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Cheveley Park Stud 'truly horrified' by Gordon Elliott picture

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Cheveley Park Stud have released a statement in relation to the photo circulating on social media at the weekend of trainer Gordon Elliott sitting on a dead horse.

Trainer Elliott, who has apologised for the image that he says was taken 'some time ago', is currently the subject of an investigation by the Irish Horseracing Regulatory Board.

From the Cheveley-based operation's perspective, Elliott trains a number of their big-name horses, including Envoi Allen and Quilixios.

Cheveley Park Stud's Envoi Allen is trained by Gordon Elliott
Cheveley Park Stud's Envoi Allen is trained by Gordon Elliott

A statement read: "We are truly horrified and dismayed by the photograph doing the rounds on social media however, we will await the official outcome of the investigation by the IHRB, which we trust will be swift, before making any further comment/decisions."

Meanwhile, three-time Grand National winner Elliott said earlier today: "I apologise profoundly for any offence that this photo has caused.

"I can categorically state that the welfare of each and every horse under my care is paramount and has been central to the success that we have enjoyed.

"The photo in question was taken some time ago and occurred after a horse had died of an apparent heart attack on the gallops.

"At what was a sad time, which it is when any horse under my care passes away, my initial reaction was to get the body removed from where it was positioned.

"I was standing over the horse waiting to help with the removal of the body, in the course of which, to my memory I received a call and, without thinking, I sat down to take it. Hearing a shout from one of my team, I gestured to wait until I was finished.

"Such background information may seem trivial at this time and will not allay the concerns of many people both within and outside the world of horse racing."

This morning Betfair announced that had cut ties with Elliott, who had been one of their leading ambassadors.

"While we recognise that Gordon deeply regrets and apologised unreservedly for his poor judgement his actions are completely at odds with the values of the Betfair brand and that of our employees," a Betfair spokesperson told the BBC.

"With that in mind, we have decided to discontinue our association with Gordon with immediate effect."

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