By Sarah Keane •
Published: 02 Mar 2021 • 13:58
JOCKEY slammed for video of ‘riding dead horse’ after trainer Gordon Elliott has been banned from racing in Britain
The horseracing industry has taken another major blow just two weeks before the world-renowned Cheltenham Festival is set to begin, after a video emerged on social media of Festival winning amateur jockey Rob James laughing and joking while riding a dead horse which collapsed during training. The shocking footage, which was allegedly filmed in 2016, was posted just hours after the British Horseracing Authority announced that Gordon Elliott would be banned from racing horses in the UK until the investigation into his damning photo was completed.
The Irish Horseracing Regulatory Board confirmed on March 2 that they were aware of the video of Mr James and would be conducting their own investigation into the matter. The jockey, meanwhile, issued his own statement today:
“I would just like to apologise for my actions which were wholly inappropriate and disrespectful to a lovely five-year-old mare, who unfortunately suffered a sudden cardiac arrest while at exercise earlier that morning, April 30th, 2016.
“I sincerely apologise to the owners of the mare, the staff who cared for her, the horseracing industry and all followers of horse racing for my actions.
“To try defending my stupidity at the time would add further insult and hurt to the many loyal people that have supported me during my career.
“I have caused embarrassment to my employers, my family and most importantly the sport I love.
“I am heartbroken by the damage I have caused and will do my best to try and make amends to those hurt by my conduct.”
A tweet read: “The Irish Horseracing Regulatory Board are aware of further social media content circulating and the matter is under investigation.”
Gordon Elliott, the Irish three-time Grand National-winning trainer has been told by the British Horseracing Authority (BHA) that he is not permitted to have any runners in Britain while an investigation into him by the Irish Horseracing Regulatory Board (IHRB) is ongoing. The action comes as a photo emerged of Elliott sitting on the body of a dead horse, holding his phone in one hand while making the peace symbol with the other.
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Former teacher and health services manager with a Degree in English, Sarah moved to Spain from Southern Ireland with her husband, who runs his own car rental business, in 2019. She is now enjoying a completely different pace and quality of life on the Costa Blanca South, with wonderful Spanish and expat friends in Cabo Roig. Sarah began working with Euro Weekly News in 2020 and loves nothing more than bringing all the latest national and international news to her local community.
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