Jockey apologizes for hitting horse’s face
Halis Karataş, Turkey’s leading jockey, who hit his horse “Arts Man” in the face before a race, apologized yesterday after footage showing the incident caused fury on social media.
“Before being fined for what I have done, I have decided not to ride horses for a month, starting from Sept. 1,” said Karataş, one of the pioneers of Turkish horseracing.
The incident happened on the seventh leg of the Istanbul races on Aug. 26. Just before the race, Karataş hit “Arts Man” in the face with anger.
“I was about to break my knee and in that desperate moment, out of agony, I hit my horse,” said Karataş.
The footage of the incident caused a public outcry in a short time. Social media users asked Karataş to be fined immediately.
A day later, Karataş announced he would take a “one-month break from horse riding” on his Twitter account.
“First of all, I apologize to ‘Arts Man.’ Everyone knows that I rode horses without hurting them throughout my 33-year-career,” he added.
He also announced that he will compete in the Gazi Race, the country’s oldest and most prestigious horseracing event, on Aug. 30, and if he wins, he will donate the winning prize to organizations fighting for the prevention of cruelty against animals.
The Gazi Race is a Turkish thoroughbred horse flat race, established in honor of the founder of Turkey, Gazi Mustafa Kemal.
This year’s race will take place without spectators due to the pandemic. The winning price is 1.75 million Turkish Liras ($239,000).