Leading jockey Hugh Bowman will miss the start of the Spring Racing Carnival after he was handed a six-week suspension for his involvement in a horror fall at Rosehill Gardens last weekend.
Bowman was on Thursday rubbed out for six weeks at the discretion of the Racing NSW Stewards after he had pleaded not guilty to a charge of careless riding that saw fellow jockey Andrew Adkins taken to hospital and his mount Hot'N'Hazy euthanised.
Bowman believed there was sufficient enough gap to angle his ride in from the rail, but in doing so, his horse, Smart Image, made heavy contact with Hot'N'Hazy who then subsequently tripped and sent Adkins tumbling to the track.
Adkins remains in Sydney's Westmead Hospital, where he is nursing a collapsed lung, seven broken ribs, a broken collarbone, and two fractured bones in a leg.
Bowman's suspension was downgraded from three months to six weeks on account of his good riding record, but Racing NSW Stewards said the champion jockey still needed to spend a significant amount of time on the sidelines.
Bowman said that jockeys were required to make split-second decisions, but he would never intentionally place the safety of another horse or jockey in danger.
"Firstly I'd like to wish Andrew Adkins a full and speedy recovery. I spoke to Andrew on the phone to convey how sorry I was for the accident. He is in good spirits, which was very pleasing and reassuring to hear," Bowman said in a statement following his hearing.
"To Danny Williams and the connections of Hot 'N' Hazy, I would like to share my condolences to them. Having been involved with horses all my life I know how tragic it is with the loss of a horse and for all concerned.
"Jockeys are required to make split [second] decisions under enormous pressure and as a jockey with over 20 years of riding experience I have always prided myself on riding competitively, but also within the rules.
"Those who know me well know that it is never my intention to risk injury to fellow jockeys and/or horses when I ride and my record over many seasons attests to that. I look forward to riding against [Adkins] upon his return."
Bowman can return to riding on Sept. 11 ahead of the Run to the Rose meeting back at Rosehill Gardens.