- The Washington Times - Monday, July 24, 2006

3:15 p.m.

LONDON (AP) — Jockey Paul O’Neill will be investigated by horse racing’s governing body after television replays showed him head-butting his horse, City Affair.

The Horseracing Regulatory Authority made the decision today to hold an inquiry after reviewing TV footage from the incident at yesterday’s Stratford races.

“We haven’t got a date set, but we are going to go for sometime next week — our inquiry day is usually on Thursday,” HRA spokesman Owen Byrne said.

City Affair was being unruly in the parade ring, ultimately throwing O’Neill. The jockey got to his feet and grabbed the reins, pulling the horse to him before lowering his head and butting the animal with his helmet.

“Angry jockey does a ‘Zidane’ to his horse,” read the headline of London’s Evening Standard, referring to French soccer star Zinedine Zidane’s infamous head butt in the World Cup final.

City Affair went on to finish fourth in the two-mile event. O’Neill was given a caution by stewards for his use of the whip in the race.

The 26-year-old O’Neill, who has ridden 51 winners, was questioned by the HRA over his ride of a novice hurdler in March.

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