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Racehorse Trainer Who Smiled as He Sat on a Dead Horse Apologises After Huge Social Media Reaction

One of Ireland’s most successful racehorse trainers has made a grovelling apology after a picture emerged of him chatting on the phone and smiling while nonchalantly sitting on a dead horse.

Animal welfare people are up in arms and claim the picture is evidence of a callous attitude to horses in the racing industry.

​Gordon Elliott - who has won the Grand National three times - issued a statement in which he said: "I apologise profoundly for any offence that this photo has caused.”

Twitter rapidly filled with memes and comments about the incident and Elliott’s apology.

Elliott, 43, said: "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 trainer, who won the race with Tiger Roll in 2018 and 2019, explained that the horse in the photo died of a heart attack while training and he said it was a “sad time”.

​Elliott added: "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."

An Irish Horseracing Regulatory Board spokesman said: "The investigation is ongoing and will be dealt with as quickly as possible."

The British Horseracing Authority said it was a "shocking image."

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