Longwood based trainer Gordon Elliott has been fined €15,000 and had his training licence suspended for a six month period following his disciplinary hearing in front of the Irish Horse Racing Board earlier today.
The hearing took place at Naas racecourse and means that no horses will be able to run in the trainers name at the upcoming Cheltenham festival, however it is understood contingency plans are in place for another licenced trainer to run the Cullentra stables while Elliott serves his suspension.
In a move which suggests Elliott sees the decision as fair and equitable he informed the hearing he would not be appealing it and would not attend a race meeting or point to point event for the six months he is suspended.
The suspension is actually for twelve months but the last six have been suspended.
In a statement afterwards the trainer said, “I accept my situation and my sanction and am satisfied with my engagement with the Irish Horseracing Regulatory Board. It is not an easy job to sit on the panel but I was dealt with fairly.
“I am in this situation by my own action and I am not going to dodge away from this. With my position in the sport I have great privileges and great responsibility. I did not live up to that responsibility. I am no longer the teenage boy who first rode a horse at Tony Martin’s 30 years ago. I am an adult with obligations and a position in a sport I have loved since I first saw horses race.
“I am paying a very heavy price for my error but I have no complaints. It breaks my heart to see the hurt I have caused to my colleagues, family, friends and supporters. I have a long road ahead of me but I will serve my time and then build back better.
“Horses are my life. I love them. No one comes into racing for money – it is a hard way to make a living. We are here because we love the horses. Anyone who has visited my stables at Cullentra will see the meticulous care with which we treat our horses. I was disrespectful to a dead horse, an animal that had been a loyal servant to me and was loved by my staff.
“I will carry the burden of my transgressions for the rest of my career. I will never again disrespect a horse living or dead and I will not tolerate it in others.
“Finally I want to thank my owners and my staff who, despite being let down by me, have been unstinting in their support. I will vindicate their faith in me.”