Matt's Monday Yeeehaa – Gordon Elliott has shocked us all in his moment of stupidity, his punishment must have impact
UNACCEPTABLE. That's the only word to describe that picture.
I mean, of course, the picture of top trainer Gordon Elliott sitting on top of a dead horse while making a peace sign with two fingers.
There is no one who is not repulsed by the lack of respect shown to a dead animal.
Elliott has tried to justify the snapshot.
But for most the context put forward has only made matters worse. For there is no excuse.
There is only acceptance that what has happened was a moment of gross stupidity and of absolute madness.
There should only be an apology of the deepest kind. Publicly.
It's a lesson to us all. Be decent.
And remember if you are not going to be decent any words or pictures are never private with modern technology.
Betfair, Elliott's sponsor, has left. Leading owner Michael O'Leary says he will stay. Cheveley Park Stud are awaiting news of an Irish investigation by the authorities locally.
The British Racing Authorities is considering its next move.
In the modern era, public perception is everything in life. There is no doubt this photo has bought racing into disrepute.
That said, only a fool would suggest racehorses are not looked after and loved because of one photo.
If we took that attitude with human beings what world would we live in?
So those – in particular on social media – trying to suggest the Sport of Kings doesn't care about its troops are simply using an opportunity to pigeon hole an industry.
Alas that is the world of social media. The world we live in.
Elliott, though, would know this. He would know the consequences of the picture ever becoming public.
Would I call for a life ban? No.
But his punishment will have to be one that has an impact. That silences people that are naturally disgusted.
Time will tell what that is, and it might be different in the UK to Ireland.
I'm lucky to have worked all my life in racing media.
I see first hand the care racing people give to their horses. I can't do anything but tell anyone reading this that horses have a better life than many humans I know.
And this picture is no representation of the welfare of horses in a racing yard.
It actually has no representation of Elliott's love of horses.
But that's of no comfort to those who have seen the image.
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