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Ruby Walsh: Cheltenham officials 'condescending' in briefings at festival

Ruby Walsh has described the daily briefings conducted by officials before racing at the Cheltenham Festival as "condescending".

All riders attended obligatory daily meetings with the clerk of the course, starter and BHA officials at 1pm, half an hour before racing began, with Walsh left unimpressed by what he saw and heard. 

"I felt the manner in which some of the information in the briefing was delivered was wrong," said Walsh in his Irish Examiner column. "The tone used by some, and the way in which they spoke to adults and professional sportspeople, just wasn’t right.

"They spoke to us a little like we were kids, and that’s not the way that you should speak to anybody, let alone very experienced people. Some of them spoke to us as though we hadn’t a clue what we were doing.

"To stand there and be spoken to by somebody who has never done it, telling you what to do in such a condescending manner, is not the right scenario."

The BHA and racing professionals in Britain have been at loggerheads on numerous fronts this year, and Walsh stressed the need for those at the top of the sport to work together in order for British racing to prosper.  

He continued: "People are not going to pull together if they are not treated like equals. I know we need leadership, but we also live in a democracy, and I don’t feel the way they are going is productive.

"I felt it was a 'we’re in charge, you'll do as you're told' attitude, and that kind of leadership can be hard to follow.

"It’s not very progressive. If the BHA is going to bring horseracing in Britain forward, it needs to do so with the help of all participants."

The BHA could not be reached for comment on Sunday.

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