Sir AP McCoy and Rust in 'constructive discussion' after Cheltenham bans furore
Sir Anthony McCoy and BHA chief executive Nick Rust had a public, and at times animated, discussion before racing at Cheltenham on Thursday as Tuesday's National Hunt Chase continued to stir strong emotions.
McCoy had criticised the governing body after the decision to hand amateur rider Declan Lavery a ten-day ban for not pulling up third home Jerrysback in the four-miler, saying he was "embarrassed for the BHA" during ITV Racing's broadcast on Wednesday.
He also questioned the expertise of BHA chief regulatory officer Brant Dunshea, which prompted Rust to issue a strong defence of his colleague and the organisation.
Rust described the conversation with McCoy as "a good and constructive discussion" but said he did not have anything to add.
The BHA chief executive was immediately engaged in conversation by another former champion jockey in Peter Scudamore, who later said he understood McCoy's feelings and suggested the conditions of the National Hunt Chase be looked at.
He added: "I think the attention on the jockeys is wrong. Whether they got punished or not, that's gone now, they're going to have to alter the conditions of the race.
"To say they're amateur riders is derogatory – I go point-to-pointing enough in Ireland to know the likes of Derek O'Connor and Jamie Codd would be top horsemen in any discipline; they don't realise quite how good these people are.
"I think they've got to up the ratings of the horses running in the race. Therefore, I don't blame people who are participating in it, I blame the framing of the race. That's why it's got to be updated."
Lavery received his suspension after being found guilty of continuing in the race when it appeared "contrary to the welfare of the horse".
The inquiry into the race did not conclude until Thursday, when Damien Skehan escaped censure from Cheltenham stewards, who had handed out bans totalling 37 days to three riders including Lavery.
BHA stewards' report
Skehan finished last of the four to complete on Clondaw Cian, having picked his way through a chaotic race in which nine of the 18 runners either fell or unseated, but had left the racecourse on Tuesday before he could be interviewed by officials.
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