Trainer Gordon Elliott apologises amid photo of himself sitting on dead horse

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  • Quote: ‘I was standing over the horse waiting to help with the removal of the body, in the course of which, to my memory I received a call and, without thinking, I sat down to take it. Hearing a shout from one of my team, I gestured to wait until I was finished’
  • By Andrew Atkinson Trainer Gordon Elliott has apologised after a photo of himself sitting on a dead horse circulated on social media.
“I apologise profoundly for any offence that this photo has caused,” said Elliott.

The Irish trainer, famed for Tiger Roll’s success in winning the Aintree Grand National twice, has made a statement following the photo that shocked the racing world.

The British Horseracing Authority (BHA) has labelled it a ‘shocking image’ and the Irish Horseracing Regulatory Board (IHRB) has begun an investigation.

In the statement Elliott, 43, maintained that the welfare of every horse was paramount in his response to the controversy.

“I apologise profoundly for any offence that this photo has caused.

“I 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.

“The photo in question was taken some time ago and occurred after a horse had died of an apparent heart attack on the gallops.

“At what was a sad time, which it is when any horse under my care passes away, my initial reaction was to get the body removed from where it was positioned.

“I was standing over the horse waiting to help with the removal of the body, in the course of which, to my memory I received a call and, without thinking, I sat down to take it. Hearing a shout from one of my team, I gestured to wait until I was finished.

“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.”

An IHRB spokesman said the investigation will be dealt with as quickly as possible.

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