Gordon Elliott has been banned for 12 months with 6 suspended

Gordon Elliott set for hearing on Friday with IHRB

Gordon Elliott has been banned from racing for 12 months, with six months suspended, and ordered to pay costs of €15,000, following his Irish Horseracing Regulatory Board referrals committee hearing.

A photo of Elliott sitting on a dead horse appeared on social media last weekend, with the trainer admitting that the image was genuine in a statement released on Sunday evening. 

According to their statement, the IHRB Referrals Committee found Elliott in breach of Rules 272(i) in that he acted in a manner which was prejudicial to the integrity, proper conduct and good reputation”.

The ruling, which comes into effect on 9 March, means Elliott cannot train at his base in Cullentra, nor can he attend a race meeting or point-to-point event until September.

Elliott will not be able to saddle horses at the Cheltenham Festival, which begins on 16 March.  

Gordon Elliott has been banned from racing for 12 months, with six months suspended, and ordered to pay costs of €15,000, following his Irish Horseracing Regulatory Board referrals committee hearing.

A photo of Elliott sitting on a dead horse appeared on social media last weekend, with the trainer admitting that the image was genuine in a statement released on Sunday evening. 

According to their statement, the IHRB Referrals Committee found Elliott in breach of Rules 272(i) in that he acted in a manner which was prejudicial to the integrity, proper conduct and good reputation”.

The ruling, which comes into effect on 9 March, means Elliott cannot train at his base in Cullentra, nor can he attend a race meeting or point-to-point event until September.

Elliott will not be able to saddle horses at the Cheltenham Festival, which begins on 16 March.  

In a statement, Elliott accepted the judgement, effectively ruling out an appeal.

“It breaks my heart to see the hurt I have caused to my colleagues, family, friends and supporters. I have a long road ahead of me but I will serve my time and then build back better,” he said.

The committee sat for three hours at Naas Racecourse this morning from 10am following a tumultuous week in Irish racing, after the image became public. 

The committee found Elliott’s behaviour to be in “the most appalling bad taste” and “the reputation and integrity of horseracing has consequently been brought into disrepute and has been prejudiced and serious damage has been caused to a sport enjoyed and loved by so many”.

In suspending six months of the suspension, the IHRB committee, made up of Mr. Justice Raymond Groarke, Mr. Nick Wachman and The Hon. Mrs. Justice Siobhan Keegan, noted that Elliott had “accepted that his conduct was ‘disgraceful’, ‘horrific’ and ‘wholly inappropriate and distasteful’.”

They noted the three-time Aintree Grand National winner’s ‘genuine remorse’ and the fact he cooperated fully with the IHRB throughout the investigation.

The committee also questioned the motives behind the publication of the photograph, taken more than a year ago, on social media on Saturday night.

“In the view of the Committee there is also a sinister aspect to this case. The Committee are satisfied that the publication of this photograph is part of a concerted attack upon Mr Elliott, the full circumstances of which are unknown.”

Even before today’s judgement, Elliott has already lost some of his best horses, with the British Horseracing Authority (BHA) moving quickly to suspend Elliott from racing in Britain pending today’s hearing.

The unbeaten Envoi Allen is the highest profile horse shorn from the ranks of Elliott amid the controversy, with Henry de Bromhead assuming the training duties for the favourite for the Marsh Novices’ Chase at Cheltenham. 

Envoi Allen is one of a number of Cheveley Park Stud-owned stars dispatched to De Bromhead and champion trainer Willie Mullins.

Noel and Valerie Moran, who are local to the Elliott yard but new to racehorse ownership on a major scale, are adopting a watching brief for now and are awaiting the decision of the hearing before making any public decision on the future of their horses. 

However, Gigginstown House Stud – owner of Morgan, the horse straddled by Elliott in the offending image – is sticking by the trainer, describing the incident as a “grievous but momentary lapse of judgement”.

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