Trainer Gordon Elliott Suspended Six Months For Bringing ‘Sport Into Disrepute’

The Irish Horseracing Regulatory Board (IHRB) released the result of its hearing into the actions of leading jumps trainer Gordon Elliott on Friday. The IRHB decided to suspend Elliott for 12 months, of which the second six months are suspended, according to the racing authority’s website.

The following was published on the IHRB website after the results of the hearing were made public:

“Elliott was found in breach of Rule 272(i) which relates to the proper conduct and good reputation of horse racing following the circulation of a picture showing Mr. Elliott sitting on a dead horse.

“Ireland is recognized internationally as being a world leader in the racing industry. This success is based on the highest professional standards being followed by all participants. Where rules are breached they will be dealt with rigorously, fully, and impartially by the IHRB.

“This case was heard by the Referrals Committee today, chaired by Mr. Justice Raymond Groarke, accompanied by The Hon. Mrs. Justice Siobhan Keegan and Mr. Nick Wachman.

“Speaking about the decision of the Referrals Committee, Denis Egan, CEO of the IHRB said:

“’Where breaches of rules occur and where participants in racing act in a manner that brings the sport into disrepute, there are no winners, and in fact, the loss is to Irish racing with damage to the reputation of the sport. Having acted with thoroughness and having followed due process at all times, the IHRB team are satisfied that the case has been dealt with fairly and appropriately.

“’Our team who prepared the case worked tirelessly since the issue emerged just a few days ago and ensured their investigation, presented today and with the support of our legal team, was thorough, fair to the parties involved, and above all, focused on ensuring that the integrity and good reputation of the sport is upheld.’

“The IHRB will carry out unannounced stableyard inspections on more than 100 days this year in addition to sampling over 5,000 horses, regulating over 380 race meetings, approximately 100 Point-to-Point fixtures and will pursue with impartiality any rule breaches that we uncover.

“Mr. Egan added: “Ireland and its racehorse trainers, riders, breeders and workers are held in high regard globally providing some of the very best horses and the very best racing talent.

“’We recognize the heartfelt upset that this matter has caused to people inside and outside of racing, none more so than to the staff employed by Mr. Elliott. We also see at first hand both on the racecourse and as part of our stable inspection program that horses receive unrivalled care, attention, and affection. Indeed, as part of the investigation into this very case, an unannounced stable inspection of Mr. Elliott’s yard this week led to no concerns about the welfare of the horses in his care, as has been the case during any other inspection we carried out at his premises each year. In our opinion the incident covered in today’s hearing is not reflective of Irish racing.’”

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