No criminal offences arise from Gordon Elliott photo, Garda says
No further Garda action required following review of photo of trainer with dead horse
Leading trainer Gordon Elliott has apologised for a controversial photo showing him posing on top of a dead horse on his gallops. Photograph: Morgan Treacy/Inpho
Gardaí have reviewed the photo of trainer Gordon Elliott sitting on the remains of a dead horse while taking a phone call and gesturing to the camera, and have decided that no possible criminal offences have arisen for investigation.
The Irish Times has learned that gardaí in Co Meath, where Gordon Elliott’s training business is based, have reviewed the image of him that has been circulated online. That review was carried out to establish if any possible crimes were identified for investigation.
In reply to queries from The Irish Times, Garda Headquarters confirmed the images had been reviewed by gardaí in Trim Garda station, Co Meath, though it did not name Mr Elliott.
“Following circulation of certain images on social media and concerns raised, An Garda Síochána in Trim have completed preliminary inquiries and are satisfied that no further Garda action is required,” Garda Headquarters said in reply to queries.
Leading trainer Elliott has apologised for the controversial photo showing him posing on top of a dead horse on his gallops. He said the horse had died of a heart attack on his gallops and his primary focus was to have the remains of the animal removed.
However, he added, as he was standing over the animal his phone rang and when he answered the call he absent-mindedly sat on the dead animal while taking the call, at which point a photograph was taken of him. He said he was gesturing to one of his staff at the time as they had shouted for his attention, though he was on the call.
The British Horseracing Authority has imposed an interim ban on Elliott having runners in Britain, pending the outcome and verdict of investigations in Ireland, including by the Irish Horseracing Regulatory Board and a referrals panel hearing due to take place this Friday, where it will examine if Elliott has damaged the reputation of racing.