"No one comes into racing for money – it is a hard way to make a living" - Elliott releases heartfelt statement
"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."
With the toughest week of his life behind him, Gordon Elliott is taking his heavy penalty on the chin and insists he will live and learn from his mistake. The Meath man was on Friday hit with a six month ban and a €15'000 fine by the IHRB which is guaranteed to rule him out of the upcoming Cheltenham, Aintree and Punchestown festivals.
Elliott released a heartfelt statement on his Twitter this evening, where he acknowledged his error, accepted his punishment and vowed to vindicate the faith his owners and staff have placed in him.
"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."