Gordon Elliott says he will fully cooperate with the IHRB investigation into an image shared widely online on Saturday evening.
The image on social media appears to show leading trainer Gordon Elliott making a peace sign while sitting on a recently deceased horse on the gallops.
The Irish Horseracing Regulatory Board are aware of an image circulating on social media and the matter is under investigation.
— IHRB (@ihrb_ie) February 27, 2021
Elliott tweeted late on Saturday night:
“I’m aware of a photo in circulation on social media. The I.H.R.B. have been in contact with me regarding this photo and I will be cooperating fully with their investigation.”
The IHRB posted on social media on Saturday evening:
“The Irish Horseracing Regulatory Board are aware of an image circulating on social media and the matter is under investigation.”
The IHRB chief executive Denis Egan subsequently confirmed to the Racing Post: "The photo is being investigated. Nothing else can be said at this stage until we have carried out the investigation, but it will be done quickly."
Social media users have speculated on the authenticity of the image, however, no official denials have been made about whether or not the photo has been altered.
The British Horseracing Authority is aware of the image and officials are in contact with their Irish counterparts.
The controversy is far from ideal for the Irish racing regulator who had to deal with the Viking Horde doping case and subsequent ban for trainer Charles Byrnes.
Elliott is preparing a team of over 50 horses for the upcoming Cheltenham Festival including a potential Irish Banker in the shape of the unbeaten Envoi Allen, while he also has Triumph Hurdle favourite Zanahiyr.
Tiger Roll will look to roll back the years under Elliott's care in the Cross Country Chase ahead of a potential third Grand National bid.
Tiger Roll carries the colours of Ryanair boss Michael O'Leary who also owned Elliott's biggest Cheltenham winner, Don Cossack who took the 2016 Gold Cup.