Gordon Elliott, the trainer of double Grand National winner Tiger Roll, said on Saturday night that he is “cooperating fully” with an investigation by the Irish Horseracing Regulatory Board (IHRB) into a disputed image circulating on social media which appeared to show him posing on top of a dead horse on his gallops.
The image, which circulated widely on Twitter on Saturday evening, shows signs of having been digitally altered according to a number of users who responded to a tweet from the IHRB at 7.29pm on Saturday. The Board said that it was “aware of an image circulating on social media”, adding that “the matter is under investigation”.
A few hours later, Elliott also acknowledged that the image was being widely shared, saying in a tweet: “I’m aware of a photo in circulation on social media. The IHRB have been in contact with me regarding this photo and I will be cooperating fully with their investigation.”
The IHRB has declined to add to its initial statement this morning while its investigation continues. One part of the image which appeared to show evidence of having been digitally altered according to several Twitter users was around Elliott’s left elbow.
The image is circulating just over two weeks before Elliott is due to send a large team of horses, including several favourites, to the four-day Cheltenham Festival. Elliott was the top trainer at the meeting in 2017 and 2018.
He is also due to saddle Tiger Roll, the winner of the Grand National in 2018 and 2019, in the Festival’s Cross-Country Chase, ahead of a possible attempt to emulate the legendary Red Rum by winning a third Grand National on 10 April.