Just when you think you have heard it all . . . just how little racing values the horses they use and throw away, then there is this story.
The horse racing industry is facing renewed scrutiny over animal welfare after footage emerged showing an amateur jockey jumping onto the back of a dead horse.
On Tuesday, the Irish Horseracing Regulatory Board tweeted that it was “aware of further social media content circulating and the matter is under investigation.
“The video, which was widely circulated on social media on Monday, shows people laughing and joking when an individual poses on the back of the stricken horse. The group appears to be standing on the gallops, where racehorses train.
The man who sits on the horse is yet to be officially confirmed by authorities but, in an interview with The Irish Field, amateur jockey Rob James confirmed it was him and apologized for his actions.
The footage comes after top racing trainer Gordon Elliott apologized earlier this week when a photo of him sitting on top of a dead horse went viral.
The British Horseracing Authority (BHA) has since temporarily banned Elliot whilst the Irish authorities conduct an investigation (more below).
The image shows Elliott astride the horse, which is lying on [its] side. He is making a peace sign with one hand and holding his phone to his face with the other, and a caption across the photo reads: “New work rider this morning.” Read full story at source »
Animal Aid, an organization that fights against animal abuse and bids to promote a cruelty-free lifestyle, says the two incidents this week speak to what it calls a wider problem within the sport.
“Welfare issues are endemic in racing. In the short term, lifetime bans should be given to professionals found to be seen abusing racehorses, whether dead or alive.”
The British Horseracing Authority (BHA) has said it won’t allow Gordon Elliott to race horses in Britain while he is being investigated by Irish officials.
He is under investigation by the Irish Horseracing Regulatory Board (IHRB) after an image emerged of him sitting on a dead horse holding a phone and gesturing to the camera. The image was taken at his Meath gallops but it has not yet been confirmed when it was taken.
Gordon Elliott admits he is “heartbroken” after eight Cheveley Park Stud horses were removed from his stable. The leading owners took swift action yesterday after a picture of the Meath handler sitting on a dead horse emerged over the weekend.
Featured Image of Gordon Elliott by CNN International