Gordon Elliott: Trainer faces hearing with IHRB after dead horse photo

Three-time Grand National-winning trainer Gordon Elliott apologised "profoundly" for an image which showed him sat on a dead horse; IHRB hearing evidence on the case on Friday; Elliott's yard sponsor terminated its contract

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Three-time Grand National winning Irish trainer Gordon Elliott will face an Irish Horseracing Regulatory Board hearing after a photograph of him sitting on a dead horse was posted on social media last weekend

The career of Gordon Elliott hangs in the balance with the IHRB's referrals committee hearing evidence on Friday morning after the leading Irish trainer was pictured sitting on a dead horse.

Elliott has been "cooperating fully" with the IHRB following the emergence of the photograph on social media last weekend.

The 43-year-old apologised "profoundly" for the incident.

The top Irish trainer has subsequently become subject to a temporary British Horseracing Authority ban on running any of his string in Britain, while top owners Cheveley Park Stud have moved their high-profile horses away from his yard.

Racing authorities in Britain and Ireland condemned the image, which Elliott confirmed in a statement on Sunday evening was genuine.

The British Horseracing Authority said it was "appalled" by the image and banned Elliott from saddling runners in Britain while the investigation was undertaken.

Gordon Elliott 0:56
James Given, British Horseracing Association Director of Equine Health and Welfare, says the sport has been thoroughly let down

While eCOMM Merchant Solutions, the company of prominent owners Noel and Valerie Moran, terminated its contract with Elliott, Gigginstown House Stud, run by Michael and Eddie O'Leary, said on Monday it would continue to support the trainer.

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Many of its runners though face the prospect of being barred from the lucrative Cheltenham Festival later this month.

Among the eight Cheveley Park Stud horses currently trained by Elliott is Cheltenham Festival favourite Envoi Allen, who is moving to fellow Irish trainer Henry de Bromhead, along with stablemates Quilixios and Ballyadam.

Elliott has also won the Grand National three times, including twice with Tiger Roll. The festival at Aintree takes place on April 8-10.

GETTY - Gordon Elliott is said to be 'fully cooperating' with the investigation into a photo of the trainer sat on a dead horse 0:38
Horse racing trainer George Margarson says the image of Elliott sitting on a dead horse is 'very damaging' for the sport

BHA equine health director 'shocked'

Former trainer James Given, now the BHA's Director of Equine Health and Welfare, believes the ruling body made the correct decision in deciding to temporarily suspend Elliott from making entries in Britain.

"These are unprecedented times," Given told Sky Sports Racing.

"Gordon, at the moment, holds more entries in Britain than almost any other trainer - and so we felt it was appropriate to take the action that we have, while we wait for the Irish to complete their process."

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