Jockey apologises for ‘wholly inappropriate’ video of him sitting on dead horse

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  • Jockey Rob James has apologised after a video of his sitting on a dead horse was circulated on social media.

    The Irish Horseracing Regulatory Board said it is aware of and investigating the footage, which has been shared this week, since a similar picture of trainer Gordon Elliott sitting on a dead horse also went viral, for which he later apologised.

    The video shows the Irish rider straddling the body of a horse, in front of onlookers, as laughter can be heard.

    Rob, who rode the Gordon Elliott-trained Milan Native to victory at the Cheltenham Festival last year, said he was “heartbroken by the damage” he had caused.

    He told the Irish Field he wanted to apologise for his actions, which were “wholly inappropriate and disrespectful to a lovely five-year-old mare”, adding that the horse had suffered a heart attack at exercise that morning, 30 April 2016.

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    “I sincerely apologise to the owners of the mare, the staff who cared for her, the horseracing industry and all followers of horseracing for my actions,” he added.

    Rob said trying to defend his “stupidity” would “add further insult and hurt” to those people who had supported him in his career, and that he had embarrassed his employers, his family, and “most importantly the sport I love”.

    “I am heartbroken by the damage I have caused and will do my best to try and make amends to those hurt by my conduct.”

    The IHRB said in a statement: “We are aware of further social media content circulating and the matter is under investigation.”

    A British Horseracing Authority spokesman added that the body is aware of the footage.

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