Gordon Elliott: Irish trainer suffers further blow as yard sponsor terminates contract

Gordon Elliott is a three-time winning Grand National trainer and also has clinched a Cheltenham Gold Cup triumph
Elliott has had horses removed from his yard and lost sponsors amid the fallout from the circulation of a photograph on him sitting on a dead horse

Irish trainer Gordon Elliott has suffered a further blow after his yard sponsor terminated its sponsorship contract with him.

The move is the latest fallout from the circulation of a photograph of him sitting on a dead horse.

Elliott has been barred from racing in Britain pending an Irish investigation.

“eCOMM Merchant Solutions has terminated its sponsorship contract with Gordon Elliott due to recent events,” the yard sponsor said.

On Tuesday, Newmarket-based Cheveley Park Stud moved eight Elliott-trained horses to the yards of Henry de Bromhead and Willie Mullins which include Cheltenham Festival favourite Envoi Allen although Gigginstown House Stud, who own a number of horses trained by Elliott, has said it will continue to work with the county Meath-based trainer.

Bookmaker Betfair announced on Monday the end of its association with the County Meath-based trainer, whose horses include the Gigginstown-owned 2018 and 2019 Grand National winner Tiger Roll.

The Irish Horseracing Regulatory Board (IHRB) said its referrals committee would meet on Friday to hear evidence and consider an investigation relating to Elliott.

Elliott, 43, has confirmed the photograph was genuine and said it was taken some time ago after a horse had died of an apparent heart attack on the gallops.

Apologising for his incident, the three-times Grand National-winning trainer said it was a “moment of madness that I am going to have to spend the rest of my life paying for”.

In a further development on Tuesday, video footage emerged on social media of Irish amateur jockey Rob James climbing on to the back of a dead horse.

James later said he was “heartbroken” at the “damage” he had caused, adding that his actions were “wholly inappropriate and disrespectful”.

The Irish Horseracing Regulatory Board said it was aware of the video and the matter was under investigation.

James, who rode the Elliott-trained Milan Native to victory at the Cheltenham Festival last year, said the mare in the video died after suffering a cardiac arrest on a gallops in April 2016.

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