Ruby Walsh ‘very sad’ and ‘embarrassed’ for racing over picture of Gordon Elliott sitting on dead horse

The Dual Grand National-winning and Cheltenham Festival record-breaking jockey has spoken about his anger at discovering the image

Jack Rathborn@JackRathborn
Thursday 04 March 2021 14:11
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<p>Gordon Elliott and Ruby Walsh at Cheltenham racecourse in 2018</p>

Gordon Elliott and Ruby Walsh at Cheltenham racecourse in 2018

Ruby Walsh admits he is both “very sad” and “embarrassed” for racing after the controversy caused by a photograph of Grand National winning trainer Gordon Elliott sitting on a dead horse.

The image has damaged the reputation of the sport with the Dual Grand National-winning and Cheltenham Festival record-breaking jockey labelling the photograph as “indefensible”.

Elliott is “cooperating fully” with an investigation surrounding the incident by the Irish Horseracing Regulatory Board, while the British Horseracing Authority has placed an interim ban on his runners.

And now Walsh has revealed his anger at discovering the controversial image, telling RTE: “A picture paints a thousand words, but I think that picture only painted one - and that’s ‘indefensible.’

READ MORE: Gordon Elliott: Grand National winning trainer explains picture with dead horse

“When I looked at it, I felt angry, I felt embarrassed for my sport and I felt very sad.

“I was always taught that the duty of care to the animal is as much when it is dead as it is when it is alive - that is the way I was taught to conduct myself, and it’s the way I assumed most people within my sport would conduct themselves.”

Statements from Horse Racing Ireland, the BHA and the National Trainers Federation have made clear racing’s universal shock at seeing the picture, taken on Elliott’s gallops.

Walsh added: “It has huge ramifications for the sport, and I feel embarrassed for the sport and I felt very sad when I (saw) that picture that the due care and respect wasn’t given to that horse.

“As a licensed trainer, jockey or an employee of a stable yard, you are representing the horse racing industry - and the onus is on you to act in a manner that is good for the image of racing.”

PA contributed to this report

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