Crowley Banned For 20 Days And Fined 10k For King George Ride

Jim Crowley (r) aboard Hukum and Rob Hornby (c) at the finish of the G1 King George & Queen Elizabeth S. at Ascot | PA Media

Jockey Jim Crowley has been banned for 20 days and fined £10,000 for his winning ride aboard Hukum (Ire) (Sea The Stars {Ire}) in Saturday's G1 King George VI And Queen Elizabeth S. at Ascot. Both he and Rob Hornby, who was aboard runner-up Westover (GB) (Frankel {GB}), were referred to the British Horseracing Authority's Whip Review Committee following the tight finish with only Crowley receiving a ban.

On Monday the whip rules were tweaked once more by the BHA following a six-month review period and under the new regulations Flat riders are only permitted to use their whip six times in a race, with a four-day ban for going one over the limit and seven days for going two over. Crowley used his whip nine times, which incurs a 10-day ban and is doubled for a class one race. Hornby benefitted from the revisions, but had the rules not been changed he would have received an eight-day ban.

Crowley will be sidelined from Aug. 15-21 and Aug. 23-Sept. 4 and will miss riding Shadwell's G1 Prince of Wales's S. winner Mostahdaf (Ire) (Frankel {GB}) in the G1 Juddmonte International on Aug. 16 during the Ebor meeting at York.
“I'm extremely disappointed, obviously I had an inkling it was coming so I prepared myself,” Crowley said. “I can't change it, I've got to get on with it.

“I don't think anything untoward has happened to those horses in any way, it was a brilliant race. I used my whip in a very correct manner, how I've been brought up to use it. I gave the horse time to respond, we never used it in any incorrect place or at shoulder height or anything like that. Unfortunately it's not something I was aware that I'd done, and neither was Rob. It's very difficult to count in that scenario.”

Crowley hasn't decided if he will appeal his punishment.

“Although I broke the rules and I wasn't aware I broke the rules, I didn't think it was a problem watching the race. The horse's welfare always comes first and to me that wasn't a problem. I think they've been very severe and ruled with an iron fist, they don't want the win-at-all cost races. Jockeys aren't aware they're doing it, that's the problem.

“It's very unfortunate but it shouldn't take away from a brilliant race and a fantastic horse. I hope this doesn't overshadow that.”

Hornby also didn't think he had violated the whip rule.

“I wasn't aware on the day, not at all,” Hornby said. “In fact I was kicking myself as I thought I'd only done five (strokes)–that shows what my counting is like in that situation. I'm sure Jim is the same. It's a shame that it has cast a shadow over such a brilliant race, it should be remembered for two great horses.”

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