Grand National winning jockey, Stuart Higgins, has been hit with an eight-week ban after unnecessary usage of his whip. The ban came after the 26-year-old claimed one of the biggest wins of his career while riding Jackfrost. The pair saw victory in the Grand National Hurdles that took place at Riccarton.
The jockey couldn’t celebrate for too long as he was soon handed the eight-week ban that could hit his career hard. The jockey continued to use his whip even as him and Jackfrost had gained a clear lead – whipping the horse until the pair had crossed the finish line, winning the race by eight and a half lengths.
Higgins has since admitted to the charge that was handed down by the Racing Integrity Unit over the unnecessary usage of his whip during the race. Not long after, the Judicial Control Authority suspended Higgins’ licence to ride at any race meeting during the eight weeks of his ban, and he was lastly given an $800 fine.
Although the ban is long, it should not affect the rest of Higgins’ performance for the season, as most jumping races are at an end. Despite this, it does rule Higgins out of the Great Northern Hurdle and Steeplechase races, which are taking place in September, and are two of the biggest in the season.
Higgins told reporters that he was “absolutely gutted” by the ban, and that it was difficult to learn of the ban after his incredible win.
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