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New Elliott statement calls de...
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New Elliott statement calls dead horse photo "indefensible"

Gordon Elliott says he will spend the rest of his life paying for a photograph taken of him sitting on a dead horse. 

The Meath trainer is facing an Irish Horseracing Regulatory Board investigation after the photo began doing the rounds on social media at the weekend.

Elliott responded on Sunday night with an apology that itself has been criticised for failing to grasp the gravity of the situation.

He trained a four-timer at Punchestown on Monday afternoon, but is barred from having runners in the UK while the investigation is ongoing.

Speaking to the Racing Post on Monday evening, Elliott cut a far more contrite figure than the one depicted in the previous night's statement.

"It is indefensible," he said of the picture, "Whether alive or dead, the horse was entitled to dignity.

"A moment of madness that I am going to have to spend the rest of my life paying for and that my staff are suffering for.

"I will be punished, I fully understand that.

"But it absolutely breaks my heart to read and hear people say that I have no respect for my horses. That couldn't be further from the truth.

"My whole life has revolved around horses since I was a child. I know nothing else. Horses are all I have. I came from nothing and built a dream.

Elliott added, "When your world starts crumbling in front of you, it's a scary place to be. I just hope people can understand how truly sorry I am and find some way to forgive me for what I have done."

Tiger Roll's owners - Gigginstown House Stud - said they will be standing by Elliott, saying "We all make mistakes, and what is important is that we learn from them and ensure we do not repeat them.

"We accept Gordon's sincere, profound and unreserved apology and we will continue to support him and his team at Cullentra, as they work to recover from this deeply regrettable incident."

‘What that photo did in terms of damage is unquantifiable…’ | Gordon Elliott controversy | Johnny Ward & Richard Forristal

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