"What are we going to do? Are we going to do away with racing then?" - Ap McCoy stands up for Irish jockey
AP McCoy is standing up for the Irish jockey.
Irish amateur jockey Declan Lavery was slapped with a ten day ban for his ride on Jerrysback in the National Hunt Challenge Cup on Tuesday afternoon.
The Philip Hobbs trained seven-year-old was ridden to a third place finish in the four miler - a slog that saw only four horses finish it out.
Lavery was punished for continuing to ride when it appeared detrimental to the horse's health by the BHA. This decision has come in for plenty of criticism due to the fact that the horse came home safe and sound and was reported well on Wednesday morning and legendary jockey AP McCoy led the chorus of boos.
"I'm embarrassed for the BHA," he said on ITV.
"The horse that finished third - Jerrysback - got €13,000. Two horses fell at the second last. 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 and I've not seen as bad a decision."
Francesca Cumani, alongside McCoy on the ITV newsstand, questioned McCoy's convictions, but the Antrim man wouldn't back down.
"There's a fine line between welfare and competition," she said.
McCoy gave as good as he got.
"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?"
"I've not seen as bad a decision in my 25 years coming to Cheltenham! It's undefendable!"@AP_McCoy is FURIOUS at the ban for jockey Declan Lavery received yesterday. #Cheltenham#CheltenhamFestival pic.twitter.com/6IEzsESnw1
— Virgin Media Sport (@VMSportIE) March 13, 2019