Milan Native jumps to victory

Rob James apologises for “wholly inappropriate and disrespectful” video


Irish amateur jockey Rob James has apologised for his “wholly inappropriate and disrespectful” actions after a video of him sitting on a dead horse was posted on social media.

The Irish Horseracing Regulatory Board has already announced an investigation into the footage, which was posted on Twitter on Monday night.

James, who rode Milan Native to victory at the Cheltenham Festival last year (pictured), said he is “heartbroken by the damage” caused by the video, which was taken in 2016.

He told the Irish Field: “I have become aware of a video circulating of me on social media.

“I would just like to apologise for my actions which were wholly inappropriate and disrespectful to a lovely five-year-old mare, who unfortunately suffered a sudden cardiac arrest while at exercise earlier that morning, April 30, 2016.

“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.

“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. I have caused embarrassment to my employers, my family and most importantly the sport I love.

“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.”

The footage follows just two days after trainer Gordon Elliott confirmed an image of him taking a phone call while sitting on a dead horse was genuine.

The trainer is “fully cooperating” with an IHRB investigation into the incident after the photograph on his gallops appeared on Twitter on Saturday night.

On Tuesday morning, the IHRB posted on its own Twitter account that a further investigation is under way following the video footage of James.

The statement read: “The Irish Horseracing Regulatory Board are aware of further social media content circulating and the matter is under investigation.”

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