.

Story continues below…

Prosecutors claim the highly successful trainer urged stable staff to subject a number of horses to electric shocks.

TT/The Local (news@thelocal.se)

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Your comments about this article

13:36 December 8, 2009 by bravedave
Good, which part of this sport is not animal cruelty? They whip the horses to make them run faster around a circular track, its the worst sport in history and everyone participating should each recieve a sturn horse kick to the head as punishment.
14:44 December 8, 2009 by ADJB
What utter garbage ! The horses may be encouraged to run a little faster with a brush of the whip, and a flick of the reins. And people that go too far are punished (as per above). But the fact is the horses enjoy it. They want to be out there running. The job of the kusk is to make the horse give it's effort at the right time. This includes holding them back at the start of the race. Letting them loose to run at their own pace, and then encouraging them to give that little extra. And besides off the track, and apart from training, they live a very pampered life.
15:05 December 8, 2009 by bravedave
Do horses enjoy it? Why dont you ask one then.
15:18 December 8, 2009 by ADJB
They're intelligent animals. When they see the horse transport approaching they're at the gate to the field waiting to get onboard. Would they do that if they didn't want to ?

If you have a dog, and you take out the dog lead, it know's it's going out to walk/run/play, you can see on its behaviour that it wants to go. Same with a horse.
19:24 December 8, 2009 by misssh
horses are dog tucker anyway
20:44 December 8, 2009 by lingonberrie
He should be docked a year's wages, forever banned from harness racing and disallowed of ever again being in contact with horses.

There is no excuse for animal cruelty.

This should never have taken place in Sweden. His kind do not belong in Sweden.
10:08 December 10, 2009 by La Figaro
Animal cruelty, what a bag of hogwash

Flogging it in the first place is cruelty, rating the level of cruelty is either silly or plain stupid. I wonder where eating meat (which means the animal must be killed first) will be rated
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