I Can Explain [Updated]




Irish trainer Gordon Elliott has apologised after this photo of himself sitting on a dead horse circulated on social media

“The photo in question was taken some time ago and occurred after a horse had died of an apparent heart attack on the gallops. I appreciate that an initial viewing of this photo suggests it is a callous and staged photo but nothing could be further from the truth.

“At what was a sad time, which it is when any horse under my care passes away, my initial reaction was to get the body removed from where it was positioned.

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.”

Grand National and Gold Cup-winning trainer Gordon Elliot.

Seems legit.

Gordon Elliott admits ‘shocking’ photo is real and apologises (Racing Post)


Ryanair Boss Michael O’Leary’s Gigginstown horse racing operation expressed their support for Elliott after what it describes as a ‘a grievous but momentary lapse of judgement’.


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97 thoughts on “I Can Explain [Updated]

  1. spider

    Thats Grim, but I expect nothing less from the racing industry. I worked in a racing yard as a teeneger & this doesn’t surprise me in the least.

    1. Charlie

      What age are you? Things have changed a helluva lot over the last 20 years. Horses are treasured by 99% of those who train.

        1. johnny

          …trainers just work for owners Daisy,no racehorse owner would tolerate any mistreatment,most certainly not at this level,its just another dead horse or animal to anyone around horses,not that you’d sit on it,but it’s really just a dead animal…..should he have close his yard,lay off his staff,no.

          1. Charlie

            “Just another dead animal”. I don’t believe it’s that nasty. Trainers, lads and staff get very attached to the horses they look after and most are extremely upset when one dies.

          2. Johnny

            Sounds all very all creatures great and small,after the trainer got off the dead animal,where did it go ?
            Not nasty at all,just business,

          3. Daisy Chainsaw

            I’m not asking for a wake and funeral for the future tin of dog food, but sitting on it and taking pictures should set off warning bells. That’s not how animal lovers behave around a dead animal.

          4. Charlie

            No it’s not how animal lovers behave but not every animal lover is cat lady living alone with no friends. He’s guilty as sin but he’s a rarity in the horse racing world of today.

          5. johnny

            dog food..is that larry goodman’s truck outside:)

            ..he left school at 13,was a decent jockey and is a once in a generation irish trainer with a well deserved and earned reputation for excellence,is he a little rough around the edges,yes to the horses,absolutely not.

            his yard should not be closed over this,nor should his irish staff lose their jobs over a bunch no nothing equestrian experts.

            what you guys want,subdivisions and housing estate’s in kildare or horse stables and racing….cant’ have both.

      1. Rosette of Sirius

        Treasured until they stop earning. Then it’s to the pet and frozen food aisle in Tesco with them.

        1. Charlie

          They’re still treasured. Not every horse ends up in a tin. Lest we not forget, these are not humans unless one is cat lady.

          1. Rosette of Sirius

            Gordon Elliott certainly makes it look so. Wonder how many horses he sent packing to rainbow bridge via the knackers yard.

  2. ida

    I sat down on the horse to take a call. I’ve always suspected that the horsey set is just an excuse for inbreeding, now I know.

  3. Brother Barnabas

    “I gestured to wait”

    doesnt look like a gesture to wait, in fairness

    (ah sure, he’s just a kid who probably got caught up in the emotion of the moment and sure who hasn’t done the very same thing at his age)

    1. Mick

      He is trying to pretend he was doing the “2 secs” gestures … its not only lame but just sad at this point.

  4. TypeONegative

    I’m sure he died doing what he loved, being made run in circles until his heart gave out

  5. Dr.Fart

    I was kinda onboard for believing it until he said “gestured to wait a minute” when he’s clearly smiling and doing a peace sign. sitting down to take the call is a bit of a stretch too. he’d be best to just say “ya know what, im an awful gobsh!te really, and this is a bit heartless, but I do feel bad about it”

  6. Tony

    …and then I fell back onto the fruit bowl where a banana happened to be arranged in an upright position and the rush of wind obviously pushed down my trousers and pants and….

        1. millie bobby brownie

          Not to be rude, but are you still pregnant? Surely the little madam’s arrival must imminent.

          I am, it must be said, very excited.

          1. Janet, dreams of an alternate universe

            lol, booked in for Wednesday coming ! Two days to go thank christ.

          2. millie bobby brownie

            Eeeeeeep that’s very close! How exciting for you! And a bit of a relief too, I’d say ;)

            No more heartburn and lots more wine

          3. millie bobby brownie

            Also, if I can give you one piece of advice – bring some arnica tablets in with you, and some painkillers of your own. The arnica for helping to heal the bruising and the painkillers because they can be awful stingy with the pain relief in the hospital. Also, snacks. Loads of snacks.

          4. scottser

            wishing ye all the best, J. you’ll be running up and down portmarnock beach with the chisler strapped to you in no time ;)

          5. V aka Frilly Keane

            plus a slab of Diet Coke

            btw, ignore this if you want
            but are you booked in for a ‘sweep’ or an elective

            in any case, trust me on the slab of Diet sodas
            a few trays of yogurts wouldn’t go off either

          6. Janet, dreams of an alternate universe

            thanks everyone :) can’t wait to even get walking, been on shagging bed rest for two months now loosing my sanity,
            I was thinking sashimi and champagne but yogurt probably more sensible lol

          7. millie bobby brownie

            Jaysus that’s awful tough. I’ll be thinking of you, dear partner in crime.

            Keep us posted, won’t you? X

          8. V aka Frilly Keane

            not planning on Breast Feeding then Janie

            well then don’t let the midwives bully you into it
            they can be relentless

            if you’re teetering, then let Herself decide what she wants

            BTW, I think we might have to do a cake
            Lemon Cloud?

          9. Janet, dreams of an alternate universe

            all the cake sounds good ;)
            ah I’m just messing about the champagne, obvs haven’t had a drop in 9 months, just day dreaming……
            shellfish and touching my toes feature heavily too ;)

          10. Janet, dreams of an alternate universe

            lol, she’s a party pants, boots the hell out of me all night or if you play a tune, sleeps all day…the dye is cast

          11. Nigel

            Janet, years later: Here, honey, look at all Mum’s silly online friends wishing her well just before I went in to have you, no, no, don’t scroll up, no don’t look at the picture, no, it’s okay the horse is sleeping and the nice man doesn’t want anyone to wake her up…

  7. Mick

    Does anyone remember those “Politician Apology” sketches on Little Britain? Sir Norman Fry would stand outside his home with his family reading a prepared apology with statements like “at this point I fell on top of him, and I regret to say a part of my body entered him”
    “Unfortunately I slipped on the floor, and fell between the two gentlemen, in what the arresting officer assured me was known as a spit roast.”
    “As far as I’m concerned, that was the end of the matter”

  8. eamonn

    Grim stuff, you know how a picture paints a thousand words…
    speaks volumes as to the attitude to animal welfare.
    I’m sure Gordon makes a cracking lasagne though.

    1. Mick

      “Members of the McManus and Ledbetter families had flown to the eastern Caribbean island to celebrate Christmas and New Year’s Eve together, in what has been a longstanding family tradition.”

      Wow, just wow, one rule for them…etc..

      1. johnny

        ..the judge running the now shut down by McManus,inquest into this sudden,tragic and as now,over two months later still unexplained death,is another priest shurly just a coincidence.

  9. Morning George

    The horse was worked to death.It’s what happens if you force animals to do things they wouldn’t naturally choose.

  10. Lilly

    Poor horse :(

    I don’t know anything about this fellow, but I’m always a little surprised at how unsentimental vets are about animals, even their own.

  11. Rob_G

    I’m not sure I understand the outrage (unless from actual vegans); the animals that you enjoy eating have suffered way, way worse deprivations than having some lad pose for a photo over them when they are already dead.

    1. eamonn

      Them pesky vegans at again, I don’t get how a flesh eating human is precluded from being upset at a non-food animal suffering deprivations, as you so succinctly put it..
      Interesting to see a bookie take what looks like a hike to the moral high ground over this too.
      When the fun stops, stop…

      1. Rob_G

        That horse is dead – this is the same end that befalls any racehorse that doesn’t run fast enough, or that happens to get injured, or who is just unfortunate enough to be born at a time when they are surplus to requirements.

        I don’t really see any difference between these horses (or this horse in particular) and the other 80 billion animals that are killed for our enjoyment each year.

      2. Oro

        Well because ‘food animals’ as you put it suffer too. And far more than this horse ever did. They suffer from the moment they’re born until they’re killed for food. Also this kind of ‘well those animals are for food’ way of thinking is a bit first testament for 2021. Animals are not supplied by some higher power to provide various functions for humans.

        I agree with Rob – it’s total hypocrisy for a meat eater to cast judgment over anyone mistreating animals. And we’ve passed the point of ‘but I didn’t know the animals suffered’ via unavoidable media coverage of the awful treatment of animals in the agriculture industry.

        1. eamonn

          See, I have an issue with subjugation in general, Human or non human. “food animals” is not a reflection of my attitude to non human life, rather how I think society sees non human animals. Personally I don’t see a hierarchy
          As for how much the horse may or may not have suffered, I can’t say with the same certainty as your good self, it is my fervent hope that it suffered not, same as my wish for all, really.
          However, just because some choose a diet rich in flesh, I don’t think they should be precluded from being unhappy about that photo, or about say puppy farming or coursing.
          If someone wakes up one eye at a time why is that such a bad thing? Surely what matters is that there is an awakening in the long run.
          As for which testament you choose to live in – I can only say I live in a different book altogether.
          I am sorry my post confused you so, will try harder to be abundantly clear henceforth

          1. Oro

            I think the lack of clarity is your own thoughts – which traveled forth into your comment. Your mention of bookie taking moral high ground is the same as meat eater taking moral high ground. That’s all I was getting at. And I do think that meat eaters should be precluded (by their own rationality) from being unhappy about that photo. It’s hypocritical given that they’re engaging actively in an industry that mistreats animals to a much greater extend and on a much wider scale, and wherein premature death is the purpose not a possibility.

        2. Daisy Chainsaw

          “…unavoidable media coverage of the awful treatment of animals in the agriculture industry.”
          Any links to that coverage specific to Ireland?

  12. Nigel

    All the older generation in the horse industry thankful they had their sex with a dead hoirse hazing ritual before mobile phones.

    1. Brother Barnabas

      yeah, but wouldnt it have been nice to preserve the memory? who wouldnt like a tiktok link to when they spilled their seed into a dead horse’s mouth? cant be just me

  13. Steph Pinker

    It’s obvious to see and hear that Elliott’s personal career as a trainer is on hold, if not finished; his business will survive because many horse owners will remain loyal, but now that the BHA have released that statement, HRI will have to follow suit.

    He might get Cheltenham out of it, but not Aintree.

    Other trainers should start building new stables and gallops.

        1. benblack

          Feel it in your heart before you write it, Steph.

          Not what you think people would like to read/hear or is fashionable or politically correct.

          Stand firm on the shaky ground.

          Now, there you have it – personal note: must apply to self.

          1. Steph Pinker

            I’ve no idea as to what you’re referring, ben, but my comment above is based on my own observations.

          2. Steph Pinker

            Ditto. But it’s always more enjoyable and sensual if someone else applies it for you, to you and preferably, on you :)

  14. benblack

    ‘Home and Away’ theme tune is playing in the background – Sorry, can’t hear you that well.

    Catch up some other time.

  15. Scundered

    Horse racing is a disgusting sport but this is such a non story, the mainstream media milking it trying to create more outrage than it deserves

Comments are closed.

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