Elliott to feature in Panorama programme focusing on dark side of horse racing

Gordon Elliott will feature in tonight’s Panorama: The Dark Side Of Horse Racing , which claims thousands of thoroughbreds are slaughtered every year in Britain and Ireland.

Racing is collectively holding its breath ahead of potentially damaging revelations to the sport’s image in the 30-minute broadcast, which airs on BBC1 at 8.30pm.

The programme focuses on the fate of racehorses after their careers on the track have ended, and includes footage recorded undercover by Animal Aid at a British abattoir.

Among those transported to the premises are three horses formerly trained by Elliott, currently four months into a 12-month Irish Horseracing Regulatory Board ban – of which six months were suspended – for the ‘dead-horse’ photo in which he was pictured sitting astride the carcass of Morgan on his Co Meath gallops.

Elliott will feature in the Panorama programme
Elliott will feature in the Panorama programme

The three-time Grand National-winning trainer will tell Panorama reporter Darragh MacIntyre: “None of those animals were sent by me to the abattoir.”

Former Elliott inmates High Expectations and Kiss Me Kayf are slaughtered at the abattoir but Elliott tells the BBC the pair were sent to a horse dealer “to be rehomed if possible and, if not, to be humanely euthanised in line with the regulations”.

Not featured are officials from the IHRB or British Horseracing Authority, which declined to put a representative up for interview.

The BHA told Panorama it had demonstrated “a clear commitment to improving already high standards of care for racehorses – before, during and after racing” and pledged to “consider carefully any issues raised”.

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Yesterday, neither regulatory body made a comment on the programme, which, it is understood, does not make contact with trainers licensed in Britain.


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