A trainer and a dead horse


Sir, – It’s not so much Gordon Elliott’s foolish mistake in being photographed sitting on a dead horse, as the perception of a senior figure in Irish racing lacking dignity and respect for an animal under his care.

This behaviour, now seen worldwide, could have a deleterious effect on one of our major international industries.

It undermines our hard-won reputation for a love of horses and horse racing. – Yours, etc,



Dublin 18.

Sir, – Racing folk say they love horses.

Is that why they run them flat out out over fences, with a heavy jockey on their back wielding a whip if they don’t run fast enough, and if the unfortunate horse breaks its leg after jumping over a massive fence, it gets shot and sold for dog food.

Funny way to show your love.

Incidentally, just how necessary is Cheltenham Racing Festival in 2021 to anyone, except the bookies? Will all the owners, jockeys and handling staff be quarantined on their return?

We cancelled the schools.

Why not Cheltenham? – Yours, etc,



Co Carlow.

Sir, – I’m upset by what Gordon Elliott did but I can’t watch this witch-hunt continue. The man has put his hands up and admitted how wrong he was. He made a mistake and was honest about it. He is human, like us all. I wish people could move on from this. It only takes one person to change the mood. Be that person. Choose kindness and put down the pitchfork. – Yours, etc,



Dublin 4.

Sir, – There is unrestrained criticism of a trainer sitting on a dead horse. But these same critics do not utter an adverse word against the whipping of horses in every race.

Of course, the horses are bred to compete, so that’s all right then! – Yours, etc,


Dublin 8.