Top coach Gordon Elliott apologizes over lifeless horse picture

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 probably the most grueling and spectacular steeplechase on the planet.

“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 a press release 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 aspect. He is making a peace signal with one hand and holding his telephone to his face with the opposite, and a caption throughout the picture reads: “New work rider this morning.”

In his assertion Elliott mentioned he had acquired a telephone 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 workforce by gesturing “to wait until I was finished,” mentioned 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 absolutely with an investigation introduced by the Irish Horseracing Regulatory Board in a short statement on Twitter on Saturday.

The British Horseracing Authority (BHA) mentioned it had been in touch with the IHRB and welcomed its investigation.

“We hope the Irish authorities will quickly confirm how this shocking picture originated,” a BHA spokesperson mentioned in a statement printed 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 mentioned 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 mentioned. “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 response to 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, mentioned 145 of these 186 horses had been killed in soar racing.

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