Board suspends license of Irish trainer for dead horse photo

DUBLIN (AP) — Trainer Gordon Elliott’s license was suspended on Friday for one year, with six months suspended, for posing for a photo while sitting on a horse that had just died of a heart attack.

Elliott, one of the biggest names in British and Irish racing, caused “serious damage” to the integrity and reputation of the sport, the Irish Horseracing Regulatory Board said in its decision.

“This committee is of the view that the photograph shows the most appalling bad taste on the part of Mr. Elliott insofar as it demonstrates a complete absence of respect for the horse at a time when it still remains in his charge,” it said.

Elliott was also ordered to pay 15,000 euros ($17,800) in costs.

The Irishman has been temporarily banned by the British Horseracing Authority from entering runners in British races, and owners Cheveley Park Stud moved their horses from his yard.

Elliott is a three-time Grand National winner, including the two most recent editions of the race in 2018 and ’19 with Tiger Roll.

Elliott said it was a “moment of madness” and accepted his actions were “indefensible.”

“To the racing community, to anyone who has worked with and loves horses and to anyone offended by this image, I cannot apologize enough,” Elliott wrote on Twitter this week.

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