| 16.9°C Dublin

indefensible Trainer Gordon Elliott breaks silence after being pictured sitting on dead horse

Whether alive or dead, the horse was entitled to dignity"

Close

Gordon Elliott

Gordon Elliott

Gordon Elliott

Grand National trainer Gordon Elliott has spoken out for the first time since a picture of him sitting on a dead horse in February sparked controversy and led to a six month suspension from the sport.

The 43-year-old was fined €15,000 at a hearing in March and said his “world was crumbling” — accepting that the incident was “indefensible”.

“Whether alive or dead, the horse was entitled to dignity. A moment of madness that I am going to have to spend the rest of my life paying for and that my staff are suffering for.

"I will be punished, I fully understand that. But it absolutely breaks my heart to read and hear people say that I have no respect for my horses," he said, in a statement at the time.

Close

The controversial picture of trainer Gordon Elliott sitting astride a dead gelding

The controversial picture of trainer Gordon Elliott sitting astride a dead gelding

The controversial picture of trainer Gordon Elliott sitting astride a dead gelding

At the time the British Horseracing Authority confirmed that horse owners must transfer their animals to another trainer if they were to compete in the Cheltenham Festival.

Now Elliott, speaking for the first time since the controversy, has revealed he had 12 horses taken from him following the furore including Envoi Allen, Sir Gerhard and Quilixios and describes it as “the lowest point throughout it all”.

In an exclusive interview with the Racing Post, Elliott said: "I have never had a cross word with any of the owners who left. I still speak to them all and the gate is always open. I understand completely why they had to go.

“Having said that, I still have a brilliant bunch of owners here who have stuck by me and want to support me and want to see me get back to where I was."

Ironically, two of the three horses won the Cheltenham Festival.

"I had worked very hard to source those horses, and then they were gone. Just like that. When Envoi Allen was here, there wasn't a night I didn't lie in bed thinking about him. And now that he is gone, there still isn't a night I don't lie in bed thinking about him.”

Elliott, who saddled Silver Birch to win the Aintree Grand National in 2007, will return to the sport on Thursday.

Sunday World Newsletter

Sign up for the latest news and updates

This field is required This field is required

Download the Sunday World app

Now download the free app for all the latest Sunday World News, Crime, Irish Showbiz and Sport. Available on Apple and Android devices


Top Videos





Privacy