John Gosden calls Nick Rust’s foxhunting analogy ‘extremely unwise’

first_imgComments made by Nick Rust in a discussion of racing’s equine welfare policies have been described as “extremely unwise” by the leading trainer John Gosden.During a media event at his stable to promote the Weatherbys Hamilton Stayers’ Million, Gosden did not refer to the chief executive of the British Horseracing Authority by name but criticised a line of argument he made during last week’s appearance on Racing TV, when Rust suggested racing risked finding itself in a similar situation to foxhunting. Read more Share on Twitter “I don’t think it’s wise to use blood sports as an analogy for horse racing,” Gosden said. “I think that is extremely unwise and makes no sense. There’s a lot of love and care for these horses and if anything ever happens to one of them, it’s devastating for us. I’ve had horses happily out in a field and something can happen when they’re running around on their own. They’re athletes and, you ask any football manager, athletes get injuries. I think we need a little more common sense spoken. That would help everybody.”During his appearance on Luck On Sunday, Rust explained his approach to the topic of welfare by saying: “I’m looking at the lessons of history. Hunting, coursing, circuses, sea life, dolphins, it’s all changing and they didn’t move with it in time. I want to stay ahead of it by robustly arguing as a sport that we are doing all we can to manage avoidable risk.” Rust made no effort to distinguish between horse racing and hunting until his interviewer suggested the comparison was hardly apt.While Gosden did not name Rust, he praised the words of Rust’s predecessor, Paul Bittar, who said on Sunday that British horse racing is in “rude health” and should be doing more to emphasise the positive stories it has to tell. “There’s some very good things in this industry,” said Gosden, after citing Bittar’s intervention.“I think we need to be a little bit careful. You have got to be clear that this is a great industry. We do lead the world in Flat racing on turf and the best horses are here. You’ve got to be very proud of the racing we have here and we also have the best jumps racing in the world, in England, Ireland and France, it just stands out. Of course you have to look at all welfare issues, which we always have done. Greg Wood Since you’re here… Quick guide Racing tips for Tuesday 26 March Share on LinkedIn Read more Was this helpful? Horse racing Reuse this content Thank you for your feedback. British Horseracing Authority Talking Horses: why it may help the BHA to get out of London newscenter_img Share on Pinterest Topics Hide Support The Guardian Share on WhatsApp Share via Email “I’m a little concerned there seems to be such a chasm between the horse people and the BHA at the moment. We’re going to have meetings, everyone needs to sit down and talk some bloody sense.”Gosden made his comments while promoting the £1m bonus being offered for any horse that can win a series of marathon races this summer, his Stradivarius having landed the bonus when it was first offered by the insurance broker Weatherbys Hamilton last year. For this season, the series has been expanded so the winners of eight initial races around Europe can then hope to land the £1m if they follow up in the Gold Cup at Royal Ascot, the Goodwood Cup and the Lonsdale Cup.“It’ll be quite a ding-dong,” said Gosden, who will try to win another £1m with Stradivarius. The chestnut was so fresh that he reared up while posing for photographs, causing Frankie Dettori to duck behind the trainer for protection. “He’s been in great form, been eating really well, had a great winter,” Gosden said, unruffled. “We’re aiming him at the Yorkshire Cup.”Gosden also spoke approvingly of the progress made by Too Darn Hot, who is no bigger than 6-5 for the 2,000 Guineas in early May. “Frankie sat on him at the weekend and was very pleased with his development. We’re building towards the Greenham with him.“He’s a bundle of energy, he really enjoys his exercise and he’s very playful. He has rubber balls that he manages to puncture and throw out of his box all the time. He’s like a very hyperactive kid, a pleasure to train.“I’ve always felt that a mile would very much be within his compass. He has a lot of speed and he’s very powerful. He’s guaranteed at a mile, at a mile and a quarter, probably. Beyond that, I simply wouldn’t know.”Without Parole was reported “in great order” for a race in Dubai this weekend, while Gosden says Enable is being brought along quietly with a view to running next in Epsom’s Coronation Cup in early June. The trainer is not yet sure when he can next run Calyx, an impressive winner at Royal Ascot but not seen since.“Calyx has been pleasing us in every way. He’s obviously coming back from an injury and hasn’t run since June, so you can’t just rush forward, you’ve got to go very diligently,” he said. “He did his first half-speed on Saturday, so he’s coming forward well. He will tell me when he’s ready. Now, whether that’s April or whether it’s straight into May, we will see.” Share on Facebook Santa Anita Park whip ban looks like a panicked response to a welfare crisis Share on Messenger … we have a small favour to ask. More people are reading and supporting The Guardian’s independent, investigative journalism than ever before. 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