Arena team receive hostile treatment

Arena Leisure are considering police involvement after it was revealed their new stalls handlers team have been subject to threats of verbal and physical violence.

Arena Leisure are considering police involvement after it was revealed their new stalls handlers team have been subject to threats of verbal and physical violence.

Racing director Ian Renton also confirmed prospective employees wanting to join Arena are being dissuaded from doing so as they feel intimidated.

The news represents another setback in the ongoing dispute, which has shown little sign of resolution.

“I’m really disappointed by this and it could have not come at a worse time as we look for a solution,” said Renton.

“Recruitment is being affected because people who are wanting to work for us are concerned by their safety.

“People wanting to join our team are being intimidated and that is a major problem because it is their livelihoods we are talking about.

“We have done our very best to keep things under wraps and out of the public domain but I think enough is enough.”

The new in-house Arena team made a successful start at Wolverhampton on Monday - despite working in the glare of the jockeys’ boycott over safety and the long-term future of RaceTech stalls handlers.

Renton insists the jockeys have not played any part in the hostile treatment of Arena’s employees, but has threatened police action if the intimidation does not cease with immediate effect.

“I believe it is a bit of everything,” added Renton, when commenting on the nature of the threats.

“In any other line of work this would not be tolerated and we have considered calling the police because this has to stop.

“I believe the jockeys have not been involved in any of this but I would not want to point the finger of blame.”

Renton will meet John Blake of the Jockeys’ Association and Mick Both of RaceTech for further talks on Friday morning.

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