Jockey Jim Crowley has been hit with a 20-day ban for breaking whip rules during his winning ride on Hukum in the King George at Ascot.
Crowley and Westover’s jockey Rob Hornby, who finished second, were both referred to the British Horseracing Authority’s Whip Review Committee in the wake of what was an unforgettable finish to the midsummer showpiece.
Crowley was found to have used his whip nine times inside the final two furlongs, three over the permitted number for flat riders. Had Crowley used his whip four times over the limit then Hukum would have been disqualified.
Under the new whip rules, introduced at the start of the year, Crowley’s penalty is doubled because the offence occurred in a Group One race. He will be suspended between August 15-21 and August 23 to September 4. Crowley also receives a fine of £10,000.
Crowley told ITV Racing: “It’s a huge punishment. Does it fit the crime? I don’t think so. It’s a tough pill to swallow.
“We’re aware of the whip rules and the severity of them and in the finish we were both thinking: ‘Don’t go over’.
“The second thing you’re thinking about is keeping up the momentum of your horse and not causing interference. It’s very difficult to be counting the strikes when you’re in that scenario. It’s not like it was a win-at-all-costs ride.
“I can guarantee you there isn’t a jockey in the weighing room who agrees with the rules.”
Hornby was ruled to have gone once above the permitted level and received a four-day ban, to be served between August 15-18.
Under new alterations to the whip rules, brought in on Monday, Hornby’s penalty was lessened due to the fact he had gone more than 200 days without an offence.