Trainer Ted Walsh has launched a mad rant today questioning the officiating in racing, saying that they are pandering to people who don't understand the sport.
He was responding to the incident involving Declan Lavery during the final race in Cheltenham on Tuesday evening, when the Irish amateur was suspended for making his horse finish the race when it appeared to be detrimental to the animal's welfare. Tony McCoy made his feelings clear about the 10-day suspension yesterday, and Walsh has now added to the condemnation of the decision.
He was interviewed after a horse he trains, Any Second Now, won' today's final race. Walsh used the time to question the decision making by the British Horseracing Authority:
"If you don't like racing, go watch Peppa Pig" - when Ted Walsh talks, it's usually worth listening - some great opinions here on one very hot topic pic.twitter.com/VTXOe4nJEc
— Racing TV (@RacingTV) March 14, 2019
I thought it was way over the top, it was a disgraceful decision by whoever informed the BHA. But I've been used to disgraceful decisions here...
I remember being here last year and watching a wonderful Gold Cup, a wonderful ride off Richard Johnson, and not one person and not one person here was offended by what Richard Johnson did.
They fined him £5,000 and suspended him for 10 days. When you see that happening, there is something very wrong. If it looks wrong, it is wrong. The numbers is the biggest mistake they ever made, because they backed themselves into a corner. A monkey can count...
When it was posed to him that cruelty to horses had become a major issue of discussion in recent years, Walsh dismissed those who didn't understand the sport.
If you don't like racing, go and watch Peppa Pig!
That's what I say. Racing is what it is, it's a wonderful sport. Horses get killed, jockeys get injured, no-one knows that better than me watching Ruby. I got injured myself. It's part of the game, that's what the sport is.
All the people here, they know that as well. Don't be pampering to those fellas, because they want to stop it altogether. They won't be happy until there's no racing, there's no point modifying it.