RICHARD ORD: Horsing around raises 'neigh' laughs

If you think the news of a professional trainer sitting on a dead horse is bad, just wait until you hear about what I just saw.

Wednesday, 3rd March 2021, 12:00 am
Horses get a bum deal from racing...

Forget trainer Gordon Elliott being pictured astride the body of one of his deceased horses, there are TV channels showing live footage of men on horses that are, wait for this, still alive!

Honestly. Loads of them. Blokes with whips racing the poor beasts round and round a big field as fast as they can gallop. For money!

Mark my words. It’s only a matter of time before one of these animals gets hurt. You read it here first.

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Anyway, that’s enough on the subject. If there’s one thing I’ve learned when writing this column it’s to stay clear of animals if you want to avoid controversy.

I once suggested that police shooting a dangerous dog might not have been such a bad thing and was fielding Twitter abuse from animal lovers for the next month.

Ironically, you can still buy chairs made out of horse hide (damn, I couldn’t resist continuing the animal theme).

Obviously there’s a world of difference to sitting on a dead horse and sitting on a chair made from a dead horse, but just in case you find yourself on one of these horse hide chairs, don’t smile for the camera. Jump out of it as quick as you can and look solemn. Same if you’re caught on an actual dead horse.

Gordon Elliott has apologised profusely for sitting on his dead horse, but explained the whole situation may well have been taken out of context.

Rather than being what could, for all the world look like a complete Mickey take, was in his eyes just an unfortunate chain of events that ended up on camera.

He said “I was standing over the horse waiting to help with the removal of the body, in the course of which, to my memory I received a call and, without thinking, I sat down to take it.

“Hearing a shout from one of my team, I gestured to wait until I was finished.”

And that gesture? The universal big grin and flicking the ‘peace’ sign, of course. Seems plausible to me.

One can only hope that shout from one of his team wasn’t: “Oi Gordon, I don’t care who that call is from, you shouldn’t be sitting on a dead horse.”

Now that would be ironic.

When Mr Elliott appears before the horse racing authorities he will need to convince them that the dignity of horses is taken as seriously in life as it is in death. If he fails to do so, he may well find himself in a situation as sticky as, well, a melted horse hoof.