Top coach Gordon Elliott apologizes over lifeless horse photograph

Top trainer Gordon Elliott apologizes over dead horse photo

Elliott, who trains horses at Cullentra stables in County Meath, Ireland, has received a slew of main titles together with two Grand Nationals — considered essentially the most grueling and spectacular steeplechase on the earth.

“Firstly, I apologise profoundly for any offence that this photo has caused and can categorically state that the welfare of each and every horse under my care is paramount and has been central to the success that we have enjoyed here at Cullentra,” wrote Elliott as he put out an announcement on Twitter on Sunday after the picture went viral on-line.

“The photo in question was taken some time ago and occurred after a horse had died of an apparent heart attack on the gallops. I appreciate that an initial viewing of this photo suggests it is a callous and staged photo but nothing could be further from the truth.”

The picture exhibits Elliott astride the horse, which is mendacity on its facet. He is making a peace signal with one hand and holding his cellphone to his face with the opposite, and a caption throughout the photograph reads: “New work rider this morning.”

In his assertion Elliott stated he had obtained a cellphone name as he was standing over the horse, ready to assist with the removing of the physique.

When the decision got here in he sat down “without thinking” after which responded to a shout from a member of his crew by gesturing “to wait until I was finished,” stated the assertion.

“Such background information may seem trivial at this time and will not allay the concerns of many people both within and outside the world of horse racing,” continued Elliott. “However, I feel it is important to provide people with some context surrounding this photo.”

Elliott ended the assertion by saying he was cooperating totally with an investigation introduced by the Irish Horseracing Regulatory Board in a quick statement on Twitter on Saturday.

The British Horseracing Authority (BHA) stated it had been involved with the IHRB and welcomed its investigation.

“We hope the Irish authorities will quickly confirm how this shocking picture originated,” a BHA spokesperson stated in a statement revealed Sunday.

“Respect for horses is a fundamental value of our sport, contrary to the impression in this picture,” the spokesperson added. “The IHRB have assured us that the investigation will be carried out as quickly as possible and that they will keep us informed as more information becomes available.”

On Monday betting firm Betfair stated Elliott will not function a model ambassador for the agency.

“While we recognise that Gordon deeply regrets and apologised unreservedly for his poor judgement his actions are completely at odds with the values of the Betfair brand and that of our employees,” a Betfair spokesperson stated. “With that in mind, we have decided to discontinue our association with Gordon with immediate effect.”

Elliott is a former jockey who began coaching horses in 2006, in line with his web site. He received the Grand National in 2018 and 2019 with Tiger Roll, which is owned by Michael O’Leary, proprietor of airline Ryanair.

According to the Animal Aid charity, 186 horses died in 2019 “as a direct result of racing” in Britain. The charity, which describes itself as one of many UK’s largest animal rights teams, stated 145 of these 186 horses have been killed in soar racing.

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