‘Lacks integrity and backbone’ – Animal Aid slams racing board’s decision over Gordon Elliott dead horse image

Posted on the 5th March 2021

Animal Aid is shocked and dismayed at the paltry punishment handed to three-times Grand National winning trainer, Gordon Elliott, after images emerged last weekend of him astride a dead horse. Elliott has been given a six-month suspension from racing.

The Irish Horse Racing Board’s (IHRB) referral committee began hearing evidence, at 9.30 today, concerning the shocking and tasteless image of Gordon Elliott astride a dead horse.

The horse, Morgan, a seven-year-old gelding, apparently died of an aneurysm at Elliott’s gallops in 2019. Morgan was owned by Ryanair boss Michael O’Leary’s Gigginstown Stud.

Elliott had been reported to be “cooperating fully” with the IHRB since it was announced his actions were being investigated.

Says Animal Aid’s Horse Racing Consultant, Dene Stansall

‘Animal Aid’s dismay at this pathetically small level of punishment, follows the initial shock when the disgraceful images first appeared. The Board’s decision lacks integrity and backbone and has failed the horses who are the real victims of this industry. This shows that the industry cannot self-regulate horse welfare – there needs to be a separate and independent welfare regulator that can impose its own sanction on the industry and upon individuals within that.

‘A key question which needed answering before the image emerged, and still does, is why are young horses dying in training. Morgan, whose lifeless body was treated with such contempt by Elliott, was just seven years old. He was a victim of racing, without a doubt. Animal Aid wants to know how many other horses are falling victim to this terrible industry, all unseen, expendable and, largely, ignored.’

Notes for Editors


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