Gordon Elliott sacked as Betfair ambassador amid dead horse photo probe

Gordon Elliott has been sacked from his role as an ambassador for bookmakers Betfair amid a probe into a photo of him sitting on a dead horse.

The image, in which the Irish trainer is making a two-fingered ‘peace’ sign to the camera while straddling a carcass at the side of his gallops, was published on social media on Saturday evening.

The serious matter is being investigated by the Irish Horseracing Regulatory Board, just two weeks before the start of the 2021 Cheltenham Festival.

Elliott trains numerous top horses, including the unbeaten Envoi Allen, favourite for the the Marsh Novices' Chase.

Updates on his string would be released via Betfair, but that association came to an end on Monday.

A spokesperson for the firm said: "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.

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

Elliott has pledged to co-operate with the IHRB probe after confirming the image, which some suggested was photoshopped, was genuine.

In a statement, he wrote: “To the racing community, to anyone who has worked with and loves horses and to anyone offended by this image, I cannot apologise enough.

“Horse welfare and the care and attention to detail involved is absolutely at the core of everything we do here.”

Seeking to provide “some context” to the photograph, the 42-year-old added: “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.”

Elliott faces a charge of bringing racing into disrepute before the IHRB Referrals Committee – which has the power to suspend his training licence.

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