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'Wholly disrespectful' - jockey apologises as probe launched into new social media post

The footage was posted on Twitter last night.

Rob James [file photo]
Rob James [file photo]
Image: Tim Goode

Updated Mar 2nd 2021, 11:53 AM

AMATEUR RIDER ROB James has apologised for what he describes as a “wholly inappropriate and disrespectful” video of him with a dead horse that has emerged online.

Horse racing has been rocked by a fresh investigation into a social media post which features James mounting a dead racehorse after it had died during an exercise gallop in 2016.

It comes just days after a probe was launched over a photo of trainer Gordon Elliott sitting on a dead horse which circulated on social media over the weekend.

Speaking to the Irish Field, James has expressed his embarrassment over the footage and apologised to all those who were hurt by his actions.

“I have become aware of a video circulating of me on social media,” says the amateur jockey who rode a winner at the 2020 Cheltenham Festival.

“I would just like of apologise for my actions which were wholly inappropriate and disrespectful to a lovely five-year-old mare, who unfortunately suffered a sudden cardiac arrest while at exercise earlier that morning, 30 April, 2016.

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

“To try defending my stupidity at the time would add further insult and hurt to the many loyal people that have supported me during my career. I have caused embarrassment to my employers, my 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.”

Earlier today, the Irish Horseracing Regulatory Board said in a statement that they “are aware of further social media content circulating and the matter is under investigation”.

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Separately, Grand National-winning trainer Elliott says he is “cooperating fully” with an investigation into a picture of the trainer sitting on a dead horse.

With reporting by Sinéad Farrell

 

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