Main Irish racehorse coach Gordon Elliott has apologised for a photograph circulating on social media of him sitting on a useless horse.
The Irish Horseracing Regulatory Board (IHRB) has begun an investigation into the image, which Elliott says was taken “a while in the past”.
“I apologise profoundly for any offence that this photograph has brought about,” he stated.
On Monday, the British Horseracing Authority (BHA) stated it was “appalled” by the picture, including that it was “contemplating its personal regulatory choices”.
The 43-year-old, who is predicated in County Meath, is a extremely profitable coach who has received the Grand Nationwide thrice, together with twice with Tiger Roll.
“I can categorically state that the welfare of every horse below my care is paramount and has been central to the success that we now have loved,” he stated.
“The photograph in query was taken a while in the past and occurred after a horse had died of an obvious coronary heart assault on the gallops.
“At what was a tragic time, which it’s when any horse below my care passes away, my preliminary response was to get the physique faraway from the place it was positioned.
“I used to be standing over the horse ready to assist with the removing of the physique, in the midst of which, to my reminiscence I obtained a name and, with out considering, I sat right down to take it. Listening to a shout from one in every of my crew, I gestured to attend till I used to be completed.
“Such background info could seem trivial at the moment and won’t allay the considerations of many individuals each inside and outdoors the world of horse racing.”
What has been the response?
Michael O’Leary has stated Gigginstown, who personal Tiger Roll and a variety of different horses educated by Elliott, will “proceed to assist him and his crew, as they work to recuperate from this deeply regrettable incident”.
He says the photograph is “unacceptable” and “grievous” however calls it a “momentary lapse of judgement”, including “all of us make errors” and that Gigginstown accepts Elliott’s apology.
Cheveley Park Stud, who personal a number of horses educated by Elliott together with the unbeaten Envoi Allen, say they’re “actually horrified” by the photograph however won’t remark additional till the investigation by the IHRB is over.
The Jockey Membership, which owns Cheltenham and Aintree racecourses, stated: “Clearly that is completely unacceptable and never reflective of the respect and care that racehorses obtain from individuals in our sport.
“The anger and upset throughout racing says all of it. We perceive the authorities are reviewing this as a matter of urgency.”
Betfair stated on Monday it had chosen to finish its relationship with Elliott, who had been an envoy for the betting firm.
“Whereas we recognise that Gordon deeply regrets and apologised unreservedly for his poor judgement, his actions are fully at odds with the values of the Betfair model and that of our staff,” a Betfair spokesperson advised the BBC. “With that in thoughts, we now have determined to discontinue our affiliation with Gordon with speedy impact.”
The charity World Horse Welfare stated: “This photograph seems abhorrent. We perceive the coach has apologised and there’s an investigation ongoing.”
Nice British Racing, the promotional physique of British racing, stated: “Respect for our horses is on the coronary heart of every little thing that we stand for in British racing and the surprising picture is counter to that and betrays the work of hundreds of individuals loving and caring for our horses every day – we condemn it within the strongest potential phrases.”
An IHRB spokesman stated on Sunday: “The investigation is ongoing and can be handled as rapidly as potential.”
The BHA added: “We count on all these in our sport to exhibit respect for horses, on the racecourse, within the coaching yard, on the gallops, and wherever they’ve horses of their care.
“Individuals who work in our business imagine their values – of caring for and respecting our horses – have been deeply undermined by this behaviour. On their behalf, and on behalf of all horse-lovers, we are saying loudly that British horseracing finds this completely unacceptable.”