You've heard of drunk drivers, even drunk airline pilots. How about a drunk jockey?
Grand National-winning jockey Paul Carberry has been banned for 30 days of racing in Ireland after failing an alcohol breath test — for a second time.
The 35-year-old, who won the 1999 Grand National on Bobbyjo, also received a $7,400 fine.
Carberry failed the latest test at the Naas Racetrack, and will be banned from jockeying until January 2010, when the penalty can be reconsidered.
Trainer Noel Meade, who has worked with Carberry, said the length of the suspension was too severe.
"It seems pretty harsh, especially as it's during the time of the best Irish racing in January," said Meade.
"We'll just have to work our way around it."
And though Meade believes the suspension is too long, he also believes that Carberry is in the last chance saloon for his career.
"This is his last chance with me,’ Meade said. ‘He has promised to give up drinking and taken the necessary steps and I’m happy to stick with him as long as he does that.’
The 1999 and 2002 Irish National champion jockey has said that the fact he lost most of his spleen in an accident a few years back was a major factor in him failing the breathalyzer.
But spleen or no spleen, Carberry is no stranger to controversy, and some of his most impressive highlights on the track have been sullied by lowlights off of it.
In 2006, he narrowly avoided jail for setting fire to a newspaper while aboard an airline from Spain to Ireland.
On the track, when sober, Carberry is one of the top riders in the country with 40 Grade One wins, and has racing in his blood.
Paul’s father, Tommy Carberry, was one of the best National Hunt jockeys of the 1960’s and 1970’s and famously rode L’Escargot to victory in the 1970 and 1971 Cheltenham gold Cup.
Carberry Sr. was also on board L’Esacrgot when he beat Red Rum in the 1975 Grand National.