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Betfair Cut Ties With Gordon Elliott After Photo With Dead Horse Emerges
1 March 2021, 12:00:00
Betfair have discontinued their association with Gordon Elliott as an ambassador in the wake of a controversial photo emerging of the leading jumps trainer sitting on a dead horse.
The betting exchange giant have officially cut ties with the Meath trainer as the fallout continues after the shocking image emerged over the weekend and sparked a massive public outcry.
Elliott apologised for his actions late on Sunday night, but Betfair have wasted little time in releasing a statement this morning and parting ways with the Cullentra handler.
"While we recognise that Gordon deeply regrets and apologised unreservedly for his poor judgement, his actions are completely at odds with the values of the Betfair brand and that of our employees," a Betfair statement said.
"With that in mind, we have decided to discontinue our association with Gordon with immediate effect."
The photo in question shows Elliott, 42, sitting on a dead horse on the gallops while speaking on a phone and holding up two fingers in an apparent peace gesture.
Elliott apologised for his actions and attempted to give context to the photo when commenting late on Sunday night: "I would like to address the speculation and rumours that have been rife since an old photo of me began circulating on social media yesterday afternoon.
"Firstly, I apologise profoundly for any offence that this photo has caused and can categorically state that the welfare of each and every horse under my care is paramount and has been central to the success that we have enjoyed here at Cullentra.
"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.
"Such background information may seem trivial at this time and will not allay the concerns of many people both within and outside the world of horse racing. However, I feel it is important to provide people with some context surrounding this photo."