Horse Racing

Tony McCoy Rages Over Decision To Ban Irish Amateur Jockey At Cheltenham

Tony McCoy Rages Over Decision To Ban Irish Amateur Jockey At Cheltenham

"It's a disgrace, it's undefendable," said Tony McCoy regarding the BHA's decision to ban Irish amateur jockey Declan Lavery after yesterday's final race at Cheltenham.

Lavery was banned for ten days following the National Hunt Challenge Cup, a four-mile amateur jockey's race, in which he finished third aboard Jerrysback.

Only four horses finished. Lavery was banned for continuing in the race when it appeared to be detrimental to the horse's welfare.

"I'm embarrassed for the BHA - talk about bringing racing into disrepute," said McCoy on ITV's coverage of the Cheltenham festival.

The horse that finished third - Jerrysback - got £13,000. Two horses fell at the second last. A horse's natural instinct is to more or less pull up, he did that. I never thought at any stage that he did the wrong thing.

The horse was perfectly fine this morning, the horse's welfare was not an issue.

My big thing is what would have happened if the first and second horses had fallen? What was Declan Lavery supposed to do then?

"I've been coming to Cheltenham for 25 years," continued McCoy.

"Brant Dunshea from the BHA is Australian. I don't know what experience he has of jump racing - they don't have jump racing in Australia and they're letting people like that make the decisions. It's wrong. I have never seen as bad a decision in 25 years coming to Cheltenham.

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"Imagine punters backing him if the other two had fallen and he'd pulled up. It's undefendable.

"What are we going to do? Are we going to do away with racing then? Not have four-mile races? And then what happens? Do what they did in Australia?"

You can watch McCoy speaking below.

See Also: Win An Ireland Jersey In This Week's "Thinking Clear" Quiz

PJ Browne
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