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Trainers and BHA pledge to work together after clear-the-air talks

Ann Duffield: meeting was "extremely positive"
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Trainers and the BHA have pledged to work more closely together following clear-the-air talks between the two sides on Tuesday.

The BHA's interim chairman Atholl Duncan, chief executive Nick Rust and chief regulatory officer Brant Dunshea attended the meeting with the council of the National Trainers Federation in London.

Tensions between trainers and the governing body have grown this year following a series of flashpoints including the shutdown caused by the equine flu outbreak, the directive for all jumps horses to wear hind shoes and controversy over bans handed out to jockeys following the running of the National Hunt Chase at the Cheltenham Festival.

Tensions between the BHA and trainers escalated after the National Hunt Chase at Cheltenham

The discussions were broader than the issue of equine welfare, bringing in regulation of trainers generally and aimed at resetting the relationship between the two.

Afterwards, the NTF and BHA said in a joint statement that there was a positive intention to improve communications and work more closely together "in the interests of racing."

In addition to more regular scheduled meetings it was agreed steps would be taken to create more opportunities for trainers to engage with BHA consultations through the federation.

NTF president Ann Duffield said: "Our meeting today with Nick Rust, Atholl Duncan and Brant Dunshea was extremely positive, there was a general feeling of clearing the air. We enjoyed open dialogue and there is a sense of better understanding between us all."

BHA chairman Atholl Duncan added: "We’re very grateful to the trainers for the spirit they entered into the discussions. We’ve committed to engage with the NTF and its members in a far more effective way in the future. We all want the same for our sport, and we can only achieve that by working together."


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There was a general feeling of clearing the air. We enjoyed open dialogue and there is a sense of better understanding between us all

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