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Irish jockey James apologises for climbing on dead horse

REUTERS: Irish amateur jockey Rob James said on Tuesday he was "heartbroken" and wished to apologise after a video of him climbing on a dead horse appeared on social media.

James confirmed he was the person in the video, which started to circulate on social media earlier on Tuesday, in which he was seen briefly climbing on the dead horse while others present could be heard laughing.

His apology comes a day after Irish trainer Gordon Elliott was temporarily banned from racing in Britain after a photograph of him sitting on a dead horse circulated online.

"I would just like to apologise for my actions which were wholly inappropriate and disrespectful," James told the Irish Field newspaper.

"I sincerely apologise to the owners of the mare, the staff who cared for her, the horseracing industry, and all followers of horse racing for my actions."

The Irish Horseracing Regulatory Board (IHRB) had earlier said on Twitter that it was "aware of further social media content circulating" and the matter was under investigation.

James, who rode 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.

"To try defending my stupidity at the time would add further insult and hurt to the many loyal people that have supported me during my career," James said.

"I am heartbroken by the damage I have caused and will do my best to try and make amends to those hurt by my conduct."

(Reporting by Hardik Vyas in Bengaluru; Editing by Ken Ferris)

Source: Reuters


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