Robbie Power:'I can't see there being any big protests at Punchestown next week'

Robbie Power:'I can't see there being any big protests at Punchestown next week'

Retired jockey Robbie Power said that 'he has no doubt that similar protests to the ones that took place at the Grand National at Aintree on Saturday will happen in the future'.

Protesters from an animal rights group attempted to stop Saturday's Grand National race at Aintree. Scottish horse Corach Rambler, ridden by Derek Fox, won the famous race, but this was preceded by a delayed start due to the protesters attempting to gain entry to the track.

The protesters breached security fences as the National runners were in the parade ring, causing a delay of 12 minutes to the 5:15 pm start.

Merseyside police confirmed that 118 people were arrested over the disruption to the event. Unfortunately, two horses had to be put down after the race.

A huge debate about the event has ensued since the weekend. Some have defended the sport, while others have called for it to be banned.

Power has launched a passionate defense of horse racing in the wake of protests while speaking about Punchestown Betting. The racing legend does not expect protests to take place in Ireland.

"I think Ireland is a bit more sympathetic. Look, in every country there are people who like and dislike things, such as racing, that will always be the case and you will never change their minds, and that's fine.

"But in general, the Irish people are great sporting people, whatever it is. There is a huge following for racing in both Britain and Ireland.

"I can't see there being any big protests at Punchestown next week. National Hunt racing in Ireland is in a very strong place at the moment."

However, Power then went on to say that it will happen again at other events

"There has been huge improvement in racing over the last 15 or 20 years, and I don't think we need to justify to everyone how well these horses are looked after. They don't want to hear this, and we don't need to justify ourselves to how well they are looked after.

"The number of vets on the course, not just at Aintree, but at every racecourse, is huge. The people who care for these horses look after them like their own children.

"It has been a big eye-opener for the industry as to what happened on Saturday, and I have no doubt this will happen again. I suppose racecourse security, the police, will have to be prepared.

"It was great to see the Liverpudlians getting behind their race; they love this race. They were helping the police to stop these protestors. It was great to see that support coming from the local community, as the race means an awful lot to the community of Liverpool."

The Punchestown Festival is held over five days, from Tuesday 25th April to Saturday 29th April.