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Ted talk Ted Walsh says Gordon Elliott 'knows he made a major blunder' after photo scandal

It is very easy to put a nail in a fella’s coffin and kick a fella when he is down,” Walsh told Today with Claire Byrne.

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Ted Walsh has spoken of his concerns for Gordon Elliott. Photo by Ramsey Cardy/Sportsfile

Ted Walsh has spoken of his concerns for Gordon Elliott. Photo by Ramsey Cardy/Sportsfile

Ted Walsh has spoken of his concerns for Gordon Elliott. Photo by Ramsey Cardy/Sportsfile

Ted Walsh has said fellow trainer Gordon Elliott needs “to make sure he is okay himself” in the aftermath of the photo that emerged showing the Meath man sitting on a dead horse.

The Gigginstown trainer has been banned from the sport in the UK and is set to face the Irish Horseracing Regulatory Board on Friday.

But Walsh said the Cheveley Park horses leaving for fellow trainers, such as Envoi Allen who is a two-time Cheltenham winner, will impact more than a change in licence.

“It is very easy to put a nail in a fella’s coffin and kick a fella when he is down,” Walsh told Today with Claire Byrne.

“He knows he made a major blunder and what he did is wrong. I’d say he needs a bit of help now.

“To be in Gordon Elliott’s yard yesterday and watch Envoi Allen and eight of the best horses you have loaded into a box…

"Everyone dreams of having a Dawn Run or an Arkle. Envoi Allen might have been one of them and now he has gone. I’m sure at this stage he is so low.

"He’ll probably lose his licence for some length of time and receive a fine but I don’t know what.

"People will castigate him for what he did because it was terrible but I hope mentally he can be strong enough to get over it. It is a huge blow to see your whole life crumbling like a deck of cards in front of you. He has paid for it."

Walsh added: "His yard is gone, his staff will be redundant. He has 80 staff and he has the damage done on his family, himself and the staff. And the only person he can blame is himself. He will pay for it dearly for a long time."

Walsh said that he was brought up to respect horses dead or alive, adding that years ago "I had Commanche Court here and if I lost him, I don't know if I would have got over it."

“Gordon is in horses all his life," Walsh said.

"It was just one of those moments when people do things. We all make blunders and mistakes that we look back and say why did I do that, but ya did it.”

When asked if the man that he knows is the man shown in the photograph, Walsh replied, “He is not, but people surprise you everywhere along the line”.

Having first met Elliott as a 16-year-old, and visited the yard and seen his team in action, the 70-year-old said it was "alien" to see such a lack of respect for a dead horse.

Walsh continued: "I was disappointed. Plain and simple I was very disappointed. It's not something I expected from anyone in the racing game.

"I never thought anyone from a racing background would get any enjoyment or would ever think about doing it. It is a bit alien to what I was reared to.

"From my experience, and I was in Gordon's yard a couple of times, and looking at the outfit because it is first class, like a five-star hotel, his results show his horses are always in top condition.

"I'm not his best pal, he's a generation lower than me. But I know him since he is 16 and [the man in the photograph is] not the man that I know going racing or the man I know when I go and visit him in the yard or the fella looking after his horses and riding when he was younger.

"That is not what I thought he would do. I'm not for one moment saying what he did was right. The picture tells a story. It's one of those bad moments he will regret and will pay dearly for as he has already.

"I'm so sorry for him because I know how hard it is to get to the position he was in. It's a long road back. It's going to be a long struggle.

"I hope mentally he can put up with it too because it must be absolutely heartbreaking."

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