The world of horse racing can't just look the other way on doping allegations, says Nina Carberry - petsitterbank

The world of horse racing can’t just look the other way on doping allegations, says Nina Carberry

Trainer Jim Bolger’s claim that Irish horse racing has a Lance Armstrong figure in its midst needs to be properly investigated, Nina Carberry said.

he former champion jockey was responding to comments made by Bolger in an interview with Paul Kimmage in the Sunday Independent last June, in which the trainer claimed to know who the perpetrators are.

Carberry, who competed in the Grand National six times, said the sport cannot look the other way in the face of such serious allegations.

“When there is a claim you have to investigate it. You can’t just say ‘no’ and brush it under the carpet,” she said. “No one wants their sport to be exposed to any of that. There has to be a legal requirement for drugs and hopefully everyone is going by the rules, but it has to be watched and controlled.”

Referring to the Irish Horseracing Regulatory Board, she said: “Hopefully the IHRB are doing their job and everything is being tested, because you don’t want to see any of that happening.”

Carberry is part of one of Ireland’s most famous racing dynasties — her father Tommy Carberry won the Aintree Grand National with L’Escargot in 1975, while brother Paul repeated the achievement 24 years later on Bobbyjo.

She was speaking as she prepared to perform again on Dancing with the Stars on RTÉ One, where she has topped the leaderboard.

Carberry also addressed the reason the sport she conquered has remained overwhelmingly male, despite the success of her and others including Bryony Frost and Rachael Blackmore.

“It is a very tough sport and not every person likes coming off the horse at 30mph,” she said.

“There are not as many girls who choose that career because it is hard, it’s very time-consuming. You have to put the work in — which is seven days a week, 24 hours a day — and you don’t get the holidays you want to take because you can’t let someone else into your position. So it’s not everyone’s cup of tea.

“There are not as many girls going into it because of that physicality and you need to have mental strength to get back up again. It’s mentally hard and obviously you also have to deal with the injuries.”

On the prospect of her own daughter Rosie (4) ever becoming a jockey, Carberry said she would fully support her and teach her the skills needed to protect herself.

But she added: “I would love her to do something else because I know how hard it is and the injuries aren’t nice. People have been killed in our sport so it is dangerous.”

Add a Comment

Your email address will not be published.