NEWS AND COMMMENT, IRELAND: There is an interesting video on Twitter of a horse race at Punchestown on Saturday last in which Ted Walsh called a horse that refused to jump a “dirty rotten cowardly so and so”. He then goes on to add “a hiding wouldn’t be good enough for him”. The other commentator sniggers and said it’s a nasty thing to do. Clearly, in his commentary, Ted Walsh is advocating animal abuse. It’s as clear as day. To an animal advocate it is disgusting. It is totally inappropriate for a commentator on national television to make these comments. The race was broadcast on RTÉ ONE.
You can see the tweet below from Ethical Farming Island. Ted Walsh is an Irish amateur jockey turned racehorse trainer who was born and raised in County Cork but based in Kill, Co Kildare, Ireland. He is the father to amateur Irish National Hunt jockey, Katie Walsh and professional National Hunt jockey Ruby Walsh according to Wikipedia. He is 72 years of age as at the date of this post.
Punchestown on Saturday. Ted Walsh calls the horse that refused a jump a 'dirty rotten cowardly so and so' then said 'a hiding wouldn't be good enough for him' to which the other commentator sniggered and said it's a nasty thing to do! @RTEsport are you condoning animal abuse? pic.twitter.com/ogCeuToGAj
— Ethical Farming Ireland (@ethicalfarmIE) May 2, 2022
He works for RTÉ as a racing pundit. He apologised for saying a “hiding wouldn’t be good enough”. He also called the horse “chicken-hearted, cowardly”. He’s been heavily criticised for his commentary.
Following his ill-judged comments, the junior minister at the Department of Agriculture and Green Party senator, Pippa Hackett, tweeted to say that “This is completely unacceptable commentary from Ted Walsh on @RTEsport.”
She added: “I don’t think anyone in racing or bloodstock could condone the use of this sort of language in relation to a horse. It does nothing for Irish racing.”
Mr Walsh later said that he would “never condone physical force against an animal”. He said that he had used an “unfortunate turn of phrase and in no way reflects my views on the welfare of animals. I would never condone the use of physical force on any animal and I sincerely apologise for any offence that my words caused.”
There is a reasonable argument which states that horseracing shouldn’t exist at all in that it is arguably a form of animal abuse while entertaining humans. I am with PETA on this sort of human behaviour. Animals should not exist to entertain us and to be used and abused by people. I say leave them alone. If a horse doesn’t want to jump then they have a good reason not to jump. Maybe this horse shouldn’t be in horseracing and if that is the case, it is the fault of people not the horse. Ted Walsh demonstrated ignorance and insensitivity toward animal welfare. And I do not believe his apology. I don’t think it was made sincerely.