Coach sorry for ‘women can’t ride’ comments

A jockeys’ coach has apologised after a BBC interview in which he told Katie Walsh that women “can’t ride”.

Coach sorry for ‘women can’t ride’ comments

Walsh, who won the Irish Grand National on Thunder And Roses in April, said Michael Tebbutt’s remarks were made in jest but the British Horseracing Authority (BHA) claimed the comments were “unacceptable”.

Tebbutt made the faux pas when Walsh, who was commissioned by BBC Sport to look at equality in racing for Women’s Sport Week, asked him what the main difference was between a male and female jockey.

Tebbutt, a coach at the British Racing School in Newmarket, said: “They go through the exact same training programme, with females knowing they have to put more in, so they will go the extra yard, knowing they have to catch the male up.”

Walsh replied: “That’s women for you,” to which the coach responded: “Still can’t ride though.”

Tebbutt added: “It boils down to strength. All over strength, mental as well. I think males handle things a bit more.”

Walsh replied: “Well, I’d have to disagree with that.”

Tebbutt has since apologised for his “misguided” comments.

He said: “I apologise if I have caused any offence, to anyone in Britain or across the world. That was never my intention.”

Walsh has come to Tebbutt defence, stating he was simply trying to rise her.

“He’s got a lot of experience as he was a Flat jockey for 17 years and I’ve got a National Hunt background so he was trying to get me going,” she said.

“I don’t dispute the fact that male jockeys are stronger but I was trying to say to him that it is not just strength which comes into play in a race. It is one piece of the jigsaw but there are other factors too.

“He didn’t execute what he was trying to say very well and it didn’t come out very well.”

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