Rob James: Newbie jockey apologises for climbing on useless horse in video


Rob James drove the Milan Native to victory at the Cheltenham Festival in 2020

Irish amateur jockey Rob James says he was “broken” because of the “damage” he caused after being filmed climbing onto the back of a dead horse.

A video on social media shows James galloping on the animal while some in attendance hears laughter.

The Irish Horseracing Regulatory Board said it knew about the video and was investigating the matter.

“I just want to apologize for my actions that were completely inappropriate and disrespectful,” said James.

Speaking to the Irish Field, James added, “I sincerely apologize to the mare’s owners, the staff who looked after her, the horse racing industry and all horse racing enthusiasts for my actions.

“Trying to defend my stupidity at the time would insult and hurt the many loyal people who have supported me throughout my career. I have embarrassed my employers, my family and, above all, the sport I love.

“I am broken by the damage I have caused and I will do my best to make amends for those injured by my behavior.”

James, who rode the Milan Native to victory at the Cheltenham Festival last year, said the mare in the video died after suffering a cardiac arrest at a gallop in April 2016.

BBC Sport asked James for a comment.

His apology comes a day after Irish coach Gordon Elliott was on a temporary basis It is forbidden to race in the UK after imagining yourself on a dead horse.

Elliott, 43, apologized for a photo of him sitting on a dead horse and was later temporarily banned by the British Horseracing Authority pending an IHRB investigation.

The IHRB board will meet on March 5th to hear evidence.

Elliott said the picture was taken “some time ago” and was a “moment of madness that I will have to pay for the rest of my life”.

Elliott, who saddled the Grand National winner three times, was widely criticized in racing.

On Tuesday, Cheveley Park Stud announced BBC Sport’s Laura Scott that they would be removing their eight horses from Elliott’s base and moving them to trainers Willie Mullins and Henry de Bromhead.

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